Christmas 2019 in America

The shepherds to whom the angels appeared that night near Bethlehem were carrying the same weight of misery that we as modern Americans are carrying.  Did you ever wonder who they were and why they were gifted with the greatest angelic light show the world had ever seen?

That question is more important than you may realize, because their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common threat and a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on Americans today.

The leaders of Israel had taken the Word of God and had replaced it with the traditions of men—what we now call ‘political correctness.’

Every line between right and wrong had been blurred in order to keep them in power. They used guilt to extract money and to help them maintain their control over the people. Our 21st Century Pharisees use boycotts, cancel culture, and shame anyone who doesn’t use the right pronoun, or who doesn’t share their political faith.

In the first century, Israel’s national debt mortgaged their future to a foreign power, Rome. For them it was Rome, for us it is China.

Caesar Augustus was their globalist threat—a threat that was absorbing their sacred values, freedom, and the faith of their fathers. All of which is happening right now in America.

Why were these “certain poor shepherds” abiding in the fields? Because the convulsions in their culture had resulted in widespread robbery and murder. Even shepherds had to respond to the raised threat level and protect their sheep.

Why do we in this nation live in a perpetual state of high alert? Because lawlessness has increased, just as Jesus said it would. Our cultural obsession with deviance and drugs has resulted in chaos.

Why did God choose shepherds, those who were considered the lowest of the low in Jewish society? I believe it was because they were utterly believable. Our impression of shepherds is skewed. They were not ‘90 pound weaklings,’ they were battle hardened by life. Remember that David, the boy shepherd, had killed a lion and a bear.

When the shepherds told the story of seeing angelic messengers, the people of Bethlehem believed them because their first reaction was to say to themselves, “Why would men like these tell such a lie?”

Let’s reread the word of God:

Luke 2:8 Now, there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

What is the Christmas story trying to tell us in 2019? Let me answer a question with a question. What do you think those men were like after the angels visited them? The angels brought them into a reality that nullified their daily grind. The stage lights went up and suddenly they were aware of the ‘real world’—the spiritual realm, inhabited by angels.

God skipped the theologians, the priests, and even the king.  He sent angels to lowly shepherds. How embarrassing! None of those in power, not one professional student of the Law and the Prophets received this visitation.

Every year, Christmas returns with a vengeance. How puny are man’s efforts to destroy this annual celebration. This year, Christmas comes to pull the plug and drain our fears.

The angels turned their priorities upside down. 

We know the Bible says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments before the angels appeared, these men were on high alert and were so protective of their herd that they would have gladly fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now, they are completely oblivious to the fate of the sheep they left behind, and are hurrying to see a Baby that had been laid in a feeding trough.

Christmas beckons us to see through the lies and the boasts of evil, and remember: this will all be over soon because, in Christ, we have already won.

In the words of the timeless carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, “Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Modern pulpits have ruined us by preaching a “how to” Christianity. It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money, and handling emotions. And that is the very problem—we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves. This is not wrong if it subsequently leads to a glorious encounter with God, but what we need most at this moment is the Glory of Christmas. Glory will make our soul gaze at God, and while we gaze and are distracted by His splendor, God Himself will fix the issues of our life.

The shepherds took off in a glory-fueled sprint to the manger. It was an act of total defiance against all their fears. And that, my friend, is how we celebrate the birth of Christ—in defiance of all of our fears, and in spite of all our circumstances.  We must leave behind our “sensible selves” and become like little children.

 

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

“What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.”

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

By Mario Murillo

What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.

It has moved writers…yea, it has seized them.  Billions of words have been consecrated to it.  When reason screams “don’t write anymore!” Christmas moves the foolhardy to write again—to find that fresh meaning—about the most repeated story in history.

The power of Christmas turns children into righteous grownups.  Then it turns righteous grownups back into children.

A testament to its glory is the cosmic grudge Satan bears against Christmas.  He never leaves it alone.  He must commercialize it.  In one instance—he grew so desperate to harm it—he had it banned in England through misguided ministers.  They thought it was carnal!  The London Times didn’t mention Christmas for 10 years!

Then in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the story of Scrooge and Christmas was back.  Here—from the story—is one of the best descriptions of Christmas ever:

 “But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

However, no musician, no orator, and no artist, no writer (including Dickens), can touch the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.

