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-Religion As a Predictor of Political Affiliation?

by Dr. D ~ February 6th, 2018

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Here’s an article from the New York Times which indicates that religion and denominational membership are important factors in determining the political party affiliation of ministers and rabbis:

…according to a new data set representing the largest compilation of American religious leaders ever assembled.

Like their congregants, religious leaders have sharply divided themselves along political lines. Leaders and congregants of Unitarian and African Methodist Episcopal churches are overwhelmingly Democratic, as are those of Reform and Conservative Jewish synagogues. Those of several Evangelical and Baptist churches are overwhelmingly Republican. If religious denominations were states, almost all of them would be considered “Safely Democratic” or “Safely Republican,” with relatively few swing states.

Yet pastors are even more politically divided than the congregants in their denomination: Leaders of more liberal denominations tend to be even more likely to be registered as Democrats, and those of more conservative denominations even more likely to be registered as Republicans.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Some interesting data given in the original research that this article was based upon. Most of the time the NY Times is guilty of ‘not getting religion’ but the ‘grey lady’ does a good service here linking to the original research and seems to fairly represent some of the findings without their usual leftist judgments and commentary.

The research supposedly represents the political leanings of 130,000 religious leaders in America. However it is not as comprehensive as it sounds. The largest growing segment of the Christian community in the USA are the non-denominational churches which were not covered by this research. Also the LDS (Mormons) were left out since relevant data from that denomination is not available to the public including the researchers.

Not only was political party affiliation dealt with in the research but also attitudes toward abortion, gay marriage, and a comparison between pastors and denominational seminary faculty.

Looking at the data, the leaders in groups which seem to be more traditional in their understanding and acceptance of the Bible are also more conservative in their political membership and in their attitudes toward abortion and same-sex marriage. So in my opinion, the Bible and the acceptance of God’s Word is the real dividing line.

The African-American churches are a perplexing exception to the ‘Bible’ rule on many different fronts. While most black pastors continue to oppose same-sex marriage and abortion, the vast majority of black church leaders are members of the Democratic Party which is pro-abortion, supports gay marriage, and had a hard time getting a majority of delegates to vote for God during one of their last conventions.               *Top

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-Sweden: Iranian Christian Convert Leads 1,500 Muslims to Christ

by Dr. D ~ January 29th, 2018

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Nearly every week we read reports from Europe about the problems and outright terrorism being perpetrated by the thousands of Muslim refugees. It is not too difficult for discerning believers to see our enemy’s hand in all this. Even worse, the demographers claim that if the current trend continue, Europe will eventually be dominated by Muslims. Some even talk about the Vatican being surrounded by mosques in a generation.

Yet in the midst of it all we receive reports of Muslims coming to Christ  This  recent account from the Christian Post should be encouraging. A former Iranian Muslim convert has led over 1,500 Muslims to Christ in Sweden:

An Iranian convert to Christianity who is now an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden says she has helped bring nearly 1,500 Muslims to Christ over the past five years.

Annahita Parsan told Fox News in a report on Wednesday that her life, which has undergone huge tribulations, is "completely different since coming to Jesus."

<Read the whole article>

Read her story in the article, it is inspirational and will give you hope. The fact is, in the midst of all of the bad news about Islam and the radical terrorists, more Muslims have actually converted to Christianity in the last ten years than ever before since the founding of Islam. The enemy has his plans but our God is more powerful and every knee shall eventually bow at the name of Jesus.               *Top

(Reprinted from my Charismatica blog)

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-New Archaeological Find Supports Hebrew Bible Record

by Dr. D ~ January 25th, 2018

The recent discovery of a 2,700 year old seal of the ‘Governor of Jerusalem’ historically validates several Bible references and in the process gives support to the Jewish claim of Jerusalem as their historical homeland. From Arutz Sheva:

Excavations at Western Wall Plaza unearth unique stamped clay from the First Temple Period believed to belong to city governor.  …

According to the excavator, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, "the Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, …

"This is the first time that such a sealing is found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2700 years ago."

