Category: RELIGIONS



New Research: Pastors Deliberately Keeping Flock In

The Dark

Published: Thursday, August 7, 2014

Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on reddit Share on stumbleupon Share on digg Share on email More Sharing ServicesMore

Research Confirms What I Have Been Saying For Years

George Barna is the foremost researcher of modern Christianity in the country. He recently spoke about a two-year research project studying why modern-day pastors and churches are so silent regarding political issues. The result of his research only confirms what I have been trying to tell people for years. But there was one thing his research uncovered that did somewhat surprise me. OneNewsNow.com covered the story:

“On Thursday, George Barna–research expert and founder of The Barna Group–shared with American Family Radio’s ‘Today’s Issues’ about new information he’s compiling at American Culture and Faith Institute over the last two years, gauging where theologically conservative pastors are at politically.

“‘What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?–and the numbers drop…to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.’

“When researchers ask those pastors what else they are willing to do to get their people active in the political process, Barna said ‘it’s almost nothing.’

“‘So the thing that struck me has been that when we talk about the separation of church and state, it’s that churches have separated themselves from the activities of the state–and that’s to the detriment of the state and its people,’ stated the researcher.”

That 90% of America’s pastors are not addressing any of the salient issues affecting Christian people’s political or societal lives should surprise no one–especially the readers of this column. It has been decades since even a sizeable minority of pastors have bothered to educate and inform their congregations as to the Biblical principles relating to America’s political, cultural, and societal lives. But the part of the research that did somewhat surprise me was this statement by Barna: “What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?–and the numbers drop…to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”

Did you get that? Ninety-percent of America’s pastors say they KNOW that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, but they are deliberately determined to NOT teach these Biblical principles. That is an amazing admission!

It would have been one thing if the pastors had said that these political issues were not relevant to scripture, and, therefore, they didn’t feel called to address them. But the pastors are admitting that, yes, they KNOW that the scriptures DO relate to our current political issues, but they are deliberately choosing to NOT teach those scriptural principles. Holy heads-in-the-sand, Batman!

I confess: this statistic caught me off-guard. So, we can forever dismiss ignorance as justification for pastors remaining silent.

Now, all of the church members out there who have been forgiving of their ministers for not speaking out on the issues by saying things like, “He really doesn’t understand what’s going on,” need to reevaluate their leniency–if they are intellectually honest, that is–and if they truly care about the future of their country.

Church member, admit it: that pastor of yours who refuses to speak out on the issues KNOWS the Bible speaks to these issues, and he is DELIBERATELY refusing to teach those Biblical principles to you and your family.

So, we are not dealing with IGNORANT pastors; we are dealing with DELIBERATELY DISOBEDIENT pastors. They are PURPOSELY CHOOSING to remain silent. Will that make any difference to the Christians in the pews who say they want their pastor to take a stand but are willing to overlook his “ignorance?” Probably not. But, at least, we now know what the real issue is, don’t we?

The report goes on: “Why the disconnect? According to Barna, the answer is simple. He suggests asking pastors how someone would know if their church is ‘successful’–which he did.”

“‘There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to [when asked that question],’ he explained. ‘Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.’”

There you have it: pastors are more concerned about being “successful” than they are being truthful. They believe if they tell their congregations the truth, their churches will not be “successful.” And it is so refreshing to see Barna directly ask pastors what “success” means to them. So, now we know (as if we didn’t know before; but, at least now there is definitive research to back it up). The vast majority of pastors believe church success lies in:

*Attendance

*Giving (money)

*Number of programs

*Number of staff

*Square footage (of facilities)

Shazam! Where did pastors come up with this definition of “success?” You know where: from men such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, et al.

The megachurch phenomenon of the last several decades transformed how pastors think and behave. Pastors read the “successful church” books and publications; they attend the “successful church” conferences; they watch the “successful church” videos, etc. They, then, try to mimic the tactics and strategies they have been taught. And if there is one constant theme promulgated by the likes of Osteen, Warren, and Hybels, it is pastors must avoid controversy like the plague. Again, one must realize that the goal is NOT being faithful to Biblical principles; the goal is building a “successful” church as noted above.

It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not pastors; they are CEOs. They are not Bible teachers; they are performers. They are not shepherds; they are hirelings. It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be “successful?” BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, CHRISTIAN FRIEND.

Barna’s research blows the “ignorance” excuse out of the water. Again, it is not ignorance; it is deliberate disobedience.