The reason is simple.  The words I will refer to were forged in heaven by God Himself.  It was a note sent on ahead to explain what He meant by sending His son to earth.

“He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.”

He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.

Then he chose messengers whom He solemnly charged to speak these matchless words.  Relive with me that night when the best words ever spoken about Christmas were given to man.

Luke 2: 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Christmas says “do not be afraid of the supernatural!”   The angels knew humans are terrified at the appearance of angels.  Fear not!  It is a normal part of the life of the righteous to see signs and wonders.

Don’t be afraid of needing miracles.  Don’t be startled by the way God answers your prayers.

Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.

Not only is the supernatural normal—it is good news!  When the Holy Spirit begins to act in a sedate church, the pastor should recognize that it is not an emotional thing—not a heretical thing—but a glorious thing.  It is a takeover that will push the work of God forward.  Miracles are not a menace.  They are the perfect solution.

This will be to all people.  Christmas will not stop until it has achieved its goal.  Nothing can stop the march of the Son of God.  Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.  The Kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  And He shall reign forever and ever.

“Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.” 

This child is the perfect gift from God to you.  God has given you His best.  He has come because of your need.   Here is the absolute answer to mankind’s curse.  This cure has no side effects.  This solution does not miss the mark.  It is for you from someone who totally knows you.

Break out in Joy! Use joy as a weapon. Use joy for renewed strength.  Let joy do its job.  Don’t restrain joy because of the evil around you.  Release joy because of the evil around you.

Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.  It is not that you can’t fight Christmas…it’s that you shouldn’t!  That is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.   Merry Christmas.

Now check out the video my son filmed of a Christmas Village I built

 

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night?

Who were those shepherds who saw the angels that Christmas night? The answer to that question is more important than you know.

They are us. Their story is our story.  Their situation is our situation. We share a common theme.  We share a common enemy.  The terror that stalked their night is the very one that preys on the hopes of believers today.  They are so much like us!  Their future was sold to pay a debt to a foreign empire.  For them it was Rome for us it is China.  Their leaders forged an unholy alliance with Augustus Caesar.  Our leaders appease our enemies, attack Christian values and apologize to the world for our greatness.

The faith of their Fathers was diluted by false ministers and mocked by pagans. Our Faith suffers the same fate! Their weak economy created a crime wave that forced them to stay out in the fields watching their sheep. We spend hours at our job, actually hoping for overtime and then the final insult of a cruel commute home.  Can you relate to getting through a day by choking down emotions and robotic ally doing your job?

What do we want most for Christmas?  Let me brave an answer.  What we want most in all of this mess is good news.  We could sure use some good news!  It would be so wonderful to see the unrelenting torrent of scary headlines, dire predictions and disappointing reports swallowed up by good news! But what would be good news to you right now?  What message do you need from God right now?

What we want most is a visitation of God.  It is easy to think that we want something else but nothing would help us more, nothing would do the job better, nothing can compare to it.

San Jose California 1982:

I watched San Jose enveloped by the Glory of God.  It was a time when the economy was as bad as it is now.  The prime rate soared to 22% and unemployment was even worse than today.  Yet thousands crowded into the meeting every night for 22 weeks!  The atmosphere in the building evaporated fear and worries.

Yes, the people needed jobs desperately but somehow it was overruled by the Glory.  Each night they sang their hearts out, each night tears of joy washed away the cares of their life.  Other things became important.  Something priceless had come to them and they were not about to let human concerns rob them of this precious moment of their life.

I am a Pentecostal it is that simple.  I know what it means to have the Holy Spirit drench me. I know that when the Spirit of God is upon me fear, worry and anxiety vanish.

What the Angels did is turn their priorities upside down.  We know the Bible says “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you,” but in our daily grind it can seem to be an impossible task.  Moments ago these men were taut with tension and defensive of their herd to point where they would have gladly have fought to the death to protect their flock.  Now they are ready to run to a manger oblivious of the sheep they leave behind.

Yes we need jobs, healing and many other things but what we need most is the Glory.  Glory will make our soul gaze at God and while we gaze distracted by His splendor God will fix the issues of our life.  Modern pulpits have done us a great disservice by focusing on “how to” Christianity.  It seems so right to get practical teaching on relationships, money and handling emotions.  And that is the very problem we learn to “handle our lives” and “fix” ourselves.

This is the bait of Satan: to get us to strive and fret and battle by our wits and not by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  What leaders are failing to do is to seek and obtain a move of God among their people.

