Progressive Patterns

Religious Liberty

 

3) The golden statue and the fiery furnace

The command to worship the golden statue

Three Hebrews refuse to worship

The fiery furnace

[Pride leads to intolerance]

 

4) Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of humbling

Only Daniel can interpret the dream

The dream of the great tree

Daniel interprets the dream

The fulfillment of the dream

[Carson = Daniel? Miracles >> God's prophets]

 

5) Handwriting predicts Babylon's end

The mysterious hand writing

Daniel brought to the king

Daniel interprets the writing

[God works through messy politics to save His people]

 

6) Worship the king versus the den of lions

Princes conspire against Daniel

The king attempts to deliver Daniel

Daniel delivered from the den of lions

Accusers killed; Decree made

[Extremes of intolerance; danger to the church when supported by state]

 

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:13-16)

 

 

Francis’ brief letter reads in full:

“Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office. At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide. Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.” (http://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/article127714209.html)

 

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel,” the Pope said Feb. 18.

 

Pope Francis was asked to respond to comments from Donald Trump, who had referred to the Pope as a “pawn” for the Mexican government. Trump says that he will build a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S.

 

The Pope spoke to journalists on his return flight from Mexico's Ciudad Juarez to Rome. He paid an official Feb. 12-17 visit to the country, which climaxed with the celebration of Mass at the U.S.-Mexico border Mass in Juarez City.

 

Immigration is a theme close to Francis' heart. A son of Italian immigrants, the Argentine pontiff frequently speaks out asking world leaders to overcome an attitude of indifference and to welcome incoming migrants with dignity and respect.

 

The Pope also touched on the issue in his speech to U.S. Congress last September, telling lawmakers not to be “fearful of foreigners,” and reminding them of the many positive contributions immigrants make to the life of society. He also pointed out that many of them are descendants of immigrants themselves.

 

However, in a Feb. 11 interview with Fox Business Network, Donald Trump criticized the Pope’s sympathy toward immigrants, as well as his decision to celebrate a Mass at the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

“I think the Pope is a very political person, I think he doesn't understand the problems our country has,” he said.

 

Trump said the Pope doesn’t understand the “danger” of having an open border with Mexico, and suggested that Mexico’s leaders seduced the Pope into the Mass in order to keep the border the way it is, “because they're making a fortune and we're losing.” (http://ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=13305)

 

 

The “Johnson Amendment,” as the 1954 law is often called, is a U.S. tax code rule preventing tax-exempt organizations, such as churches and educational institutions, from endorsing political candidates. At the time, then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was running for re-election, and he and other members of Congress pushed the amendment to stop support for their political opponents’ campaigns, George Washington University law professor Robert Tuttle has explained. Many have also argued the amendment served to stop black churches from organizing to support the civil rights movement.

“All section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” the IRS explains of the rule on its website. “Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”

Falwell, an early Trump endorser, has long opposed the amendment. When he endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential race, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained to the IRS and called for an investigation of Liberty University. Falwell countered by documenting ways the law is used only to file complaints against conservative groups. “It intimidates the leaders of the organizations from exercising free speech,” Falwell says. “The law is a farce, it is not enforced, and it is time for it to go.”

Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, responded to the shift in the GOP platform to TIME. “Changing current restrictions on church politicking will corrupt the church’s mission, violates the beliefs of many parishioners and creates another giant loophole in campaign finance,” he says.

Trump promised the evangelical pastors that, by abolishing the prohibition on churches spending tax-exempt money on political advocacy, it would reverse the slow, steady decline in church attendance and public attitudes toward Christian beliefs in the United States.

“And if you look what's happened to religion, if you look at what's happening to Christianity, and you look at the number of people going to churches—and evangelicals know this also—it's not on this kind of a climb, it's on this kind of a climb of slow and steady in the wrong direction, ” Trump said. “A lot of it has to do with the fact that you've been silenced. You've been silenced like a child has been silenced.”

 

 

Appeal

serve, not fight

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)