Barna goes on to say, “Now all of those things [the five points of success listed above] are good measures, except for one tiny fact: Jesus didn’t die for any of them.” Wow! You nailed it, George!

See the report here:

Barna: Many Pastors Wary Of Raising ‘Controversy’

Where do you find anything in the New Testament that measures a pastor’s success by the number of people attending his church? Or by how large his offerings are? Or by how many programs his church has? Or by how many staff members he has? Or by how large his facilities are? In fact, the early New Testament church didn’t even own property or buildings.

When the Apostle Paul listed his ministerial pedigree, here is what it looked like (II Cor. 11):

*Stripes above measure

*In prisons frequently

*In deaths often

*Beaten with rods

*Stoned

*Perils

*Weariness

*Painfulness

*Hunger and thirst

*Cold and nakedness

I don’t see attendance, offerings, programs, staff, or square footage in that list at all, do you?

When Paul wrote his own epitaph, it read, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:7). He didn’t say, “I had a large congregation, we had big offerings, we had a lot of programs, I had a large staff, and we had large facilities.”

In the world of Osteen, Warren, and Hybels (and 90% of America’s pastors), the Apostle Paul’s ministry must have been a dismal failure. And how many church pulpit committees would even consider the pastoral résumé such as the Apostle Paul wrote above?

Please understand this: America’s malaise is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors–and the willingness of the Christians in the pews to tolerate the disobedience of their pastor. Nothing more! Nothing less!

Oh, and get this: according to the survey conducted by Barna, guess what the number one reason is why pastors choose to be “successful” and not “controversial?” You guessed it: fear of the IRS 501c3 tax-exempt status. Who would have thought it? (Yes, that question is deliberately facetious.)

The release of this research by George Barna could not have come at a more opportune time. I announced just last week that we have officially launched the Liberty Church Project, whereby we will be helping people around the country to establish non-501c3 churches. I invite folks (pastors or laymen) who are serious about starting new non-501c3 churches–or helping to resurrect patriot pulpits within existing churches–to fill out our online application. We already have several groups that we intend to help and are looking for others. If you are someone who is serious about such an endeavor, and seeks our assistance, please fill out the online application here:

Liberty Church Project

And, in case you missed it, here is my column announcing the launch of the Liberty Church Project:

We Are Launching!

I want to commend George Barna for his research. I suspect that the vast majority of pastors and churches will ignore it, but, at least now we know the painful truth of the matter: by in large, pastors are deliberately choosing to not teach Biblical truth to their congregations for the selfish goal of being “successful.” But as we come to grips with this reality, we must also acknowledge that pastors are simply (and shamelessly) putting their fingers to the wind and finding that the people in the pews are more interested in their churches being “successful” than faithful to the teaching of Holy Scripture. As Barna noted, it is the churches, themselves, that have chosen to separate from the political affairs of their country.

In the end, it always comes down to We the People, doesn’t it? If you want a church where the pastor is willing to teach the Biblical principles that relate to our everyday lives–including our political lives–you might have to vote with your feet and go find one. That is, if that kind of thing is truly important to you.

Chuck Baldwin Speaking

© Chuck Baldwin

Advertisements

MERS “Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome”


A NEW VIRUS IS A "THREAT TO THE WORLD"

https://truthtalk13.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/3d828-mers-transmission-modelv2-1.jpg

Published June 24, 2013 | by Sentinel

Virus from the Middle East began to claim lives

https://i2.wp.com/www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cder/PublishingImages/MERS-CoV%20Map.jpg

By Callum Wood – June 4, 2013 –

A potentially deadly from the Middle East virus made his way to Europe, highlighting the increased potential pandemics facing us. The virus, respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the Middle East (MERS-CoV), formerly known as the new coronavirus was confirmed in 44 people worldwide since its initial detection. The majority of cases came from the Middle East. Scientists are puzzled as to how the virus could reach into humans, and where it has spread. The strain of the larger family of coronaviruses, which covers many illnesses from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which does not help to identify the origin of the virus.

There is still a lot that scientists do not know about MERS-CoV. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, gave a speech at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 27, the deadly new strain of coronavirus. She said, "We will understand only too little about this virus when compared to the magnitude of the potential threat. Any new disease that is growing faster than our understanding is never under control. "

When a high-ranking member of one of the most prestigious health organizations in the world bluntly states that experts do not yet understand this deadly virus, people have to sit and listen.