Why did God skip the theologians, the Priests and the King and send these angels to the shepherds?   This is the question of the ages! How embarrassing to all of those in power and to all of those who made a life out studying the prophets, reading the times and being “in the know” who were overlooked in favor of these shepherds!

We are constantly trying to qualify for a career, a credit card, a club or some kind of status but are we qualified for a visitation of God?

What if something good can come out of these “bad times”?   Maybe it was an worse time back when you had money and toys.  Maybe in these hard times you are holding your loved ones closer, praying a little deeper and trying a little harder to be humble and grateful.  Maybe instead of suffering, you are merely getting into position to be visited by God.

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

“One of the most persistent and pernicious myths is the idea that Christians stole the holiday from the pagans…”

 

Christmas has come back with a sweet vengeance.  People are saying Merry Christmas.  Stores once again use the word Christmas in their advertisement. We no longer languish under Obama’s horrid “holiday tree.”  We have, once again, a national Christmas Tree.

The main reason for all of this, of course, is President Donald Trump.  Yes, as difficult as it is for his enemies to digest, he has added Christmas to his growing list of victories.

Nevertheless, there is still strange resistance to Christmas.  Many love to rewrite history and accuse Christmas of originating from paganism.  This fake news about Christmas is also held by an unlikely source: legalistic Christians.

Yes, it’s true…a lingering religious spirit hampers many believers from rejoicing at this time of year.  They believe Christmas was appropriated from pagans.

That is why in this blog I am going to quote rather generously from an article by Jeremy Lott that nails the origin of Christmas and why you should lose the bah humbug and join the triumph of the skies.  -Mario Murillo

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

jeremy

, Rare Contributor

In the endless back-and-forth about the true meaning of Christmas or the War on Christmas or whatever we’re calling it this year, one of the most persistent and pernicious myths is the idea that Christians stole the holiday from the pagans.

Chastising conservative Christians in the Sacramento Bee, former talk show host Bruce Maiman cited the “fact” that “Christmas occurs on a pagan feast day, Saturnalia,” and alleges that “the earliest Christians deliberately moved the birth of Jesus to December 25, making it easier to sell Christianity to the Romans.”

The only problem with this criticism is that it doesn’t make one lick of historical sense.

Saturnalia was celebrated not on December 25 but on December 17 through 23. December 25 was during the throbbing “Oh please kill me” dry-out period between Saturnalia and New Year’s. It was thus a horrible time for sermons or celebrations – and Christmas was always a mix of both.

If you want to understand the calendaring of Christmas, look not to Rome but to Bethlehem – or, more broadly, to Judaism. The Talmud records a tradition that all especially righteous men die on the day of their conception. This figured greatly in how the church father Hippolytus figured Christ’s birth.

The accepted day of Jesus death was March 25 and so, writes religion know-it-all Michael Voll in Cracked, “Jesus’s conception must have also taken place on March 25th. Then basic biology tells us that nine months after conception comes the birth: December 25th.”

As for the very minor pagan festival of Sol Invictus, which people sometimes throw out when you shoot Saturnalia down, Cracked concedes that it did take place on December 25, but there’s an embarrassing rub. Turns out it “wasn’t created in until A.D. 274 (well after Hippolytus did his hump-math) by the Roman Emperor Aurelian.”

According to Voll, this late date for the smallish festival in fact raises the “good possibility that Sol Invictus was created to provide a pagan alternative to the Christian celebration, rather than the other way around. So hey, there you go, Christians: Go find that hippie neighbor and give him a nice, long lecture about stealing your dang holiday.”

Or perhaps, in the spirit of the day, you could just say “Merry Christmas” – and forward him this article.

No, Christmas didn’t take the place of a pagan holiday

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

jeremy

, Rare Contributor

In the endless back-and-forth about the true meaning of Christmas or the War on Christmas or whatever we’re calling it this year, one of the most persistent and pernicious myths is the idea that Christians stole the holiday from the pagans.

Chastising conservative Christians in the Sacramento Bee, former talk show host Bruce Maiman cited the “fact” that “Christmas occurs on a pagan feast day, Saturnalia,” and alleges that “the earliest Christians deliberately moved the birth of Jesus to December 25, making it easier to sell Christianity to the Romans.”

The only problem with this criticism is that it doesn’t make one lick of historical sense.

Saturnalia was celebrated not on December 25 but on December 17 through 23. December 25 was during the throbbing “Oh please kill me” dry-out period between Saturnalia and New Year’s. It was thus a horrible time for sermons or celebrations – and Christmas was always a mix of both.

If you want to understand the calendaring of Christmas, look not to Rome but to Bethlehem – or, more broadly, to Judaism. The Talmud records a tradition that all especially righteous men die on the day of their conception. This figured greatly in how the church father Hippolytus figured Christ’s birth.

The accepted day of Jesus death was March 25 and so, writes religion know-it-all Michael Voll in Cracked, “Jesus’s conception must have also taken place on March 25th. Then basic biology tells us that nine months after conception comes the birth: December 25th.”

As for the very minor pagan festival of Sol Invictus, which people sometimes throw out when you shoot Saturnalia down, Cracked concedes that it did take place on December 25, but there’s an embarrassing rub. Turns out it “wasn’t created in until A.D. 274 (well after Hippolytus did his hump-math) by the Roman Emperor Aurelian.”

According to Voll, this late date for the smallish festival in fact raises the “good possibility that Sol Invictus was created to provide a pagan alternative to the Christian celebration, rather than the other way around. So hey, there you go, Christians: Go find that hippie neighbor and give him a nice, long lecture about stealing your dang holiday.”

Or perhaps, in the spirit of the day, you could just say “Merry Christmas” – and forward him this article.

Mario Murillo answers hard questions for young pastors who are afraid to speak out against Obama

 young

Mario Murillo answers hard questions for young pastors who are afraid to speak out against Obama

 An Open Letter about the Silence of  Young Pastors.

In this letter I will answer as clear as possible the most common questions that young Pastors keep asking me:

Question: Why are you as an evangelist speaking out against Obama?

Answer: As a man of God, I am a watchman; every God-called preacher in America is a watchman.  Hebrews 13:17 “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.”

It is the duty of a watchman to see danger when it approaches the sheep of God.  However, their highest duty is to intervene before the danger gets to the sheep.

I know that as a young preacher you have heroes from an older generation.  Many baby boomers do not realize how much America has changed.  They cling to old models and remember days when politicians respected God.  We live in a different world now.  We have an administration that is dismantling the things that make us great.   I am , in this letter giving you a side of the story that you do not often get.  I pray that you will see that speaking out by God’s power against Obama is a part of seeing revival in America.

Obama is an existential threat to American Christians and America’s greatness.  We saw this very early on: He has antipathy toward the Gospel and Bible values.  He uses his presidential power to weaken the American exceptionalism and Christianity through Obamacare, amnesty, same sex marriage, and his refusal intervene in the massacre of Christians around the world at the hands of Islam.   He still calls Islam  a religion of peace!

When I see the words “as those who must give an account’ I believe that every minister will give an account to God for what they did during this regime that openly attacks the values that made us great.

In just 6 short years, we have been marginalized.  Our traditional views on marriage, abortion and doctrines are being treated as if they are some new and threatening extreme.charade

Question:  Aren’t we told not to judge?

Answer:  Matthew 7: 1 Judge not that you be not judged:   This quote from Brannon Howse says it all, “We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). … What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye – which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.”

He goes on to explain how silly we are to let the anti-Christians forces use our misapplication against us: “Those that tell you not to judge, quoting Matthew 7:1 grossly out of context, are often some of the most mean-spirited, judgmental souls you could ever meet. It’s not, of course, that they don’t want anyone to judge anything, because they want very much to judge and condemn your commitment to lovingly speak and practice your Christian worldview. You see how these tolerance rules work? We must tolerate them, but they don’t have to tolerate us.”

This is why under Obama you see more restrictions on free speech.  Some of those restrictions are by new laws and others by slander.  Those who follow Obama have more hate labels than anyone else.  When you oppose them you are sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic… and the list goes on and on.

Question: According to scripture isn’t Obama God’s choice for America?

Answer: Some silent Pastors misapply  Romans 13: 1-3, use to defend the idea that Obama is God’s choice ““Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.”

Please notice… “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” This phrase is critically important because it reveals the context i.e., appropriate government is only a terror to evil works; but not to good works. Good government is NOT a terror to good works. When a government is rampant with crime, tyranny and injustice, we are no longer to submit.  Obama is a clear and growing terror to the good works of the Church.

I do not believe that Hitler was God’s choice for Germany, or that Stalin was God’s choice for Russia, or that Mao was a divine answer for China or that Kim Jong-un is God’s choice for North Korea.  

I do not place Obama on the level of tyranny of those other men but he indeed is building a lengthening legacy of lawlessness.

dietrich-bonhoffer

Obama is the most biblically hostile president in our history and there are a ton of examples of this.  Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.(For those are hearty enough to read them there is a long list of his hostile acts against the Bible attached at the end of this letter.)

Question:  No matter what, shouldn’t you as a minister respect the president?

Answer:  The Constitution does not require Americans to serve their president.  It does however require the president to serve and protect the people…something that Obama has clearly not done.

I take it one step further…Obama is not my president.  I did not vote for him, I suspect the way he was elected and I consider his executive orders unlawful to the degree that he should be removed from office.

My president would have sent help to Benghazi to save the 4 Americans who begged him to save their lives.

My president would not have railroaded America into Obamacare.

My president would overrule freedom of religion.

My president would see that the constitution is not there to protect the government from the people, but to protect the people from the government.

My president would not divide and conquer; he or she would unite and heal.

I pray for him but I do not respect him.

What is your final word to young pastors?

Answer:  I believe that there will be a day when pastors–starting out today– will bitterly regret their compromise.  That day will reveal their true motives and they will not be able to hide behind spiritual catch phrases.

I believe that the silence of the older pastors helped Obama win reelection; that their continuing silence is one of the greatest threats to the future of the American church, and that every minister will give an account to God for what they did during this open persecution of the sheep.

All of my younger brothers and sisters in ministry, I leave you with this clear mandate from  Esther 4:14 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Renounce the party line and preach the whole counsel of God.  Teach your people what the Bible says about repentance and holiness.  Leave nothing out and do not be afraid to confront controversial subjects while we still can.

We do not need civil war we need national revival.  However, time is running out and so are our options.  Speak out!

SignJudgeNot

As an added store of ammunition for your arsenal let me give you a list of Obama’s direct acts of hostility against the Bible and the church.

1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:

    • December 2009-Present – The annual White House Christmas cards, rather than focusing on Christmas or faith, instead highlight things such as the family dogs. And the White House Christmas tree ornaments include figures such as Mao Tse-Tung and a drag queen. [1]
    • June 2013 – The Obama Department of Justice defunds a Young Marines chapter in Louisiana because their oath mentioned God, and another youth program because it permits a voluntary student-led prayer. [2]
    • February 2013 – The Obama Administration announces that the rights of religious conscience for individuals will not be protected under the Affordable Care Act. [3]
    • January 2013 – Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage. [4]
    • February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. [5]
    • January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. [6]
    • December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. [7]
    • November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. [8]
    • November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. [9]
    • August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. [10]
    • April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. [11]
    • February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. [12]
    • January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. [13]
    • November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. [14]
    • October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. [15]
    • May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. [16]
    • April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. [17]
    • April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. [18]
    • February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011.[19]
    • April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” [20]

2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:

    • June 2014 – Official U. S. government personnel, both civilian and military, in Bahrain (a small Arabic nation near Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran) must wear clothing that facilitates the religious observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.​ [21]
    • March 2014 – ​Maxell Air Force Base suddenly bans Gideons from handing out Bibles to willing recruits, a practice that had been occurring for years previously. [22]
    • December 2013 – A naval facility required that two nativity scenes — scenes depicting the event that caused Christmas to be declared a national federal holiday — be removed from the base dining hall and be confined to the base chapel, thus disallowing the open public acknowledgment of this national federal holiday. [23]
    • December 2013 – An Air Force base that allowed various public displays ordered the removal of one simply because it contained religious content.[24]
    • October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.” [25]
    • October 2013 – Catholic priests hired to serve as military chaplains are prohibited from performing Mass services at base chapels during the government financial shutdown. When they offered to freely do Mass for soldiers, without regard to whether or not the chaplains were receiving pay, they are still denied permission to do so. [26]
    • October 2013 – The Air Force Academy, in response to a complaint from Mikey Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, makes “so help me God” optional in cadets’ honor oath. [27]
    • August 2013 – A Department of Defense military training manual teaches soldiers that people who talk about “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place” are “extremists.” It also lists the Founding Fathers — those “colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule” — as examples of those involved in “extremist ideologies and movements.” [28]
    • August 2013 – A Senior Master Sergeant was removed from his position and reassigned because he told his openly lesbian squadron commander that she should not punish a staff sergeant who expressed his views in favor of traditional marriage. [29]
    • August 2013 – The military does not provide heterosexual couples specific paid leave to travel to a state just for the purpose of being married, but it did extend these benefits to homosexual couples who want to marry, thus giving them preferential treatment not available to heterosexuals.[30]
    • August 2013 – The Air Force, in the midst of having launched a series of attacks against those expressing traditional religious or moral views, invited a drag queen group to perform at a base. [31]
    • July 2013 – When an Air Force sergeant with years of military service questioned a same-sex marriage ceremony performed at the Air Force Academy’s chapel, he received a letter of reprimand telling him that if he disagreed, he needed to get out of the military. His current six-year reenlistment was then reduced to only one-year, with the notification that he “be prepared to retire at the end of this year.” [32]
    • July 2013 – An Air Force chaplain who posted a website article on the importance of faith and the origin of the phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes” was officially ordered to remove his post because some were offended by the use of that famous World War II phrase. [33]
    • June 2013 – The U. S. Air Force, in consultation with the Pentagon, removed an inspirational painting that for years has been hanging at Mountain Home Air Force Base because its title was “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” — a phrase from Matthew 5:9 in the Bible. [34]
    • June 2013 – The Obama administration “strongly objects” to a Defense Authorization amendment to protect the constitutionally-guaranteed religious rights of soldiers and chaplains, claiming that it would have an “adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.” [35]
    • June 2013 – At a joint base in New Jersey, a video was made, based on a Super Bowl commercial, to honor First Sergeants. It stated: “On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, ‘I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.’ So God created a First Sergeant.” Because the video mentioned the word “God,” the Air Force required that it be taken down. [36]
    • June 2013 – An Army Master Sergeant is reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report, being told he was “no longer a team player,” because he voiced his support of traditional marriage at his own promotion party. [37]
    • May 2013 – The Pentagon announces that “Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable. “Proselytizing (inducing someone to convert to one’s faith) goes over that line,” [38] affirming if a sharing of faith makes someone feel uncomfortable that it could be a court-marital offense [39]— the military equivalent of a civil felony.
    • May 2013 – An Air Force officer was actually made to remove a personal Bible from his own desk because it “might” appear that he was condoning the particular religion to which he belonged. [40]
    • April 2013 – Officials briefing U.S. Army soldiers placed “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” in a list that also included Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas as examples of “religious extremism.”[41]
    • April 2013 – The U.S. Army directs troops to scratch off and paint over tiny Scripture verse references that for decades had been forged into weapon scopes. [42]
    • April 2013 – The Air Force creates a “religious tolerance” policy but consults only a militant atheist group to do so — a group whose leader has described military personnel who are religious as ‘spiritual rapists’ and ‘human monsters’ [43] and who also says that soldiers who proselytize are guilty of treason and sedition and should be punished to hold back a “tidal wave of fundamentalists.” [44]
    • January 2013 – President Obama announced his opposition to a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act protecting the rights of conscience for military chaplains. [45]
    • June 2012 – Bibles for the American military have been printed in every conflict since the American Revolution, but the Obama Administration revokes the long-standing U. S. policy of allowing military service emblems to be placed on those military Bibles. [46]
    • May 2012 – The Obama administration opposed legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs.[47]
    • April 2012 – A checklist for Air Force Inns will no longer include ensuring that a Bible is available in rooms for those who want to use them. [48]
    • February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. [49]
    • February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). [50]
    • February 2012 – The Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. [51]
    • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. [52]
    •  November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. [53]
    • November 2011 – Even while restricting and disapprobating Christian religious expressions, the Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans at the Air Force Academy. [54]
    • September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. [55]
    • September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” [56]
    • August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except now, America). [57]
    • June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.[58]
    • January 2010 – Because of “concerns” raised by the Department of Defense, tiny Bible verse references that had appeared for decades on scopes and gunsights were removed. [59]

3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:

