The best way to discover a fake Christian

Woman in 20’s Holding Smile Mask in Front of Face
By Hermes C. Fernandes
Some time ago, I watched an interview by a blogger who created a fake character , with the aim of satirizing evangelicals. According to him, more than thirty thousand people visit his blog daily, and even with all the teasing (cartoon character, abuse of clichés, foul words and unlikely situations), many believe that all of that is real.
Like this character, there are thousands of fakes circulating on the internet, some so subtle that it is almost impossible to realize that they are not real people. However, worse than cyber fakes , are the flesh and blood that circulate freely in our lives, posing as what they are not. How to recognize them?
Would it be unacceptable to believe that even fakes pastors exist ? I mean those who go up to the pulpit shamelessly, pretending to be what they are not? Unfortunately, we cannot trust everything we see and hear.
Shortly before the fateful end of Orkut, a Brazilian pastor who was frequently invited to preach outside the country was unmasked for using people’s profile data as if it were divine revelations. People were astonished at the accuracy of the information he gave, as if God Himself had confided to him. It was necessary for someone to investigate such a ‘supernatural’ phenomenon to expose the hoax. A small dose of skepticism does no harm to anyone. What is true and sincere resists any survey.
How to realize that someone is in fact what he claims to be? How to measure the veracity of the experience told as a testimony?
A society based on appearance, will easily be deceived by those who boast a facade piety. It is enough that the subject uses half a dozen religious jargon, and that is it, he has already deceived half the people who assist him.
Writing to his pupil Titus, the apostle Paul denounces those who “profess to know God, but deny him by his works, being abominable, disobedient and disapproved of every good work” (Titus 1:16).
Talking about theology does not mean knowing God. Forge supernatural manifestations, ditto. Time at home also means nothing. I know people who have embraced the faith so recently, but who demonstrate to know God more deeply than some who were born and raised in the church environment.
So, how can we infer whether someone knows God or not, or whether he is a legitimate Christian or a fake ? From God’s point of view, there is no problem. After all, “the Lord knows those who are his” (2 Tim.2: 19a). But from the point of view of this side, there is only one way to know: “Whoever speaks the name of the Lord will depart from injustice” (v.19b).
We will try to understand this better through a curious episode not well known narrated in the Old Testament. We read that the sons of the high priest Eli were  “sons of Belial, for they did not know the Lord” (1 Sam.2: 12). How can one be the son of the high priest, be born and raised in the temple environment, yet still not know God? Not always son of fish, goldfish is. Although they were children of a correct and just man, in the eyes of God they were only children of Belial (name used in the OT in reference to the devil).

How would the sacred writer have come to this conclusion? Let’s see the report:

“ Now, the custom of these priests to the people was that, offering someone a sacrifice, while the meat was being cooked, the young man of the priest came with a fork with three teeth in his hand (the famous ‘trident’). He put it in the boiler, or in the pot, or in the cauldron, or in the lunchbox, and whatever the fork took out, the priest took for himself. So they did to all Israel who went to Shiloh ” (vv.13-14).

This was the priests’ means of subsistence. They devoted themselves entirely to worship, and depended on offerings to survive. However, there was a protocol to be followed.

“But even before they burned the fat, the priest’s young man came and said to the man who sacrificed: Give this meat to roast to the priest; he will not accept cooked meat from you, but raw. If the man answered him: Burn the fat first, and then you will take whatever you want, then he would say: No, you will give it now; if not, I will take it by force. The sin of these young men was very great before the Lord, because they despised the Lord’s offering ” (vv.15-17).

According to the priestly protocol, the meat of the sacrificed animals should be placed in the cauldron until the fat is burned, and only then, the priest would put his fork in and remove his part.
Eli’s children did not have the patience to wait for the fat to burn. The fat represented the best part, and it belonged to the Lord. But they were not satisfied with their share.
They were ensnared by the same proposal made by the serpent to the first couple in Eden, taking up what belonged exclusively to God.
Remember: Whoever knows God, loves justice and escapes injustice. Justice is giving each one what is his right. To God what belongs to God, to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, to the employee what is his right, to his spouse his part (1 Cor. 7: 3-5), and so on.
Instead of fighting for profit, those who know God fight for justice. It doesn’t matter who gets the best part of the cake, as long as it’s fair.
In the words of the apostle, “give to each one what you owe: to whom tribute, tribute, to whom tax, tax; to whom fear, fear; whom honor, honor. You owe nothing to anyone, except the love with which you love one another ” (Rom.13: 7-8a).
Giving honor is the reverse of wanting to take advantage .
What denounced that the sons of Eli were in fact “sons of Belial”, and therefore, fakespriests , was the fact that they wanted to take advantage of everything, even of what belonged to the Lord.
There are those who try to take advantage of the suffering of others, without the slightest constraint. Others know how to capitalize on their most bitter experiences, taking to the letter the favorite adage of some: if life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. 
Of course, we have rights, but the rights of others always come first. We have to wait for the fat to burn, to take what is ours. This is what Paul speaks of in Romans 12:10: “Love one another cordially with brotherly love, preferring them in honor of one another.” To be cordial is to give in to the turn, putting the interest of the other above ours, as Paul instructed us in another passage: “Do nothing by strife or vainglory, but out of humility, each one considers the others superior to himself. Do not pay attention only to what is yours, but each also to what belongs to others ” (Phil.2: 3-4).
There will always be a cauldron before us, and our posture when we put our fork down will reveal whose children we are. It is as simple as this :  “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). 

Justice is giving others what is theirs. Love is giving others what is ours. Those who follow Christ must be willing to give up even what is rightfully theirs, for the benefit of others.

Before following someone on social media, or introducing someone to your circle of friendship, try to check their behavior towards others and how eagerly they put their fork in the cauldron of life. Remember that it was not the kiss that identified Jesus’ traitor, but the fact of putting his hand on his master’s plate without any modesty.

Day to Combat Cristobofia or Gospelfobia?

By Hermes C. Fernandes 
Forget Christmas! As of this year, the traditional Christian date is celebrated as the “Day to Combat Cristophobia”, at least in the largest city in South America. The bill 306/2015, authored by councilman Eduardo Tuma (PSDB) was approved by the São Paulo City Council in a symbolic vote on the night of last Tuesday, 7. Depending on the sanction of Mayor Fernando Haddad (PT), the day will become part of the official calendar of events in the Municipality.
Tuma, who besides being an elder at the Bola de Neve Church, is also a member of the Human Rights Commission of the São Paulo Lawyers Institute (IASP), and claims to be fulfilling his role of defending minorities from persecution. He cited as an example the case of transsexual Viviany Beleboni, who staged the crucifixion of Christ in the middle of the LGBT Parade last year in a demonstration against homophobia. “If homophobia is considered a crime, and it is a crime that should be punished, Cristophobia is also a crime and should also be punished,” said the councilman.
“You have a minority being restricted from your rights, such as freedom of speech and, even, sometimes, freedom of worship. The Christian, today, cannot say anything related to homo-affectivity that he is characterized as a homophobic. In other words: he said that he is against the practice of homosexuality, he is homophobic. You have this issue being very imprisoned ”, said Tuma, who also defended that evangelicals should not be prevented from discussing politics during religious events (I have the impression that here lies the real reason for the proposal). If you take SP, it will probably have repercussions throughout the country; it doesn’t take long, it will become law at the national level. 
As a Christian, I see no reason for celebration. On the contrary, I feel ashamed. By departing from the original proposal of Jesus’ message, we lose the sense of ridicule, becoming a cartoon church, very different from the one that its founder dreamed of. 
There is no Christophobia! Not even the scandals perpetrated by Christianity throughout history have managed to tarnish the image of Jesus. Even cultures most hostile to Christianity have a deep respect for the figure of Christ. Even atheists admit the high level of ethics proposed in their teachings. Ask an Umbandist, a Candomblecist, or even a Muslim, what he thinks about Jesus. Ask an LGBT activist the same question. Despite us Christians, Jesus remains unscathed.
Gandhi, one of the greatest pacifists of all time, although Hindu, considered himself a profound admirer of Christ. In one of his hard-hitting statements about the Christian religion, Mahatma confessed: “I don’t know anyone who has done more for humanity than Jesus. In fact, there is nothing wrong with Christianity. The problem is you, Christians. You haven’t even started to live up to your own teachings. ”
Society’s reaction to abuses in the name of Jesus is more like justified gospelfobia. How can we not be gospelfobic in front of an evangelical group that is associated with the most backward, physiologist and corrupt in Brazilian politics? How can we not be gospelfobic in the face of the fundamentalist discourse that refuses to recognize any type of family that does not conform to traditional molds? How can we not be gospelfobic in the face of exorbitant fees charged by gospel singers? How can you not be gospelfobic when pastors are on Forbes magazine’s list? How not to be gospelfóbicowith the frequent boycotts of products, stores, and novels proposed by prominent figures in the evangelical world? I could cite many other reasons, but I prefer not to dwell.
Peter, the apostle, had already warned us, that just as there were “false prophets” in the past, there would also be among us “false teachers” and that many would follow their dissolutions, and because of them the path of truth would be blasphemed (the reason why we have been a laughing stock and jokes), and that, “moved by greed, and with fake words” these would make us business (2 Peter 2: 1-3). Nothing more current, right?
And now you see with this story of Cristophobia? Hypocrites! Do they negotiate all the time in the name of faith, exploit the suffering of others, boycott any social advancement, distill hate and prejudice in their speeches, always eager for temporal power, and now pose as poor, persecuted, wronged people? 
If they truly suffered for the love of Christ and the Gospel, they would be as happy as the first Christians, because they would remember the Master’s famous words: “Blessed are those who suffer persecution because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and, lying, say all evil against you because of me. Rejoice and rejoice, for great is your reward in the heavens, for thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you ” (Matthew 5: 10-12).
Note this: the suffering resulting from persecution should only be a cause for joy when it happened “because of justice” and “because of me” (Jesus). Therefore, anyone who is persecuted for defending what is just is included there. This even includes the segments that many Christians are opposed to, including homosexuals, transsexuals, feminists, as well as blacks, Indians, and other minorities. The followers of Jesus should be in solidarity with any group that is persecuted “because of justice”. Instead of going around in self-defense, proposing a day to combat Cristophobia, a genuine disciple of the Nazarene should engage in the fight against all types of discrimination, reinforcing the chorus of those who cry out for justice.
Instead of proposing a joint reaction against the persecution unleashed during the beginnings of Christianity, the same apostle who denounces the false teachers who negotiated in the name of the faith preferred to console persecuted Christians:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the burning fire that appears among you, destined to prove you, as if something extraordinary was happening to you; on the contrary, rejoice to the extent that you are co-participants in the sufferings of Christ.. ” 1 Peter 4: 12-16 

According to the above passage, there is nothing extraordinary about suffering for your faith. It is not a question of diminishing its importance, but of equating it to any other human suffering. Shortly after, in the same epistle, the apostle says: “knowing that the same sufferings are being fulfilled in your brothers who are in the world” (1 Peter 5: 9).
Any human suffering is counted as being imposed on Christ Himself. Therefore, Peter talks about being “co-participants in the sufferings of Christ”. It is not in vain that Jesus said that the criteria by which we will be judged by God are the way we deal with our neighbor’s suffering. Those who inherit the kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world will hear: “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you dressed me; sick and you visited me; arrested and you came to see me. ” When they ask when they would have done such things, Christ will answer them: “When you did it to one of these my little brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25: 34-40).
Therefore, taking a stand for human rights and working to alleviate the suffering of anyone is to reach out to God Himself. To oppose this, without a doubt, is to oppose the divine agenda.
If suffering for what is fair should be a cause for celebration, suffering because of an unethical and inhuman stance should be a cause for shame. Hence, the apostolic admonition: “But do not suffer any of you as a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or as someone who meddles in someone else’s business.” It may even be that there are not among those who profess to be Christians who are murderers, thieves, or criminals, but certainly what else is there is someone who intrudes on the lives of others, imposing their morals, customs, and values, as well as their political agenda. 

What the Bible says about corruption

By Hermes C. Fernandes
There are those who think that corruption is a recent phenomenon in society. If it were, there would not be so many biblical warnings against it. 

“The one who walks injustice, and the one who speaks with righteousness, who throws away the gain of oppressions, and who shakes all bribes from his hands, who covers his ears to keep from hearing blood, and closes his eyes not to see evil; he will dwell in the heights, and the strongholds of the rocks will be his high refuge. Your bread will be given to you, and your waters will be certain ”. Isaiah 33: 15-16 

“Truly oppression makes the wise man mad, and bribery corrupts the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7: 7 

Warning against corruption in the civil service

“Tax collectors also came to be baptized and asked him: Master, what should we do? He replied, “Ask no more than what is commanded of you.” Luke 3: 12-13 

Warning against police corruption “Then some soldiers asked him, ‘What about us? He said to them: Treat no one wrong, do not give false accusations, and be content with your pay ”. Luke 3:14 Warning against Corruption in the Judiciary “You will not root for justice, nor will you show respect for people. You shall not take bribes, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous. Follow justice, and only justice, so that you may live and possess the land that the Lord your God gives you ”. Deuteronomy 16: 19-20

“You will not accept bribes either, because bribery blinds those who have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous.” Exodus 23: 8 

“The wicked hid a bribe in secret, to pervert the paths of justice.” Proverbs 17:23 

“Woe to those who … justify the wicked by bribery, and to the righteous they deny justice.” Isaiah 5: 22a, 23 

“How long will you defend the unrighteous, and take sides with the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and the orphan; protect the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Deliver the weak and needy; take them out of the hands of the wicked. They know nothing, and understand nothing. They walk in darkness ”. Psalms 82: 2-5a 

“You shall not do injustice in judgment; you will not favor the poor, nor be complacent with the powerful, but with justice you will judge your neighbor ”.Leviticus 19:15 

Independence between the powers

“The godly man has perished from the earth, and there is no one among men who is upright. Everyone is trapped for blood; each hunts his brother with a net. His hands do evil diligently; the prince demands condemnation, the judge accepts bribes, and the great one speaks of the corruption of his soul, and so they are all disturbing ”. 
Micah 7: 2-3 

Warning against Corruption in the Executive Branch 

“Your princes are rebels, companions of thieves; each of them loves bribery, and runs after gifts. They do not do justice to the orphan, and the cause of widows does not reach them ”. Isaiah 1:23 

“For justice the king establishes the land, but the friend of bribes upsets it”. Proverbs 29: 4

“Abomination is for kings to practice wickedness, because with justice the throne is established”. Proverbs 16:12 

Warning About Corrupt Accessors 

“Take the wicked out of the king’s presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness”. Proverbs 25: 5 

Warning against Corruption in the Legislative Branch “Woe to those who enact unjust laws, and to clerks who write perversities, to deprive the poor of justice, and to snatch the right of the afflicted from my people, stripping widows, and stealing the orphans! But what will you do on the day of the visitation and the desolation, which will come from afar? Who will you turn to for help, and where will you leave your glory, without each one falling among the prisoners and falling among the dead? ” Isaiah 10: 1-4

Warning against corruption and greed in the business world 

“In your midst bribes are accepted to spill blood; you receive usury and illicit profits, and you use greed towards your neighbor, oppressing him. And you have forgotten me, says the Lord God. I will certainly clap my hands against the dishonest profit you have made … ” Ezekiel 22: 12-13a 

“ Better is a little, justly, than great rents, with injustice ”. Proverbs 16: 8 

“Whatever oppresses the poor in order to increase his profit, or what gives to the rich will certainly become poor”. Proverbs 22:16 

Warning against absurd interest practiced by the Financial System 
“Whatever increases your farm with interest and usury, brings it together for what the poor feel for”. Proverbs 28: 8

“Being a righteous man, and doing justice and justice (…) not oppressing anyone, making the debtor his pledge, not stealing, giving his bread to the hungry, and covering the naked with clothes; not giving your money to usury, not taking too much, turning your hand away from injustice, and making true judgment between man and man; walking in my statutes, and keeping my judgments, to act according to the truth, this just man will certainly live, says the Lord God ”. Ezekiel 18: 5,7-9 

“If you lend money to my people, to the poor who are with you, you will not have him as a creditor; you will not impose interest ”. Exodus 22:25

“Light is born of the upright even from darkness, for it is compassionate, compassionate and just. He will go well to those who have compassion and lend, who conduct their business fairly. (…) He is liberal, gives to the poor, his righteousness remains forever; his strength will be exalted in glory ”. 
Psalms 112: 4-5,9 

Warning about Labor Rights 
“If I have neglected the right of my servant or my servant when they contend with me, then what would I do when God arises? And when he inquired about the cause, what would he answer? ” Job 31: 13-14

“I will come to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against sorcerers and adulterers, and against those who swear falsely, and against those who defraud the worker, and pervert the widow’s and the orphan’s rights, and from abroad, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts ”. Malachi 3: 5 

“You, lords, give to your servants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Lord in heaven.” Colossians 4: 1 

“You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor steal from him. The worker’s salary will not be in your possession until the next day ”. Leviticus 19:13 

Warning against dishonest profits 
“The merchant has a deceptive balance in his hand; he loves oppression ”. Hosea 12: 7

“You won’t have two pesos in your bag, one big and one small. You will not have two measures in your house, a big one or a small one. You will have only exact and just weights, and exact and just measures, so that your days may be prolonged in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For the Lord your God abhors anyone who does such an injustice ”. Deuteronomy 25: 13-16 

“A deceptive balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his pleasure.” Proverbs 11: 1 

“The just weight and balance are the Lord’s; your work is all weights of the bag ”. Proverbs 16:11 

“Am I to be able to clear up false scales with a bag of deceptive weights?” Micah 6:11

“You will not commit injustice in judgments, in measures of length, weight, or capacity. Fair scales, fair weights, fair ephah, and fair you will have. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. ” 
Leviticus 19: 35-36. 

Imagine if our politicians had the Bible as their bedside book, instead of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. They would see that corruption does not pay.

About products and brands involved with Satanism

By Neiva Brum Teixeira Gomes
Before going on a mission in the USA, I believed in a lot of things that they put up collages and invented, about Procter & Glamber, Coca-cola, Walt Disney, and when I got there I discovered that everything was just a big frame of dishonest competitors to sell more. For example, they showed me when I was younger than the owner of Procter & Glamber was a Satanist and they even showed me a newspaper clipping. Moral of the story, the guy is from New Jersey, is a Christian, and supports many missionaries worldwide. The Coca-Cola formula, for example, was created by a Methodist and the Methodist Church women’s society in the United States owns a share of the shares and helps support missionaries, and when they found out that Coca-Cola Brazil created a beer, Kaiser, they gave them months to sell, undo the brand or would start to represent Coca-cola in Brazil directly. and they had to sell quickly.
Walt Disney, before he died, sold many of the park’s shares, and their characters, and believe me, to the Southern Baptist Church, the second-largest American church, which still holds 35 percent of the shares. In 1985, American gays (who make the largest gay march in the world that last 3 days each year), decided to ask to close the park for 3 days so that the march would be there at Disney Florida. The Southern Baptist Church joined with other shareholders, who were traditional Catholics, and formed a majority and did not allow it. From then on, gays began to attack, out of sheer retaliation for Disney, implying that there were subliminal messages in Disney cartoons with an apology for pornography. 
In time, the Hello Kitty is not a doll without a mouth that an American woman who had a daughter without a mouth consecrated to the devil, rather, it is a strictly Japanese doll, and the cats there, as much as in China, are animals that, it is said, brings health, peace, and money, and has a group of cats of which Hello Kitty is part.
* Excerpt from the answer given by Neiva Brum Teixeira Gomes, a Brazilian Methodist missionary in the USA, to a friend on Orkut, after she sent him a video that related these brands and characters to Satanism.

Do you really want to know what dating is?

By Hermes C. Fernandes

Dating is to embrace without a hurry to let go. It is losing your breath in a passionate kiss. It is asking the other person to hang up the phone first, hoping that he won’t answer your request. It’s missing the last train and having to sleep at the girlfriend’s house and make up an excuse for the parents. It is counting every minute of the day waiting to find the one you love. It is feeling that little chill in your belly and your heart racing when you are close. It is not being able to look away or try to disguise and devour with your eyes when the other is distracted. It’s putting on the best clothes, the best perfume, to try to impress. You look at yourself in the mirror five hundred times to make sure you’re okay. It is to guess what the other is thinking. It’s a stolen kiss. It’s taking off to dance. It’s serenading. It is a surprise. It’s a romance. It’s a dream. It’s an adventure. It’s love. 

When you are in love, everything is an excuse to be together. The absence produces an unbearable longing … longing for the look, the wheezing breath, the fragrance of your perfume, the voice, the way of speaking, the gestures. Therefore, we always manage. If you have to run, run. If you have to sacrifice anything, sacrifice. The important thing is to be together, no matter what price you have to pay.

Dating is said to be a pre-marriage stage. That is why, for many, after they get married, they no longer date. What a waste.

A wedding without dating is like a sunny day without a beach or a rainy day without a movie. 

They say that in courtship there is wanting, without power, and that in marriage this is reversed: there is power, but there is no longer wanting. What nonsense! When you really love, marriage is the crowning achievement of dating, in which wanting and being able to go together. Want to save your marriage, go back to dating. What spins a time-worn relationship is not watching porn, but reviving the flames of love. Your wife wants to feel loved, not used. 

Before taking her to bed, take her to the balcony. Before finally, kiss her as before. Before the moans and sighs of pleasure, tell her how much you love her. Repeat yourself. Leave him tickets. Bring him roses. Call during the day just to hear your voice. Choose a song to be the soundtrack of your passion. Get out hand in hand. Give her ‘malicious’ looks … Demonstrate, without shame, how much you want her. I love her without reservation and without an appointment. Regain it. Or did you forget how to do it? Go back to being the man she once fell in love with. 

When that happens, heaven applauds. The angels watch from the box. God smiles. Otherwise, your marriage is bound to top the list of regrets in your life.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY LATE (Valentine’s Day in the USA was yesterday, the 14th)

In favor of the family! Which one? The human, could it be?

By Hermes C. Fernandes

“The family is like smallpox: we have it as a child and it is marked for the rest of our lives.”  Jean-Paul Sartre

The paladins of morals and good habits attack once again. According to them, it is the traditional family that is under a severe attack from those who aim to destroy it, imposing on society its nefarious agenda, whose main objective would be the implantation of a kind of gay dictatorship.

What, then, would be an ideal family? Where would we look for a perfect model? They would certainly answer that in the Bible. So, let’s go in search of an ideal family model in the sacred pages.

How about the first family? Yes, the one formed initially by Adam and Eve. There was the father, the mother, and the children. Perfect family, isn’t it? Too bad the older brother decided to kill the youngest.

If we go a little further, we will come across Noah’s family. It was with her that God would have restarted the human race after the catastrophic flood. There was also the figure of the father, the mother, accompanied by three children and three daughters-in-law. Perfect, isn’t it? As the costume says! Just don’t forget that one of the brothers decided to attack his father after catching him drunk. Yes, my people … it happens in the best families. Result: ended up cursed! Muffle the case.

What about Abraham’s family? We are talking about the great Hebrew patriarch, commonly called by Christians as “father in the faith”. The problem in his family nucleus is that offspring were lacking. Therefore, the family was not complete. At least, not according to the defenders of such a traditional family. Old Abraham, advised by his equally elderly wife, decided to have an affair with the Egyptian slave. Result: a bastard son. It was a fuss.

And what about Jacob? Four women. Twelve children. Ten of them planned to kill the youngest José. It doesn’t seem like a family to serve as a model, right?

Let’s jump to David. Man after God’s heart. In addition to his jumping over the fence (which gave him serious headaches), he had the displeasure of bittering all kinds of conflict between his children, from incest to murder. His own son usurped his throne.

I could mention other examples, but it is better to stay here, at least for the time being.

