How to respectfully decline Missionaries or Evangelists who approach you

…This is sure to draw a bit of controversy but I feel like it’s extremely important that I go over this as many times as needed. This is coming from someone who is a big believer in the need for more Evangelism locally, nationally and internationally. Not the Americanized made for TV stuff our elected officials subscribe to and want everyone in America to. I mean REAL Evangelism that isn’t afraid to call out foolishness and doesn’t make excuses for morally bankrupt politicians. I’ll talk about this more in a separate blog post and won’t digress further.

 

Getting back on topic.

 

Now me, I live in Boston. For those who don’t know, it’s a major city in America and is east of New York.

Over the last two years, I’ve noticed Jehovah’s Witness Missionaries with pamplet carts stationed in some of the major MBTA stations as Downtown Crossing, Copley Square, Kenmore Square and even outside Fenway Park. They’re a friendly, alert bunch who eagerly engage curious passersby who stop to see what they’re about, Bibles ready.

Here’s a picture (not in Boston):

Jehovah’s Witnesses lead all the Christian denominations in America as far as Evangelism is concerned and by a VERY large margin. No one else comes close and at times it can be intimidating because of how passionate some can be.

…Of course, this is different from what I usually see at Dudley Square and a few other transit hubs in Boston that I frequent. What I usually see are elderly women from certain Christian denominations standing next to station entrances or walking subway platforms handing out pamplets to everyone in sight.

Mind you, there are also the…let’s call them “Well-intended” Evengelists. I mean folks like this:


And this:

 

Yes, I’m going there. I’ve heard the guys on bullhorns in Downtown Boston a few times. It’s a full-time job for them and I’m not knocking them for what they do. What’s the problem? They’re mostly wasting their time. Their methods are not only ineffective but in the case of the second picture, it’s quite dangerous: What’s more likely to happen is they will either get people to go along with their teachings out of fear or they will chase people away.

The Gospel is Good News. Telling people they’ll burn in hell if they don’t repent, get baptized and/or go to church…that should be considered a form a terroism. Plus it’s not true. I’ll explain why in more detail in a separate blog but for now I want to refer folks to John 3:17, which reads:

I’m going to assume everyone knows the verse before it, John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.). It’s extremely important for Evengelists and Missionaries that they keep John 3:17 in mind as well. The problem is too often, they cherrypick verses for shock value or to draw attention to themselves.

 

That sign in the earlier picture? It’s very misleading without the proper context. By itself, it’s easy for one to assume God will punish you if you don’t repent, get baptized and start going to church ASAP. That’s not how it works and that’s my point. Again, I’ll return to this in a separate blog post.

Back to the earlier topic, I’m sure many of you have had this type of encounter at home:

I’m talking about the textbook door to door evangelist. Until recently, your only way to avoid this encounter was to hopefully see them coming and tell everyone inside to make the house look like no one’s home (LOL!). More recently, one can get a home security system and just not go near the front door.

…Then again, who wants to live like that? Besides, they’re not paid to do what they do. They do it because they want to.

…Which brings us to respectfully declining Evangelists. Both those you encounter in public and those who knock on your door. I hope the wait was worth what I’m about to say. Now, I’m going to break this into a few categories depending on weather you’re a Christian, Athiest or follow another belief. This is of course assuming you’re in the U.S.

 

  • Door to Door (Christian): Tell them your denomiation, then Recite John 3:17, then offer to pray with them. Afterward, send them on their way.
  • Door to Door (Athiest): Go to the door with your smartphone. Tell them you’re exercising your 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Religion which includes Freedom FROM Religion (Yes, you can say this!). Afterward, tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say and if they don’t leave at once, they will be considered tresspassing and the police will be called (which again, you can do). If for some reason they don’t back off here then take out your phone and take a picture before making the call. You can file a complaint against their church. The officer who arrives will explain the process.
  • Door to Door (Other Faith): Tell them you are <Insert Faith Here>. Unless you are genuinely interested in hearing them out, tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say. If they don’t back off, tell them they will be considered tresspassing and the police will be notified.
  • Approached in Public (Christian): Tell them your denomination, then recite John 3:17, then offer to pray with them. Afterward, go about the rest of your day.
  • Approached in Public (Athiest): Politely tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say and walk away. If they make a rude comment or say something to get a reaction out of you, ignore them and walk away without looking back. If they persist and follow you, take out your phone and tell them you don’t feel safe and you WILL call the police if they don’t leave you alone. Then follow through with it.
  • Approached in Public (Other Faith): Tell them you are <Insert Faith Here>. Unless you are genuinely interested in hearing them out, tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say and walk away. If they make a rude comment or say something to get a reaction out of you, ignore them and walk away without looking back.