Chan’s speech was full of warnings. She described the virus as "a threat to the entire world." Keep in mind that this statement was made ​​by someone who deals with health issues around the world on a daily basis. She sees this new strain as a major cause for concern, even more than the recent outbreak of H7N9 influenza in Asia.

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/16/65/be/1665becf658ef46c8aa1ec00012a8647.jpg

His warning comes at a time when the MERS-CoV has traveled the Middle East to Europe. A man traveled from Saudi Arabia to France while carrying the virus without knowing it. When he fell ill and was taken to hospital, he then infected at least one other person before succumbing to the disease. The second infected man left the hospital before doctors realize what had happened. The incubation period of the virus is more than 12 days, which makes it difficult to detect. The man was then taken back to the hospital in critical condition.

Of the 44 cases reported worldwide, 23 people died, fixing the mortality rate at about 50 percent. With so many outstanding questions about the disease, Chan said: "We need more information, and we need it quickly, urgently."

https://i0.wp.com/www.tg1news.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/946085_10152864656115596_1139851763_n.jpg

But what kind of information do they need? Science can come up with something to try and eliminate this new disease, but how many deaths will it take to get there? There are several strains of influenza and other emerging diseases, but there is rarely another virus similar to penicillin from laboratories. As mentioned above, the H7N9 is resistant to drugs that have been used in the past.

The information that humanity needs is why these plagues fall on us in the first place. While the pharmaceutical industry has been effective in the fight against many diseases, new diseases continue to grow.

https://i0.wp.com/a.abcnews.com/images/Health/mers_coronavirus_world_map_140502_v12x5_12x5_992.jpg

As we explained in our article titled, "The coming pandemic diseases," the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are biblical figures that many can identify, but few can really understand the meaning. One of those riders, the pale horse, means the spread of disease and pestilence in this period of the End Times. MERS-CoV may not be the beginning of a major pandemic, but it is connected to the most tragic time that have yet to befall mankind.

Do you understand the weather where you live? Are you ready for unprecedented devastation by diseases such as the world has ever known? For those who faithfully obey God, He promises;

https://i1.wp.com/www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01649/12bgscreening_eps_1649419f.jpg

"You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at your right, you will not be achieved. "(Psalm 91: 5-7)

This is a great hope that we can have, knowing the difficult times ahead.

https://truthtalk13.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/f3974-mers-cov.jpg

"And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and it will seem terrible things and great signs from heaven. "(Luke 21: 11)

http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/10669.18.0.0/society/health/new-virus-a-threat-to-the-entire-world

Happy 1st birthday Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

A coronavirus schematic. The spiky bits give the virus
its name(corona=crown) and represent the
receptor binding, antigenic Spike protein.

…I can remember when you were just a novel little thing.
How you have grown young prince and how clever of you to emerge in a Kingdom of all places (corona=crown, named for it’s spikey appearance). You’ve certainly garnered attention worthy of a King given the relatively few cases of disease you gave been associated with in the first year we’ve known of you.
It was September 20th when Dr Zaki 1st alerted the world to the death of a Saudi man due to what looked to be a new coronavirus (CoV). Today we have over 135 cases 58 deaths (43%).
I’ve previously covered Zaki’s disocvery and the problems posed for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by the way in which he announced that discovery, apparently without the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) foreknowledge. The way in which the sample was exported from the KSA without their prior consent was also problematic for them.

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/2396/5aef8eaae1b94d88b71468f6ff7d1714.jpg
Soon after we heard of it, we had virus-detection assays with which we could seek out new cases. Were they used as they might have been in the days of the SARS-CoV? Nope. And there still seems to be only a single laboratory in KSA testing for MERS-CoV (despite reports of 3), with Dr Abdullah Al-Aeeri (a director of hospital infection control) claiming a 72-hour reporting turnaround time.
Is there an antibody detection assay that has been validated using a panel of known positive sera? Nope. There are some innovative antibody-detection methods around but why do they only include a single positive control? Is there no collaboration at all? Why is the KSA not leading the charge to develop these diagnostics and to hunt for an animal host? Why wait on advice from external organizations to screen samples?

https://i2.wp.com/d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1361348/camel.jpg

Why has the necessary testing capacity not been built well before now? Is it to do with that pesky material transfer agreement? I hope not because there is little evidence for that being a real block to anything from a public health standpoint.
At least we have some new MERS-CoV sequences to celebrate the birthday with. Although they and the 9 preceding them represent less than half of the relatively small number of cases described to date. Why can’t the typing region sequences be released? That should really be part of the diagnostic process. Okay, those may not inform us about the evolution of key regions of the virus but they do confirm it is the strain we know. Why not focus on full or subgenomic Spike gene sequences? They might be a better sentinel for keeping tabs on MERS-CoV change over time.