<Read the whole article>

Another take on this, places this recent discovery in the context of other important finds which support the Biblical historical record. From the Christian Post:

As it so happens, the Old Testament contains two references to the Governor of Jerusalem during the reign of Josiah.

2 Kings 23 tells readers, "Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate."

2 Chronicles 34 says that ". . . in the eighteenth year of [Josiah’s] reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city. . . . . to repair the house of the Lord his God."

In both instances, the position of Governor was part of an effort to root out paganism and syncretism from Judah.

<Read the whole article>

Response: A few short years ago, many scholars doubted the Biblical record about the Jewish Davidic Kingdom and naturally Muslims and Palestinians wanted to downplay any Jewish historical claims on Israel as their ancient homeland. But recent discoveries have all confirmed the Bible history and this find is particularly upsetting to Palestinians who want to continue to discount any Jewish historical claims on the City of Jerusalem.               *Top

(Reprinted from the Apologetica page)

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-Franklin Graham: President Trump is ‘Defending The Christian Faith’

by Dr. D ~ January 22nd, 2018

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017.  (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)  Franklin_Graham_2016

It has been a year since Trump became the 45th President of the United States. In that time Franklin Graham has on occasion been critical of this president. However on Sunday Graham said that so far President Trump was ‘defending the Christian faith’ better than any recent American leader. From Fox News:

Graham said that he recognizes that Trump is very concerned about religious freedom both domestically and abroad.

"I’m just grateful to the president," Graham said. "He defends the Christian faith more than any president in my lifetime."

Graham urged the audience to pray for Trump, whether or not they voted for him.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Whatever you may think about President Trump, he is defending religious liberty and the First Amendment far more than any recent leader in memory. Even more so than President George W. Bush who was supposed to be an evangelical Christian.

There is still a lot of stuff to be addressed after 8 years of President Obama who was pushing for a new understanding of the First Amendment which would have limited freedom of religion to only freedom to worship within the four walls of an official place of worship. Then there was the outright direct attack of the Obama HHS against Christian organizations. Numerous lawsuits generated by the HHS Contraceptive Mandate have yet to be resolved in the federal courts. Fortunately this administration is now trying to reverse all that.

I happen to think that Pres. Reagan was pretty good on freedom of religion and even President Carter who I still consider the worst president during my lifetime though in final analysis the last president probably did far more damage.               *Top

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-Trump Addresses 2018 March for Life

by Dr. D ~ January 20th, 2018

President Trump officially addressed the annual March for Life through a video feed from the Rose Garden on Friday (See the video above). From Charisma News:

"Today, I am honored and proud to be the first president to stand with you at the White House to address the 45th March for Life," President Trump said.

He spoke with pro-life supporters via satellite from the Rose Garden at the White House.

"The March for Life is a movement born out of love," Trump told the audience. "Every child is a precious gift from God."  …

Trump is the third sitting U.S. president to address March for Life, following George W. Bush’s remarks via telephone in 2003 and 2004. Ronald Reagan also made telephone remarks back in 1987.

<Read the whole article>

Response: After 8 years, it is nice to see a President stand up for life. The March for Life continues to be substantially ignored by the major press across the country even though it is one of the largest gatherings in Washington DC every year. With President Trump’s participation it will be much harder to ignore.

Nevertheless, watch the enthusiastic coverage today for the Woman’s March opposing Trump regardless of the numbers.               *Top

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-Trump HHS: New Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

by Dr. D ~ January 18th, 2018

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The HHS under President Obama tried to override and destroy religious freedom and conscience which was clearly demonstrated in that administration’s HHS Contraceptive Mandate.  Now the Department of Health and Human Services under President Trump is going an entirely different direction and in the process has established a new division to actually support and encourage religious liberty and conscience. From Townhall:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at an event Thursday morning.

According to HHS, the new division “has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”

They add that “the creation of the new division will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: Say whatever you want about Pres. Trump but he is doing what he said he would when it comes to religious freedom. This is night and day different than the assault we experienced under the last president. The intent in establishing this division is to take an active part in protecting religious freedom rather than just talking about it. We obviously will be following this in the future.              *Top

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