 

…Why such a strong rebuke? Because with some Evangelists, they won’t take no for an answer the first time (ie. Jehovah’s Witness and Jesuit Evangelists). Some of you might be thinking “Why would you tell non-believers they don’t need God?” about now. I’m not. I’m simply telling them they ARE protected by the laws of this country. It works both ways and that’s my point.

See, this is something many Christians in America want special treatment over. They want to force their definition of Christianity on others and feel anyone who disagrees with them is either wrong or shouldn’t be allowed to live in this country. Like I said before, Freedom of Relgion works both ways, Yes, you are protected if you practice a particular faith but you are ALSO protected if you don’t practice ANY faith.

That, my friends is the point of this post.

I resisted the urge to go off topic on more than a few occasions. The other threads I touched on will certainly be covered in separate posts in time.

 

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What Seventh Day Adventists Believe: The Sabbath Day

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…Before I begin, I ask that you bookmark this webpage. That’s an official source from the SDA Church. I will make it a point to include that link in every post in which I talk about the SDA Church for the sake of transparency.

Now, let’s get started:
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This is what your calendar says. When you learn to recite the days of the week, you start with the first day, which is SUNDAY and end with SATURDAY, which is the seventh day. What does the Bible have to say? Here are a few verses:

 

 

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The Bible makes it crystal clear. The Seventh Day is the Sabbath, nor was it ever changed by God OR Jesus.

 

Notice something interesting about the 4th Commandment: It is the only one that begins with the word “Remember”. Don’t you find it more than a little strange it says “Remember” and not “Thou Shalt” like the other 9 of the 10 Commandments? This was no accident, oversight or coincidence.

There is only one reason God, in his infinite wisdom would phrase the 4th that way: Knowing the future, God knew efforts would be made by others to change The Sabbath. Turns out he was wise to do this so far in advance as most Christians observe Sunday, which is NOT The Sabbath.

…Why is that? That’s a whole other topic and it will be covered in detail across seveal posts in time.

What I can and will say is there is nothing in the Bible to support the Sabbath Day being changed from the Seventh Day to the First Day. In fact, the entity responsible for changing it is pretty open about it, too. Who did it and why? That will be discussed another time in another blog.

I actually thought I posted this last September when I drafted it but it looks like I didn’t. I have alot of catching up to do it seems.

 

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President Trump’s “Religous Liberty” Executive Order shatters the wall between Church and State

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…While true it is nothing more than an op-ed, it establishes the precident needed to turn the United States into a Theocracy at a moment’s notice. It doesn’t matter if you yourself identify as a Christian, which this E.O. is partial to. The problem is the intent behind it. What problem? A State Religion, which the American colonies were created specifically to get away from almost 400 years ago.

Serious questions need to be raised to our elected officials in regards to this E.O. in particular. Both with the intent and if there are safeguards to protect those who do not identify as “Christian”. That said, there are nearly a hundred different Christian denominations in the U.S. The obvious next question is “Which one?”

…Speaking as a Seventh Day Adventist, there is an obvious short answer to this question: Whoever keeps Sunday as the Sabbath Day, not Saturday. This is the unique difference that sets Adventists apart from the other denominations: We keep and honor the original seventh-day Sabbath, which is Saturday and not Sunday. I can spend a dozen blog posts on why the other denominations worship on Sunday and I certainly will. Just not right now. It’s extremely important those of you who worship on Sunday understand the big picture and yes, it DOES matter. More so in regards to the United States.

I’ll leave you with this to think about for now: As you know,¬† there are 10 commandments. Only the 4th begins with the word “Remember”. Why do you think that is? There’s a very good reason why God phrased it this way and when I tell you why a certain person from history decided to mess with it, it will make alot more sense. Even before I knew the history, I always knew the reasons I often heard for why most who observe Sunday and not Saturday didn’t make any sense. The biggest reason being there is nothing in scripture that supports the changing of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

 

Why am I talking about the Sabbath Day all of a sudden? There’s a good reason for that. It has everything to do with what I touched on in my previous post: The End Times. All that is going on was foretold in the Bible. Read Daniel and Revelation.

 

 

Now’s as good a time as any to study Daniel and Revelation

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…Historically, most Christians avoid the books of Daniel and Revelation either partially or entirely. Everyone knows about the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, The Fiery Furnace and Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. Few know much about the book of Daniel beyond the fall of Babylon. Fewer still have done more than glance at a few verses in Revelation.

Why do so many Christians avoid the two books that explain what is happening in the world today and why? The main reason is a lack of understanding about the way information is presented. Jesus explained important details about the future–both immediately after his death and during the End Times–in parables. He needed to explain things in a way that would be easy for his followers during and after his time on Earth would be able to understand. Not only this but after telling the parable, Jesus explains the double meaning of the parable.

I plan to go through specific texts in both Daniel and Revelation here to help make certain texts more accessible to you. It’s too important for you to not know what both books have to say about the state of the world during the End Times we are now in. Far too important.

On that note. It goes without saying there is alot of mistrust and misunderstandngs of anything God-related, mostly due to “well-meaning” Christians. Because of this, I also plan to spend a large chunk of time answering these four questions:

  1. What is God like?
  2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  3. What does the Bible have to say about the state of the world?
  4. When will The End come?

 

These are some deeply profound questions that deserve deeply profound answers. In regards to the second question, I will also answer two additional questions at the same time: “Where did we come from?” and “Why are we here?” Look forward to it. There is alot of misinformation about God, much of which is being spread by people with good intentions.

…Man, on man.

That first question…I am easily going to spend ALOT of time on. God has been misrepresented and distorted so much, it’s no wonder more and more people scoff at the very idea one exists. All you need to do is read the Bible. God is more than capable of speaking for himself. He doesn’t need someone to do it for him. Least of all, me. Before we can get to the other 3 big questions, we first need to address the first one. So, yeah.

Look forward to it. Feel free to ask questions. I will do my best to answer them.

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Trying to help a friend in need

I have a special request.

A friend of mine who I have known for a few years now is dealing with hardship. She has a GoFundMe Page up and is requesting financial help. If you are able to donate please do. She is trying to raise $3,500. God will bless you for doing so. If you are unable to donate, please share the GoFundMe page via social media.

From time to time I will post info about GoFundMe pages that I receive via email to help give them exposure. We all need to help each other in our time of need. Even though I received no help with my GoFundMe Pages last year, I am doing what I can to help my friend out.

Thanks in advance. Your generousity and kindness will not be forgotten.

Don’t allow the existence of Secret Societies distract you

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I’m posting this message as a warning to those who may have taken up an interest in researching secret societies: They’re called SECRET societies for a reason. All attempts made by outsiders to learn anything about them have been met with silence. What little is “known” about them is nothing more than speculation and misinformation, often spread by the groups themselves. It’s how they deal with defectors and traitors who start running their mouths. Rather than try to control the flow of information, they mix lies with half-truths based on what they know people think they’re up to.
That said, it’s a well known fact secret societies are deeply ingrained in every aspect of American Government. George Washington was a Free Mason for example. On my main blog last year, I said the next president had already been decided well before the election. That’s how it works and that’s the REAL reason why the Electoral College selects the next president and not the people. One needs 270 electoral votes to win the White house. For those who are wondering why the Supreme Court gave Bush 43 the White House in 2000, this is why. For those are wondering why Donald Trump won the election despite having 3.5 Million less popular votes (the American people) than his opponent, this is why. In regards to presidential elections, no your vote DOES NOT matter. All you’re doing is picking who you like. It has no bearing in the election itself. That said, voting DOES matter in regards to state and local elections. Just know that as far as the president is concerned, they’re not elected but they’re selected.

You don’t need to be a career politican, an attorney or a historian to know what direction the Trump Administration intends to take the United States: War. Read Daniel and Revelation. They both speak of what is going on in the world right now.

On a related subject: I will speak more to cults and fantaticism at a later time. I feel it’s more important now than ever to speak of the dangers of these things with what is going on in the world right now. Look forward to it.

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If you call yourself a Christian in America, you should find this picture highly offensive

I’m referring to the top part, which the caption at the bottom incorrectly tries to address. I was actually planning to talk about this at a later time but after I saw this picture, I felt obligated to get into this here and now.

For reference, THIS is an accurate representation of what Jesus looked like:

As is this:

Not this:

Or this:

And certainly not this:

 

…Do you know why?
It’s simple: Where was Jesus born? Present-day Palestine. The one thing those last three pictures have in common is they depict Jesus with European features. Yes, Jesus was technically Jewish but it’s very unlikely he looked as he is depicted in those last three images.

I feel it is extremely important given how much Christianity and Jesus in particular have been Americanized over the last 160 years: Too often, the leaders of every Christian denomination–my own included–are silent as self-professed Christians commit acts of violence or promote hate. The concept of Jesus being European is related to that. For those who would use the belief that “Jesus is White”–which he is not–as justification for discrimination against all other religions, the problem is the object of their justification is not and never was “White”. It would be more accurate that for many who believe this lie created centuries ago–and that’s exactly what it is–Jesus HAS to be White. I’ll get back to this in a minute.

 

…Now, let’s go back to the first image again: It depicts Jesus standing over President Trump in the Oval Office. Anyone who knows anything about Donald Trump knows he is anything but “Godly” or “A model Christian”. It is well documented that he has a sexual predator and by his own admission (Lust). He has openly stated he finds his daughter Ivanka attractive (Incest). He has stated he is a vengeful person and is a big believer in revenge. There is no light in him. He is not a racist but he is an egolomaniac who could care less about anyone who dislikes him or disagrees with him on anything. That should be obvious and yes, I’m keeping my PERSONAL opinion out of this post as far as President Trump is concerned. These are not “Alternative Facts”, this is the TRUTH Trump has said about himself.

Let’s go back to what I was talking about before in regards to “White Jesus”. Like I said, for White Supremicists Jesus “MUST” be White. The fact of the matter is Jesus never was “White”. Nor is Jesus and American or a European for that matter. The day Christians discard this humanistic notion of assigning Jesus and all things related to God a race or nationality will be the day they will understand how much they allowed these ideas to affect their relationship with others as well as their view of God.

 

Why are some people so hung up on what race or nationality Jesus may or may not be or should and should not represent? Read Matthew 13:24-30 and Matthew 13:36-43, which explains well the truth hidden within the truth. Human weakness is why so many who profess to love Jesus are so focused on his literal appearance. Jesus himself said to Thomas in John 20:29: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Focus not on the image of Jesus and instead on his message of love and hope.

I’ll close with this: Donald Trump, like the 44 presidents before him are all role players. They are not “ordained” by God like some Americans seem to believe a President is and should be. Human tradition has blurred the lines separating church and state in America for some time now. It is another sign of the end of days.

 

Regardless of who you voted for on November 8…

Know that God is in control.

I feel the need to say this in light of the rampant fearmongering during the campaign by both political parties. These are uncertain times and have been since the turn of the century. America is going in a direction that will be hard to predict and will effect the lives of over 300 Million people for at least the next four years.

I have often said on my main blog we will get the president we deserve in this election. This country gave itself over to fear, bigotry and hate. This outcome is to be expected. While I do not personally believe the President-Elect is any of these things, certain comments he’s said before and during the campaign have emboldened and empowered hate groups of all kinds to be more vocal and open.
I would ask that if you have been following the national news, turn it off. There is nothing positive to be gained. They did their part in helping to spread messages of hate during the election cycle and even now are trying to play all sides off each other to incite violent clashes. These things are bound to happen eventually but they’re basically handing out targets.
What I would reccommend is reading what the Bible has to say about these uncertain times. Read Daniel and Revelation. They speak of times like this. If you don’t own a bible, you can download one as an App or read it online on various websites. I reccommend Blue Letter Bible.

…Also, pray for healing and understanding. America needs both now and for what’s to come. There is power in prayer.

 

An important reminder to my fellow American Voters

2016 Presidential Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

On Tuesday November 8, the next American President will be decided.

Notice I said “decided”. Not “elected” or even “chosen”. Anyone who’s spent any sort of time researching the American Democratic¬† process should already be aware Electoral Colleges decide who the next president is. Not the people. It is a system that has been in place for almost 30 years to ironically avoid the situation we are now in: Two unpopular candidates for the American people to chose from. Voters are essentially being “asked” to chose between the lesser of two evils, vote 3rd party or don’t vote at all.

This is perhaps the first time in American history the politics have gotten so negative and toxic. Even worse than just before the Civil War I dare say. I don’t know if the country will survive after next Tuesday. While fairly I’m certain I know who the next president will be, the circumstances of how they became president is a travesty. If you’d like to read my thoughts on the political process up to now, go here.