https://i1.wp.com/assets.rappler.com/93A3FB8965334123A482F055E7873C10/img/BFE8489A971B4AA5AF126FF26754F4A0/infographic-mers-symptoms-prevention-20140427.jpg
Most of the detail about MERS-CoV and cases of MERS has come through the peer-reviewed scientific literature. That is pretty normal for respiratory viruses that are not notifiable. But it’s generally a slow medium. Is MERS infection a notifiable disease? It is in some countries (e.g. the US and New Zealand), but is it at the epicenter of the outbreak, the KSA? I’m not sure. It’s not obviously stated as such anywhere I looked on the KSA MOH website.
The World Health Organization politely notes:

WHO encourages all Member States to enhance their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns of SARI or pneumonia cases. WHO urges Member States to notify or verify to WHO any probable or confirmed case of infection with MERS-CoV.

https://i0.wp.com/www.bulletin.us.com/media/uploads/2/MERS_CoV_map_web.jpg

How’s that been working out? In a nice summary of the lack of communication, Helen Branswell and Declan Butler highlight that, as usual, everyone who was asked agreed that it’s not working out well at all. In fact it’s pretty woeful. And to add to matters, the latest WHO Disease Outbreak News (DON) takes the form of a summary of 18 "new" cases; no extra or confirmatory detail to be had from it. SO the KSA MOH is now the source for detail.

If we were talking about wanting more data on the monthly proportion of rhinovirus infections, the KSA would be justified in saying that the world doesn’t need to know (I’d like to but that’s my thing).

If we were talking about influenza, then there are plenty of international public health sites publishing these notifiable data on the internet; here’s Queensland, Australia’s for example.

https://i0.wp.com/l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/eyt6Dq_tPVtxTsy.mRLj7Q--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYwMA--/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/news/2014-04-24/98f7a3f0-cba7-11e3-a0bb-25537a06410c_infographic_mers_corona_virus.jpg

But we’re talking about an emerging disease which kills half of the people it infects, is caused by a novel virus for which no host is known, which transmits between people in a way we don’t yet understand, which is shed from ill (or well) people for an undefined period of time (if at all), which remains infectious in the environment for who knows how long, which jumps to other countries, which may only cause severe disease in those who are already ill with another disease, which may be endemically spreading within the community as mild or asymptomatic infections, for which there is no vaccine or proven antiviral therapy available..I’d say it’s a no-brainer that at the very least the WHO deserves regular and detailed updates of what’s going on. Reading between the lines, that does not seem to be happening even behind closed doors.
The mass gathering of pilgrims known as the Hajj is fast approaching. This may trigger a large increase in MERS cases or, in the worst case, a pandemic. I personally believe it won’t go that far. We shouldn’t forget is the 2nd Hajj for MERS. But perhaps the virus is much more widespread than it was in October 2012. But without testing data, we can only guess.
So, it’s your 1st birthday MERS-CoV. But instead of wishing you a happy birthday you opportunistic, spiky little killer, I’m wishing Dr Zaki well and congratulating him on co-parenting the birth of this novel coronavirus. Going by what we’ve seen to date, his actions may have been the only way we would have ever heard of this virus otherwise.
And, as noted previously, but not given much air to in the above rant (thanks to @MicorbeLover for straightening me out)…

https://i0.wp.com/s2.wheninmanila.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Health-Tips-2.jpg

It’s very sad that there are real people in these numbers who have died from MERS. You may have noticed that I try and stick with the cold number-crunching aspect of these outbreaks. It’s not because I’m a heartless b&^$# but because that is not what this blog is about. That and my editorialisation and expositionary writing consume what little time I have spare. But I don’t feel that I have enough information to make any other comments about these or any other lives lost to infectious disease. I personally feel that any unexpected and acute loss of life (if I had to scale loss of life) is the worst kind of loss; it’s a waste of potential, a source of great sorrow for all involved and it’s something we should all strive to prevent, if we can. I know that’s not much to convey, but it’s all I can offer from my kinda comfy chair in Brisbane.

The Saudi MOH says it better in anyway; May Allah have mercy upon the deceased.

virusmers

%d bloggers like this: