Ana Paula Valadão’s unholy selective indignation and boycott of C&A;

By Hermes C. Fernandes
After Malafaia proposed that his faithful boycott Boticário products, Feliciano suggested the boycott of Natura, it is time for the pastor and singer Ana Paula Valadão to use her influence in the gospel world to ask her fans to boycott C&A stores. According to the pastor from Minas Gerais, the network’s last advertising campaign would be an affront to the family and Christian values, suggesting that its true intention would be to propagate what it calls “gender ideology”.
From an advertising point of view, the piece is beautiful. Impeccable location and photography. There is talk, between the lines, of gender equality and freedom of choice, values ​​that are increasingly dear to Western society. However, Ana Paula sees nothing other than the dissemination of everything that is contrary to her faith. She suggests to the faithful to promote a boycott similar to what the American evangelicals did to the Target department store chain, earning him a historic loss.
According to some sites dedicated to the evangelical public, what would have motivated the singer would be revenge since C&A would have refused to hire her as a poster girl after she asked for a trifle of three million reais.
Commercial interests aside, what bothered them most conscientious evangelicals was the false moralism proposed by the campaign. What should shock and cause what she called “holy indignation” are not men wearing women’s clothing or vice versa? At no time did Ana Paula mention the recent scandal in which the store became involved in the use of slave labor. In his narrow-minded religious view, he should boycott the store for encouraging permissiveness, shamelessness, shameless nudity. Why should we care about slave labor? Why be shocked by people huddled in clandestine workshops, including illegal immigrants and even children? Judging by the profile that the gospels draw from Jesus, what would he really care about? With a commercial that promotes more than just consumerism or with the exploitation and oppression to which hundreds and even thousands of people are subjected in clothing that supplies the big department stores like Zara and C&A itself? This is immoral. That which should cause us indignation (I didn’t even have to be holy!), Regardless of creed. But, apparently, the indignation of the singer, besides not being anything holy, is also selective. 

As long as such a modest mentality prevails among most evangelicals, much more importance will be given to the sexuality of others than to the suffering of others. What is the use of being beautiful, modest and homey and losing the tram of history, plunged into alienation? 
What’s the use of appearing in an apron and wooden spoon on social media in support of the country’s interim first lady, but not having a critical social sense? 
It is past time to stop straining mosquitoes while we have dromedaries crossed in the throat. Less false moralism and more social awareness. Less self-righteousness and more solidarity. Fewer revanchist boycotts and more conscious consumption. Less grudge and more, much more love. One last suggestion for Ana Paula and her entourage: How about we worry less about men dressed as women or vice versa and more about wolves dressed in lambskin?

Gays, blacks and the disabled and the curse of the gods

By Hermes C. Fernandes

In some ancient societies like Greece, children with physical disabilities were sacrificed as soon as they were born. There was a practical reason for this and religious justification. According to their belief, the gods would only have created perfect people, and therefore only these people deserved to live. Such children were believed to be freaks, cursed beings. To kill them was to render a service to the gods. At least, that was how they appeased their conscience after murdering their own children. However, the real and not always confessed reason was that letting them live would be detrimental to society since they would not be productive, they could not fight a war, and on top of that, they would hinder others in an eventual escape. Thus, such helpless beings were seen as an extra weight that they should get rid of as soon as possible. Saving them would jeopardize the survival of others. Therefore, in the name of the common good, the maintenance of order, they only had one thing left to do: eliminate them.

For centuries we have lived with the shame of slavery. Certain ethnic groups were entitled to enslave others, using their beliefs as justifications. Whites claimed to be superior to blacks and even questioned whether they had a soul or were just irrational beings, similar to animals. Biblical verses were devised to justify the use of slave labor. Setting them free would jeopardize the social order. For this reason, abolitionists were accused of progressives, of subversives, of enemies of the order who conspired against the well-being and prosperity of the nation. Genocides were perpetrated and justified by mistaken beliefs. Biblical episodes like that of Jericho and the Canaanite cities conquered by Israel were evoked. Entire societies like pre-Columbian have been decimated“In the name of God”. 

Who would be the victims of our prejudices today? The women? The gays? Muslims? What biblical passages would we be using to justify them? Whose side would we be on if we lived during the time when slavery was seen as a divine right? How would we stand about killing disabled children if we lived in Ancient Greece?

God did not create the disabled! Some shouted.

Black people are a freak! They have no soul! They deserve to be enslaved. 

In the name of this same fundamentalism, many cries out God created male and female! He didn’t create homosexuals or transsexuals or anything like that! So, what special rights should they have? They want is privileges! 

An American pastor declared in a warm sermon that homosexuals have no right even to exist. According to some, their existence would jeopardize the traditional family model that we cherish, just as the existence of disabled children jeopardized the security of ancient Greek society, and the freedom of slaves would implode the social order in force at the time.

In fact, God did not create gays, nor did he create blacks, whites or yellows, nor the disabled, nor the hermaphrodites. He created human beings, subject to various conditions, circumstances, contingencies, and limitations. Nothing is more complex than the being whom the Bible calls “the image and likeness of God”. 

I watched a news story about a transsexual child and his struggle to be able to use his school’s women’s bathroom. Your twin brother is a boy like any other. However, since he is understood by people, he perceives himself as belonging to a gender distinct from his anatomy. Dress like a girl. Speak, feel, think, and act as such. What to say to this child? Was she possessed of a demon? Would an exorcism solve your problem? Would it be that simple? Or would it be the education received at home? So why didn’t your twin behave the same way?

I was touched by this child’s story. I imagined how difficult it must be for parents to face a hypocritical society that claims to believe in biblical precepts, but they use them to justify one of the greatest sins committed by members of our race: prejudice. My soul cried. This little human being may be condemned to the limbo of existence.

Not even society, least of all churches, is prepared to deal with this. Some societies that adopt a more radical and fundamentalist type of Islam give the problem the same solution that the Greeks gave to disabled children: homosexuals and transsexuals are condemned to death, thrown from buildings or stoned.

It is worth making a distinction here. The homosexual usually has no problem with his anatomy. He seeks to reconcile his homo-affection with his biological sex. Transsexuals, on the other hand, experience a crisis, because they feel like a woman in a male body or vice versa. Many choose to undergo sex-change surgery.

How would we react if an operated transsexual converted to the gospel? Would we accept his new condition or would we pressure him to reverse his operation? And how to reimplant a male organ that had been removed? Many other questions arise from there and demand honest and frank answers. However, the first step that needs to be taken is to become aware that such people are human beings created by God and that they live in an endless crisis, not so much with their impulses as with the prejudices of society. Should we welcome or discriminate against them? Would it be ethical to impose any conditions so that they are received? What condition did we impose to receive other types of people? How do we welcome a dishonest businessman who exploits his employees without giving them labor rights and still evades taxes by issuing cold notes? Are we condescending to them? Why are we so radical when it comes to sexuality, but so malleable on other issues? What are we afraid of, anyway? Is homosexuality contagious? Would our children’s sexuality be at risk if the church welcomed such individuals? Were there any of us poorly resolved on this issue? after all? Is homosexuality contagious? Would our children’s sexuality be at risk if the church welcomed such individuals? Were there any of us poorly resolved on this issue? after all? Is homosexuality contagious? Would our children’s sexuality be at risk if the church welcomed such individuals? Were there any of us poorly resolved on this issue?

The truth is that there are already homosexuals in our churches, however, they remain veiled, fearful of being discovered, exposed, and excluded. I have the impression that we value hypocrisy more than sincerity and transparency. Everything that happens under the cover of clandestinity only promotes all kinds of promiscuity and perversion. There are people harassing and being harassed in the churches. But as long as it doesn’t go public, that’s fine. The important thing is to avoid the scandal, some would think.

We have taken the opposite of what Paul presents as being ideal for the worship environment. According to the apostle of the Gentiles, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. In an environment devoid of prejudice, each person is free to be exactly what he is, presenting himself to God “with his face uncovered” [1]in order to be transformed into the image of Christ. The transformation brought about by the Spirit has as its starting point what we are and not what we pretend to be. However, in an environment steeped in legalism and moralism, people prefer to use religious masks, keeping their inner conflicts confidential. The problem is aggravated when the church pressures the homosexual individual to marry. The purpose of façade marriage is to prove that behind the effeminate antics there is a closed-in straight. I know the case of an “ex-gay” who married to prove his conversion. A year later, his wife came to the pastoral office to confess that she remained intact. He had never touched her. I would love to believe that this was an exception.

Homosexuality cases even affect pastoral families. I recently learned of a pastor who sent his only 15-year-old son out of the country after he confessed to being a homosexual. Worse than this was the case of the son of a renowned American preacher, who after admitting his homosexuality, committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart.

I must clarify that at no time do I defend any kind of promiscuity, whether of a homosexual or heterosexual nature. If there are six biblical passages that condemn libidinous acts between people of the same sex, there are more than two thousand verses that denounce social injustices and condemn the abuse of economic power. It seems that the Bible is more concerned with social issues than with sexuality. Nor would Freud be able to explain our obsession with issues of this nature.

How about being more compassionate? How about letting go of our stones instead of throwing them? Before we arrogate ourselves with the cure for homosexuality, I suggest that we seek in Christ the cure for our own prejudices. The remedy has in its formula two components: grace and love. Grace to forgive. Love to welcome. The rest, let us leave it to the Holy Spirit.

[1] 2 Corinthians 3:18
PS So long after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, blacks are still discriminated against. Apparently, a pen on a piece of paper is not enough to abolish one of the cruelest human ills: prejudice. What happened to journalist Maju Coutinho, the time girl at Jornal Nacional is sad proof of that. And by the way, even if homosexuals manage to guarantee all their civil rights, they will still have to deal with prejudice for a long time. It is the type of stain that is only removed with the continuous application of the most powerful bleach: love. It may take a few generations before we get rid of this curse that has been with us since the dawn of humanity.

FEMALE ORDINATION: 7 reasons in favor of women pastors

By Hermes C. Fernandes
Taking advantage of the month in which International Women’s Day is celebrated, I decided to write an article on a very controversial topic. Respecting the dissenters, I want to explain here the reasons why I defend female ordination, both to the pastorate and to the diaconate.
1 – In Christ, ethnic, social and sexist distinctions end

“In this there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither servant nor free; there is neither male nor female; because you are all one in Christ Jesus. ”  Galatians 3:28

If God can include Jews and Gentiles in the ministry, why shouldn’t He include both men and women? If we are to maintain the distinction between sexes, we should also maintain the distinction between days, months, years, between Jews and Gentiles, between clean and unclean animals, etc.
2 – Pastoral activity is, above all, a gift  – The argument used by Peter to justify the inclusion of Gentiles in the church was the gift of the Spirit that was given to them in the same way as to the Jews. How could the apostles prevent their inclusion? Similarly, the church must recognize the pastoral gift that has been bestowed on women. Ordering is nothing more than recognizing the gift. To refuse to recognize the gift given by God is the same as resisting God. Check out:

“So if God gave them the same gift as us, when we had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I then, that I might resist God? And when they heard these things, they were appeased, and glorified God, saying, Verily even the Gentiles gave God repentance for life. ” Acts 11: 17-18 

If today’s leaders recognized the pastoral gift that God has given women, all discussion would cease. Some, even recognizing the gift, deny the title. Some denominations prefer to call them ‘missionaries’, ‘doctors’, but never ‘pastors’. It is ridiculous. On the other hand, we find many men who bear the title without ever having been dedicated to the performance of the pastorate. Pathetic and pitiful.
3 – The Gift of Prophecy is given to both men and women

“And it will be that afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, your young people will have visions. I will also pour out my Spirit on servants and servants in those days. ”  Joel 2: 28-29

According to Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost, this prophecy was fully fulfilled when the Spirit was profusely poured out on the 120 disciples gathered in the upper room. Now, if women are to remain silent in the church, as some Pauline instruction interprets, then how could they prophesy? Why sign language? We read in Acts 21: 8-9 that Philip, one of the original seven deacons, also recognized as an evangelist, had four daughters who prophesied. And what would it be to “prophesy” within the New Testament context? Paul replies: “He who prophesies speaks to men, for edification, exhortation, and consolation” (1 Corinthians 14: 3). Those who are against the ordination of women say that the exercise of the gift of prophecy is linked to pastoral activity. The pastor is the prophet of the church. Through preaching, he builds, exhorts, and consoles. Now, now… Following the same line of reasoning, a woman who has received such a gift from God would be empowered by the Spirit to exercise pastoral ministry.
4 – The universal priesthood of believers
One might argue that although we find prophets in the Scriptures, we never find priestesses. But wait … doesn’t Christ replace the Levitical priesthood with an eternal one, where we are all equally priests? 

“You too, like living stones, are built a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God through Jesus Christ… But you are the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the acquired people, announce the virtues of him who called you from darkness to his wonderful light. ”  1 Peter 2: 5,9

This is one of the pillars of Protestant reform. All believers are priests, regardless of gender. Maintaining the distinction between clergy and laity is undesirable rancidity that we inherited from Romanism. And as priests, we have two duties: a) offering spiritual sacrifices to God b) announcing the virtues of the One who called us from darkness to light. Men and women are equally tasked with this. Now, why should we deprive women of celebrating the sacraments/ordinances (Read Supper and Baptism)? I know denominations in which women can teach, preach, work in the office, evangelize, but they cannot celebrate supper or baptism. This does not make any sense. Whoever is able to announce the virtues of the living God and to offer spiritual sacrifices is also able to break bread and baptize. Matter of coherence. The problem is that men do not want to give up prominence. During the celebration of the first Eucharist, Jesus undressed before the disciples, girded Himself with a towel, and washed their feet. Some understand that the foot-washing would be a complementary ceremony to the Lord’s Supper. Even though we do not see it as an ordinance, we cannot overlook the fact that it was during the Supper that He gave us such an example. Writing to Timothy, Paul says that before enrolling a widow to be helped by the church, one should check if she has done all the good work, including washing the feet of the saints (1 Tim. 5:10). By this time, washing the brothers’ feet had become a constant practice in the church. Jesus had left the example to His male disciples, but even women watched it. This was part of Diakonia,
5 – It was to a woman that Jesus entrusted the first “ide” after His resurrection
Jesus could have appeared first to His male disciples, but He chose to appear first to a woman, to whom He entrusted His first “go” (John 20:20). It is possible that the disciples felt disgraced by this. – Why a woman, and not directly to us? Perhaps this indicated the importance that Jesus attributed to the female gender in spreading the Gospel.
6 – There is evidence that there was female leadership in the early church

“I recommend our sister Febe, a servant of the church in Cencrea. I ask that you receive it in the Lord, worthy of the saints, and give you the help that you may need; because it has been of great help to many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my collaborators in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. I am grateful to them; not just me, but all the Gentile churches. Also greet the church that meets at their home. Greet my beloved brother Epénetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Maria, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who were in prison with me. They are notable among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. ”  Romans 16: 1-7

How much valuable information in a simple greeting! In the original text, Phoebe is called “deaconess in the church in Center”. According to the testimony of the patristic author Teodoreto de Ciro (393 – 466 AD), Phoebe was an itinerant preacher whose fame spread throughout the world. “She was known not only to the Greeks and Romans but to barbarians as well.” And Phoebe was not the only one. A tombstone was found in 1903 on the Mount of Olives with this inscription: “Here lies the servant and virgin bride of Christ, Sofia, the deaconess, the second Phoebe”. This shows that Phoebe became a kind of reference for female leadership in the early church.
In his recommendation, Paul testifies that Phoebe would have been a great help to many people, including himself. The original text provides us with a slightly more accurate understanding: “Because she has been nominated, really by my own action, as an officer presiding over many.”
The term translated “help” is prostatitis (Rom. 16: 2). This word is not translated in this way anywhere else in the Greek Scriptures. It was a common and classic word that meant “patron or protector, a woman placed on top of others”. It is the feminine form of the masculine noun prostates, which means “defender” or “guardian” when referring to men. In 1 Timothy 3: 4-5,12 and 5:17, the verb proistemi it is used regarding the qualifications of bishops and deacons when Paul ordered men to “govern” their homes well, which included looking after their needs. Whatever it meant for men, it must mean the same for women. What these bishops and deacons did for their homes, Phoebe did for the church and Paul. The positions were identical.
If we refuse to admit that Phoebe “ruled”, or “led”, or was a “defender”, or “guardian”, then we need to lower deacons to whatever level Phoebe was ministering to. If Phoebe only “helped”, then that is all deacons did. It would be very inconsistent to translate the word “governor” when referring to men and “aid” when referring to women.
Among those who receive the Pauline greeting, Priscilla and Aquila stand out, responsible for teaching the Gospel more precisely to Apollo, one of the most eloquent preachers of the time. Paul purposely mentions Priscilla before Aquila, which might have sounded unkind, to indicate his ministerial importance. A little further on, Paul reveals two curious characters, namely, Andronicus and Junias, “notable among the apostles”. If, in fact, both husband and wife were considered “apostles,” there is no room for arguing about the legitimacy of female leadership in the early church.
7 – Because the female ability to exercise any role previously attributed only to men is proven


I have witnessed the striking success achieved by women in the exercise of the pastoral ministry. Some have succeeded where men have failed. I could cite several cases to my knowledge. After all the achievements of women in the second half of the twentieth century, it would be, at the very least, anachronistic to believe in their incompetence for ecclesiastical leadership. Long before the cultural revolution, in biblical times they already demonstrated their skills as queens, judges, prophets, and, by the way, even pastors. See Ester, Débora, Ana, and Raquel. Why would God deprive them of the privilege of being instruments of His love to care for His private flock?

Will there be animals in the sky?

By Hermes C. Fernandes
Will we be the only species that will enjoy the new heavens and new earth prophesied by the Scriptures? What will become of the countless animal and plant species, fruits of divine genius? Did God create them all just as extras in the plot whose protagonist is the human being? I refuse to believe this hypothesis.
If God didn’t care about animals, why would he have spared them in the flood?
We are no better than animals!
And it is not I who say this, but the wise Solomon:

“I said in my heart: This is because of the children of men, so that God can test them, and they can see that they are in themselves like animals. Because what happens to the children of men, this also happens to animals; the same thing happens to them. As one dies, so does the other. They all have the same breath, and men have no advantage over animals … ”  (Ec.3: 18-19).

Someone may object: Human beings have spirit, animals do not. It will be? So Solomon was wrong to say that we have no advantage over them. And see what he says more:

“Everyone goes to the same place; all are dust, and all to dust will return. Who knows if the spirit of the sons of men goes up, and if the spirit of animals goes down to earth? ”  (vv.20-21).

So, animals also have spirit, right? Very correct! At least that’s what we just read. God’s love is not limited to human beings. God loves all of His creatures, rational and irrational. He is the one who  “provides food for every creature, because his love lasts forever”  (Ps.136: 25).
David understood this perfectly and states in a poetic way in his psalm number 104. As if in ecstasy, the psalmist king declares:  “O Lord, how varied are your works! You have done all things wisely; the land of your riches is full. There are the sea, vast and spacious, where innumerable beings move, small and large animals (…) Everyone expects you to give him his sustenance in a timely manner ”  (v.24-25,27). Even the lions  “of God seek their sustenance”  (v.21). It was as if David plunged to the bottom of the ocean and marveled at what he saw there.
I had a similar sense of wonder when visiting the largest aquarium in the world at  SeaWorld in Orlando. It’s jaw-dropping! It was really exciting to be able to touch the dolphins, watch the shows with the whales, enter the artificial environment reproducing the arctic and see where the polar bear rests, watch the penguin ballet as in the movie  Happy Feet. My wife and I were literally in tears. I told my children that that rapport between man and animals was a  free sample of what will be on the restored Earth.
It would be a huge waste of space if only we humans could inhabit the New Creation. Those who think that our final destination will be to live in an ethereal sky are mistaken, like little angelic ghosts playing their harps. Not! We will be complete human beings, endowed with all of our original faculties.
The hostility that the animal kingdom has against man is due to sin. We are no longer the guardians of the garden of God to be his greatest threat. All nature groans in the expectation of being released from the bondage imposed by human vanity. When God’s children are manifested, nature will finally be free (Rom.8). Earth is not heading for a final catastrophe, but for liberation. When that happens, the hostility will end, and man will be integrated into creation again.
Until the big day arrives, we must watch over the lives of all beings with whom we share the Earth. God has entrusted them to us. Both wild and domestic.
Today, after my daily walk, I stopped by the lake to photograph some animals (turtles, birds, and ducks). I recently discovered this new hobby: photographing nature. An American boy named John approached me. He was accompanied by a white dog whom he affectionately called a pig. The talk goes, talk comes … he told me about an automobile accident he suffered two years ago, he told me that he had lost his friends and that he was losing his home (by the way, a beautiful house by the lake). The only thing left for him was his dog. But to complete his suffering, his dog, now twelve, was about to die. He would have to spend $ 8,000 to try to save his life in surgery. Because he was financially broke, he had no choice but to let him go. 
Although he was not a Christian, and his confidence in religion was confided to me, John showed great love for his animal. Which brings me to what Solomon says:  “They just look after the life of their animals”  (Prov. 12: 10a). I wished from the bottom of the soul that God would restore the health of that animal. I remembered Francisco de Assis who was in the habit of praying for animals.
Recently  SeaWorld was the scene of a tragedy involving an Orca and its trainer. Despite the rapport between them, the trainer died drowned, after being thrown by the hair in an act of apparent fury of the animal.
The AFA (American Family Association), created by Rev. Donald Wildmon, advocated stoning until the orca died. The influential Christian entity cites passages from the Bible to justify the death of the animal, whose meat, he says, should not be eaten by anyone. Animal protection organizations around the world responded to the stoning proposal. If it depends on the AFA, even the owner of the water park should be stoned to death, also according to what the Bible says, the entity argues.
This is a type of fundamentalism that must be rejected by conscientious Christians, who understand that we live under grace and not the law.
One of the most impressive images painted in the book of Revelation is recorded in chapter 5, from verse 11 to 14:

“Then I looked, and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and of living beings, and of elders; and their number was millions of millions and thousands of thousands, proclaiming with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and praise. Then I heard EVERY CREATURE THAT IS IN HEAVEN, AND ON EARTH, AND UNDER EARTH, AND IN THE SEA, and to all the things that are in them, say, To the one who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise, and honor, and glory, and power forever and ever. And the four living beings said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshiped. ” 

Notice the way heaven and earth are presented coming together to form a huge coral in adoration of the Lamb. Gradually, all things are subject to Christ. Not only the invisible, but also the visible, not only those belonging to the spiritual world (angels, cherubs, and co) but also those of the animal world.
Gradually, chaos becomes harmonious; the noise becomes a phenomenal orchestra! Each event finds its place in the majestic symphony composed by the Lamb. Nothing is outside the scope of this restoration! The animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, and the mineral kingdom come together to greet the King of Kings.
In the previous chapter, John says that he saw a throne, and Someone sat on it, and  “around the throne was a rainbow”  (4: 3). This rainbow reminds us of the episode in which God made a covenant with Noah, and established the rainbow as a symbol of that covenant. What few observe is that that preservation alliance is not limited to human beings, but covers the whole of creation. Thus said the Lord: “Now I establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with ALL LIVING BEINGS who are with you; so the birds, the domestic animals and the wild animals that came out of the ark, like all the animals of the earth (…) This is the sign of the covenant that I am putting between you and me and among all the living beings that are with you, BY PERPETUAL GENERATIONS; I have put my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of an alliance between me and the earth (…) The bow will be in the clouds, and I will see it, to remember the ETERNAL ALLIANCE between God and all beings living beings of all kinds, who are on the earth ”  (Gen. 9: 9-10,12-13,16).
This alliance will never expire. It has no expiration date to be expired. Because it is eternal, it did not expire with the launch of the New Alliance but was confirmed. Hosea, prophesying of the New Covenant, said:  “In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field, with the birds of the sky and with the reptiles of the earth”  (2:18). The New Covenant concerns the salvation of man, and therefore the restoration of the created order. The choir will only be complete when the angelic voices and the human voices join the voices of every creature, including birds, reptiles, mammals, and fish. “All that has breath, praise the Lord!” (Ps 150: 6).

Why do Christians demonize Karl Marx?

“Jesus works miracles and gives. Man does not work miracles, and he sells.”
Pastor Ed René Kivitz dared to publish  the following quote from Karl Marx on his Facebook profile :

“Finally, a time has come when everything that men had considered inalienable has become an object of exchange, of trafficking and can be sold. The time when the very things that until then were co-participated, but never exchanged; given, but never sold, acquired, but never bought – virtue, love, opinion, science, conscience, etc. Now all of this is done in trade. The time of universal corruption has broken out or, to speak in terms of political economy, time has opened in which anything, moral or physical, once it becomes renal value, is brought to the market to receive its price. “

I ask: any untruth in the excerpt above? Something that contradicts our Christian faith and practice? When I read the reactions in the comments, I wondered if they would be different if instead of attributing the text to Marx, he attributed it to some Christian author incensed among evangelicals, especially the reformed ones.
I then proposed to do a test on my own profile.
I published several phrases by Marx, attributing them to John Calvin, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Stott, and Augustine. A lot of people liked it and shared it, without imagining its true author. I also published phrases by these same authors, however, attributing them to Marx. Obviously, many also enjoyed it. However, the criticism came and was harsh. 
For example: “The family is the source of peoples’ prosperity and disgrace.” This phrase is from the reformer Martin Luther. But as it was attributed to Karl Marx, there were those who commented: “Family and the basis of God among those he created, men and women. Karl Maxx was an apocryphal imbecile. Era died and with him his idiotic ideas” (sic).
Another phrase that I attributed to the German sociologist is by the preacher prince CH Spurgeon: “Do not believe half of what you hear; do not repeat half of what you believe; when you hear negative news, divide it by two, then by four, and don’t say anything about the rest of it. ” Beautiful phrase, isn’t it? But as it was signed by Marx, it generated confusion. In one of the comments, it read: “Vdd … his life shows who he was … Marx had only one fixed-job and, although he was a scholar … For this love, he accepted the death of four of the seven children, two daughters committed suicide, and he was financially dependent on his wife during the 16 years that he dedicated himself to writing “O Capital”. AN EXAMPLE, ONLY NOT “(sic). Another comment said: “Ordinary, lazy and immoral subject, who has not even managed to put his own life in order. Is this rascal, in many ways similar to Lulla, the creator of the system who intends to bring the solution to the world? Yes. one has the reference it deserves “(sic).
What does all this have to do with the phrases? The fact that he had a disastrous biography, as there were so many others, including Christians, does it disapply any glimmer of genius he may have had? Does the fact that Socrates committed suicide to undo his entire philosophy? I wonder if most of your critics have already taken the time to read a line from “Capital”. Probably not. They were busy watching the videos of the great master astrologer and philosopher Olavo de Carvalho, or reading his wonderful book “The least you need to know to not be an idiot.” (Before they ask me if I’ve read it, my answer is no. I don’t feel like it. The things I watched in their videos were enough to make a judgment about their ideas).
How long will we eat with the hands of others? Who received a power of attorney to think for us? I know Calvinists who have never read a line from the Institutes or the Synod of Dort. They quote Augustine without ever having read “Confessions” or “The City of God.” They detonate Darwin without having even read the preface to “The origin of species”. They critically criticize Simone De Beauvior without ever having read “The second sex” (even because the thickness of the volume is frightening! Lol). They fall flat on poor Paulo Freire (celebrated all over the world!), But they never read “Pedagogia do oprimido”. They disdain Foucault without having read “Watch and Punish” or “The Archeology of Knowledge”.
I am not saying that we all have an obligation to read all of this. But if we are honest, at least, we will try to find out some ideas before going around fighting them with ready phrases that we hear from third parties.
Some of those who criticized the phrases falsely attributed to Marx enjoyed and even shared phrases of his own, however, falsely attributed to some of the great Christian icons. Below, some of them:

“From each one, according to their abilities, to each one, according to their needs.” (attributed to John Stott). 

“If the appearance and essence of things coincided, science would be unnecessary.” (attributed to Augustine). 

“If a person loves without inspiring love, that is, if he is not able, in manifesting himself as a loving person, to become loved, then his love is helpless and a disgrace.” (I attributed it to Spurgeon). 

“The eyes that only see the lie when they realize the truth, are blind.” (I attributed it to Luther). 

“Whoever uses the name of justice to defend their mistakes is capable of much more to distort a right.” (I attributed it to Calvin … lol).

I hope that none of my friends who liked any of the quotes feel bored with me. It was, let’s say, an experiment … And it demonstrated that, in fact, there is still a lot of prejudice among us, including, of an intellectual nature.
Turn and move, I am called a Marxist, especially when I go out in defense of minorities, or when I denounce injustices, and more recently when I stand against impeachment. What consoles me is to know that I, Kivitz, Ariovaldo, and so many others, are not the only ones dealing with the narrow mindedness that insists on prevailing in some Christian sectors. Dom Helder Câmara said that when he fed the poor, they called him a saint, but when questioning the reason for poverty, they called him a communist. Do what? Bones of the craft … lol
It is easier to label than to debate ideas. Labeling, the discussion ends. I can assure you, even if you are not a Marxist, that anyone who reads Marx without prejudice may feel embarrassed to find in his writings more of Christianity than in many Christian writers. The same is true of Nietzsche, Sartre, Voltaire, Espinoza, Freud, Jung and so many others. Also try to read Rubem Alves, Leonardo Boff, Frei Betto, and Teresa d’Ávila with the same disposition with which you read Augustine (if you read the Bishop of Hipona). Enjoy and read Rabbi Nilton Bonder (he surprised me! Mainly with “The immoral soul”). Go to me … put aside the canned theology “made in the USA” and vary your reading menu a little. I guarantee it will do your soul good. 
By the way, do you know whose phrase is posted in the header of my post? Himself. Of Marx’s wretch! Does anyone dare disagree with the bearded old man? In fact, Karl Marx is part of the beloved group of the five Jews who changed the world, alongside Jesus, Moses, Einstein, and Freud. Sleep with a noise like that … lol

And he answers the question in the post: perhaps we demonize Marx so much because his theories end up revealing that we are not as Christian as we should be. As one Martin Luther King said, “Communism only exists because we are not sufficiently Christian.” We could sleep without this, right?

Have you ever trusted the wrong person?

By Hermes C. Fernandes
What a disappointment. How hard it is to have to admit that we trust the wrong person. No one likes to acknowledge that he has been cheated, passed over. And the worst thing is when we become suspicious of everyone around us, fearing being tricked more than once.
Hezekiah, king of Judah, had two stewards, Sebna and Eliakim

The name “Sebna” means “young”, “vigorous”, someone self-confident, almost self-sufficient.

Already “Eliakim” means “Whom God raises, establishes, and sustains.” Whenever his name appears in the Scriptures, we find the name of his father Hilquias, which means “My portion is the Lord”.
The position of the butler of the King should be occupied by someone of total trust. Someone who would never dare to steal any of his master’s good. No one is better than someone who had the character of Hilquias, who did not fill his eyes with anything the king possessed. Someone capable of saying “My portion is the Lord”.
Paul says that “stewards are required to be faithful” (1 Cor. 4: 1). A faithful steward is one who puts his master’s interests above his own, who watches over his master’s assets as if they were his own. Selena is the unfaithful servant, reproved by his master. Eliakim, on the other hand, is the faithful servant, the one to whom the king can entrust the keys to all rooms in the palace.

In Isaiah 22: 15-19 we read a serious warning that God gives to steward Senna:

“Thus says the Lord God of hosts: Come, go to this administrator, Sebna, the butler, and say to him: What are you doing here, and who gave you permission to dig a grave here? Digging your grave high, carving in the rock dwelling for yourself! Caution! The Lord will throw you violently, O strong man, and will surely seize you. It will roll you up like a ball, and throw you into a spacious country. There you will die, and there the cars of your glory will remain, O you, the reproach of your lord’s house. I will resign you from your post, and I will tear you out of your position ”.

Senna’s concern was to secure his future, to build a home for himself. Little did he know he was digging his own grave. All the cars and riches that he had accumulated would be of no use when God’s judgment affected him. Ironically, God calls him a “strong man”, which is one of the meanings of his name. It would be turned into a ball, rolling down the cliff.

In contrast, the Lord says of Eliakim:

“On that day I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilquias, and I will put him on your tunic, and I will gird you with your belt, and I will give your dominion into your hands, and you will be like a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will drive it like a nail in a firm place; as a throne of honor he will be for his father’s house. All the glory of your father’s house will hang on it; the branches and the descendants, all the smaller vessels, from the bowls to the jars ” (Isaiah 22: 20-24).

“Eliakim, son of Hilkiah”, that is, “the one that God sustains” is the result of a conscience that says “my portion is the Lord”. The Lord promises to give you a tunic, a belt, and a key, both of which are symbols of your authority. The tunic points to prophetic authority. Prophets commonly wore a robe, which identified them among the crowd. The belt points to the priestly office. And the key represents the king’s authority. The figure of Eliakim represents Christ himself. He “has the key to David. What opens, and nobody closes and closes, and nobody opens ” (Rev.3: 7). He receives dominion, and rises as“ father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ”. He takes care of all the smaller pots, from the bowls to the jars.
All the glory of His Father’s house was hung in Him. He is a throne of honor for His Father’s house. There is no doubt that this text speaks of Christ. He has the master key to the royal palace. He has access to all the riches of the Father and reveals them to anyone he wants. He declared: “Everything for my Father was given to me; and no one knows who the Son is, except the Father, nor who the Father is, except the Son and the one to whom the Son wants to reveal him ” (Luke 10:22) If He opens a door, there is no one who can close it. But if He closes, no one can break it. What’s in the rooms of the Palace of the King of Kings?

“May there be peace within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces” (Psalm 122: 7)

A peace that exceeds human understanding, and that the world cannot give. Prosperity that goes beyond material possessions. 

Paul also reveals to us what lies behind the doors of the royal palace:

“O depth of riches, both of wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unfathomable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Who understood the Lord’s mind? Or who was your advisor? Or who gave it to him first, that he might be rewarded? Because of him and for him and for him are all things. So glory to him forever. Amen ” (Rom.11: 33-36).

How to have access to all this? How to enjoy such a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom? Christ has the key to David! Or: Christ is the Key! It is in Him that “all the treasures of wisdom and science are hidden” (Col. 2: 3).
And why did the Father entrust Him with the Kingdom’s master key?
Because “Your portion was the Lord.” He himself said in prayer to the Father: “Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine” (John 17: 10). He was “Hilquias’ son”!
He was Eliakim, the one the Father supports. He said: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to do his work” (Jn.4: 34). He was not concerned with accumulating earthly goods, nor with fame or recognition. He had a schedule to follow. Fulfilling His mission was His absolute priority. Therefore, the Father has entrusted the keys of the Kingdom to Him. Best of all, He is willing to share these keys with His people.

The words were spoken to Peter also apply to each of us:

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loosen on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

It is the fact that we have the keys to the Kingdom, which gives us the authority to switch on and off, that is, to lock and unlock. Therefore, the keys of the Kingdom were not entrusted to Peter, as Catholic theology argues, but to all God’s people.

“Truly I say to you, whatever you connect on earth will be connected in heaven, and whatever you disconnect on earth will be disconnected in heaven. I also tell you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask for, it will be granted to you by my Father, who is in heaven ”(Matthew 18: 18-19).

We don’t need to claim anything. Our relationship with God is not the union, but filial. We don’t have to decree, order, but just ask, and agree with each other’s requests.
We have the password that opens all the treasures of heaven. And the password is the name of Jesus. He is the one who guarantees: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14: 13). But in order for us to enjoy full access to heavenly treasures, we must manifest the character of Eliakim, not Senna. He has to be our portion! He has to be the one who sustains us with His Word.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done to you” (John 15: 7).

Launch of the novel “O Ninho da Fênix” on 7/7

Dear friends, I am happy to inform you that we have signed a contract with Amazon and on 7/7 (next Thursday) we will be officially launching my first novel “O Ninho da Fênix”  under the pseudonym HC Ferny in electronic version at the price of just R $ 10.09. The book will be available worldwide, varying in price according to the country. In the USA, for example, it will come out at $ 2.99. Get ready to purchase yours on launch day and invite your friends. SYNOPSIS Two lives intertwined by fate in a turbulent flight from Paris. He, William Saint-Clair, an archaeologist who defines himself as an obstinate defender of the past. She, Melissa Fujiwara, known as Mel, a biologist and environmentalist, an idealistic defender of the future.

An oracle found in Egypt points to a mysterious connection between east and west, past and future, and between the world’s most important archaeological site and the largest ecological sanctuary on the planet. And to increase the suspense, the plot is watched closely by a viewer sent by the future, whose eventual intervention would trigger an irreversible collapse in the flow of history, so that nothing will ever be the same again.

Raziel, the visitor from the kairos here  [1]  is   William’s alter ego, sent to accompany him for a while in order to learn important lessons that went unnoticed during his stay in the chromosphere  [2] Raziel belongs to a time when human civilization will have reached its ethical and technological peak. His presence cannot be perceived by William, leaving Raziel to communicate through insights and dreams. There is also a protocol to be followed during your kenotic journey. [3]  If you exceed the limits, the consequences will be harmful.

William and his twin brother Wallace are the main heirs of a mining empire. Despite their physiognomic resemblance, they have completely different personalities and characters.

Mel is the daughter of a Japanese immigrant and a Brazilian. His father presents himself as a family man, modest and austere. However, he hides a secret that made him leave the land of the rising sun to save his own life.

A story of love and hope that brings together elements abundantly found in every human plot, such as betrayal, conspiracies, lies, undeniable interests, envy, but also, dreams, ideals, altruism, and the desire to make this world a more just place. William and Mel team up to ensure that after their epic flight, the phoenix has its nest preserved, and thus, returning to it, can be reborn. 

[1] Kairosfera or wasKairótica – post-secular Age and post-historical, in which humans come to dominate the ability to travel in time.

[2] Chronosphere – temporal sphere in which history takes place.

[3] Kenotic Journey – Journey to the chromosphere, made possible by the process called Kenósis in which the apprentice submits to the state of Kenoma (Process in which the consciousness is subjected to an emptying, enabling it to travel in time. After entering the chromosphere, the individual will remember the facts as he experiences them again, providing him with a constant sense of Déjà vu).

* The book will be available only in the digital version by Amazon.