I do want to revisit some dangerous rhetoric that has been most prevalent amongst Conservative and Evangelical Voters as well as the Republican Party over the last 16 years. I’m talking about discussing Religon and Government as if they were one in the same or were always meant to be. America is not a Theocracy, nor was it founded with the intent of becoming one. Freedom of Religion goes both ways. Yes, you have certain protections based on your religious convictions. The reverse is also true. Those whose faith is different from yours and those who practice no religion or faith are entitled to certain protections under the law of the land.

For some Americans, they are guilty until proven innocent depending on their religion, ethnicity, race and so on. It’s easy to forget Slaveowners quoted the Bible in support of Slavery. The Bible was quoted in support of the Holocaust (which some people think never happened). The Bible was quoted to support Jim Crowe Laws, which was basically the American Apartheid. The Bible was quoted to support keeping women from voting not just in America but in other countries as well.

In more recent years, political figures with a background in Christianiry have been running for office in America. Many view the government, companies, non-profit organizations and grassroots movements stepping in to stop discrimination against members of the LGBTQ Community, Abortion Clinics (and those who are pro-choice), minorities and non-Christians (Muslims, Agnostics, Athiests, etc.) an “attack on Christianity”. This is extremely dangerous rhetoric that should not be entertained or supported by ANYONE who calls themselves one of God’s Children.

Jesus was asked by his enemies if it was lawful in the eyes of God to pay taxes to Ceasar. It was a trap designed to get Jesus to either say Yes (And turn the people against him) or No (give the Romans a prerense to arrest him). Jesus didn’t play their game but he did give his opinion. Jesus said “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar but give to God what belongs to God.” There is a second meaning for those of us living today: We are not above the government just because we’re Christians. In fact, we should do our best to respect the laws of the country, vote, pay taxes and so on.
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At the same time, I’m of the strong belief there will be times like the Civil Rights Era and the Civil War where we should stand up and speak out against injustice. We are living in one of those times in America right now. Many white Americans have taken the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to mean only Black Lives Matter. I speak in more detail about this on my main blog but the reason the phrase “All Lives Matter” is considered offensive to those who support the Black Lives Matter movement is because it’s simply not true. Just look at what’s happening at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Look at what happened to Flint, Michigan.

You can’t look at those two things and honestly say “All Lives Matter”. I don’t want to go any further off topic but click the link I posted earlier to go to my main blog and read more.

I’ll end with this: The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you who you should or shouldn’t vote for and why or why not. It’s to tell you to VOTE. Regardless of who the next president is, you want to have it recorded that you DID vote in this election. It’s in your best interests to vote even if you have to write someone’s name in.

…In case folks are wondering, I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump but I am voting on Tuesday. See my link above as I explain why I’m not voting for either of them in detail. As an Adventist, I am sensitive to certain information about both candidates I recently learned. Even before that, I had no plans on voting for either of them anyway. One of them WILL be the next president and as I said at the top, I’m fairly certain I know who it wll be.

A Personal Crowdfunding Request

I post this one with the hope that if you are unable to help me out, you wouldn’t mind sharing the post with someone who may be able to.

Without violating my own confidentiality, it’s pretty likely I will not collect another paycheck for the rest of 2016. There are some things going on I can’t and won’t get into publicly in regards to my job status. What you need to know is I am need of money and am requesting donations be sent to me via PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, my email address is bthomas04@gmail.com. If you don’t, click the Paypal picture at the bottom of this page OR use this link. It’s my personal PayPal account only I have access to. There is no middleman or anything, I will know right away the who, when and how much.

I started receiving food stamp benefits last month. I’m not collecting unemployment since my employment situation is a bit complicated. I expect that to change soon so I will be able to move on but right now, I have personal debt I need to pay off as soon as possible. $7,500 will cover all of my needs through February 2017. The money will be used to cover personal expenses, grocery/pharmacy items food stamps don’t cover (LOL), medical appointments and transportation (MBTA) through the coming winter.¬† It’s a bit more than what I asked for on my main blog but I am looking ahead and anticipating certain things, one of which could be an unplanned hospitalization. I had one last December, after all.

As with my previous request, I will continue to write blog posts. I posted this request on this my main blog as it has been the most updated so far this year and I think folks are more likely to respond to it. I also posted this request here because through God, all things are possible. Whatever you can give would be greatly appreciated. My hope is that donations start coming in as soon as possible: My monthly pass expires at the end of the month and I live in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. I won’t be able to freely move after this month so it’s extremely important I receive donations as soon as possible.

Thanks again in advance to those who are able to help me in my time of need and God bless you. It truly will be appreciated.

~ B.A.
P.S. I would also like to request prayer for my situation as well.