    • March 2014 – The Obama administration seeks funding for every type of sex-education — except that which reflects traditional moral values. [60]
    • August 2013 – Non-profit charitable hospitals, especially faith-based ones, will face large fines or lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t comply with new strangling paperwork requirements related to giving free treatment to poor clients who do not have Obamacare insurance coverage. [61] Ironically, the first hospital in America was founded as a charitable institution in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin, and its logo was the Good Samaritan, with Luke 10:35 inscribed below him: “Take care of him, and I will repay thee,” being designed specifically to offer free medical care to the poor. [62] Benjamin Franklin’s hospital would likely be fined unless he placed more resources and funds into paperwork rather than helping the poor under the new faith-hostile policy of the Obama administration.
    • August 2013 – USAID, a federal government agency, shut down a conference in South Korea the night before it was scheduled to take place because some of the presentations were not pro-abortion but instead presented information on abortion complications, including the problems of “preterm births, mental health issues, and maternal mortality” among women giving birth who had previous abortions. [63]
    • June 2013 – The Obama Administration finalizes requirements that under the Obamacare insurance program, employers must make available abortion-causing drugs, regardless of the religious conscience objections of many employers and even despite the directive of several federal courts to protect the religious conscience of employers. [64]
    • April 2013 – The United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID), an official foreign policy agency of the U.S. government, begins a program to train homosexual activists in various countries around the world to overturn traditional marriage and anti-sodomy laws, targeting first those countries with strong Catholic influences, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. [65]
    • December 2012 – Despite having campaigned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Obama once again suspends the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which requires the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the American Embassy there. [66]
    • July 2012 – The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. [67]
    • October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. [68]
    • September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [69]
    • July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. [70]
    • March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. [71]
    • February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [72]
    • September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. [73]
    • August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. [74]
    • July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.[75]
    • September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” [76]
    • July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.[77]
    • May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions.[78] He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. [79]
    • May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. [80]
    • March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. [81]
    • March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. [82]
    • March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.[83]
    • January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. [84]
    • January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. [85]

4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:

    • February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, [86] but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. [87]
    • October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. [88]
    • August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. [89]
    • August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. [90]
    • April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. [91]
    • April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. [92]
    • May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. [93]
  • 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. [94]

Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.

A Christian Convention for these dark times

email version

A Christian Convention for these dark times

By Mario Murillo

The odds are that this year you will attend a seminar, a conference or a convention. The question is why are you going?  Is it to receive power, guidance, vital information, or to fellowship with friends and people of like mind?

The times we are living in demand something much deeper.  We are facing a threat to our freedoms, our loved ones, our ministries and our souls like never before. We are at a spiritual point of no return.

You do not have time to sit in sessions that do not deal with your actual life. You seek a new level in God.  You want something that lasts, something that addresses this dark time.

Recently, someone asked me why the early Pentecostal movement spread so fast.  I found that question to be profound and insightful.  The asker was assuming that its growth had slowed down.  And he is correct.  For example, under Reinhardt Bonke, Nigeria became Pentecostal but today it is drowning in radical Islam.

I fear that one reason for this reversal is that the lukewarm mutation created by American Christians spread to the rest of the world.

Spirit-filled Christianity here at home, even as recently as the 1990’s, was focused on winning souls and living pure lives.  Since then, sadly, North American Christians have come to fulfill 2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Spirit-filled preachers leave out vital doctrines from their sermons and caved in on moral issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. The occasional mega church does not change the fact that we are losing the battle to our culture and that is the only thing that matters.

Others leaders go to the opposite extreme delving into exotic emotional binges.

Many lament the fact that our movement has polarized into both the frozen and the freaky.  We now have to choose between churches with either no fire or strange fire.

The answer to our early movement spread because it was real.  The fire of God was real.  The miracles were real.  By trying to “improve the Gospel” we made it unreal.  By taking self out of the Gospel preachers can again have great power.

Back to my original point: The odds are that this year you will attend a seminar, a conference or a convention. The question is why are you going?

I am asking you to join me in the mountains receive fresh fire, clear direction and LIVING PROOF

living proof flag

Please make your plans now to be at the Living Proof World Convention.  We are gathering in Reno in the Boomtown Hotel and Casino.  This site was carefully chosen because it is a much more peaceful setting than the downtown strip plus there is  plenty of easy free parking.

The convention is free but you must register to attend the Living Proof World Convention, 

Plus, we can get you hotel rooms for amazing prices.   For a regular room the convention price is…get this $25 a night.  In their new North Tower a larger room is only $40!   Let us give you the special code to reserve these amazing rates.

Click here to be a part of this historic event :   http://mariomurillo.net/contact-us/

boomtown-reno_54_990x660