The family is the first of the institutions created by God. And as such, it was created for the good of man. The same principle applies to the family as Jesus applied to another divine institution: the Sabbath. According to the Galilean master, “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk.2: 27). Similarly, the family exists to offer man some security and not to become extra weight. You cannot place any institution above the value of human life. So Jesus said that even on the Sabbath we should help those in trouble. It was not for nothing that most of the healings he performed were on Saturday.

It is interesting to note that whenever he came to Jerusalem, the place where he used to stay was in the home of three bachelors in a village called Bethany. Lazarus, Marta, and Maria were brothers. None of them had married. Therefore, they did not constitute a family of the traditional models according to what has been pointed out by the defenders of Christian morality. For a Jew of that time, being single in adulthood was considered a dishonor. Fava beans with traditions! It was there at their house that Jesus felt welcomed.

But what most intrigued the religion was that Jesus was very poorly accompanied. They called him a “friend of sinners”. Prostitutes and outcasts sat to listen to him. He never reproached them. He even went so far as to say that they would precede religion in the kingdom of heaven.

One of the few well-frequented houses he entered was that of a religious man who was scandalized when he was presented with perfume from the hands of a harlot. What for the hypocritical religion was the desecration of the sanctity of his home, for Jesus it was the most solemn expression of love. I dare say that Jesus had never felt so loved as he was by that prostitute.

Returning to the initial question of this post: what should be considered an ideal family? My answer is that formed by human beings who love and respect each other. What legitimizes a family is not the presence of a father, a mother, and her children, but the pure feeling that unites human beings in perennial bonds.

If there is love, God is there. But, if there is no love, not even blood ties guarantee a welcoming and healthy environment for its members.

The ideal is that every home should consist of the father and mother figures and their offspring. However, we live in a world of contingencies. Children are abandoned. Parents split up. Family nuclei dissolve. In an imperfect world, imperfect families can be the setting where lives will be rescued and loved.

There never was, nor will there ever be, perfect families. But every family, regardless of the model, must be perfectly capable of loving and welcoming its members.

Unfortunately, many traditional families despise and abandon their children when they discover their sexual orientation. I know the case of a pastor who sent his son abroad so that the church would not discover that he was gay. Another case that became notorious in the United States was the son of a famous pastor who committed suicide after his father publicly excommunicated him.

The family should be the place where the individual is accepted regardless of sexual orientation or anything else. Real parents never give up loving.

I confess that I am touched to see a homosexual who, even though he was despised by his own family, wants to dedicate his love and care to an orphaned or abandoned child. He set out to give what he never received. Was there anything more commendable than that?

The fear that many have is that a child raised by a homosexual will end up embracing the same sexual orientation. However, practically every homosexual I have ever met is from a traditional family.

Most sexual abuse against infants occurs in traditional homes, some even religious.

Honestly, I prefer to see a child welcomed by a homosexual couple a thousand times to see him living in the open, without affection, without education and deprived of his dignity.

Our religious hypocrisy is such that we prefer to see a homosexual living promiscuously with multiple partners than to see him forming a family in a monogamous relationship. While moral champions rise to the stage of marches for Jesus, sporting a third or fourth wedding, or displaying a front wedding where the lover’s place is secured, gays are fighting for the right to enter into a stable union.

It is high time that we left our ideological trenches and saw this social demand with love.

It is not by depriving gays of their rights that we will be able to attract them to the gospel. On the contrary. We should defend them, even if their lifestyle challenges our religious scruples. Above all, they are human beings, creatures of the same God whom we declare to love and serve.

Therefore, love them and let them, love, welcome them, and let them welcome you.

Sin is anything that violates human dignity, thus insulting the Creator. Homophobia is a sin. Prejudice, whatever it may be, is also. Thankfully, “love covers a multitude of sins”(1 Peter 4: 8) and that “mercy triumphs over judgment.” However, “the judgment will be without mercy on him who has no mercy” (James 2:13).

Masked or brazen?

By Hermes C. Fernandes

Two Felipes caused an earthquake on social media this week. One, unmasking the holy hypocrisy of an evangelical parliamentarian. The other, being publicly unmasked by his wife who accuses him of being homosexual and pedophile. Although different, these facts are connected by a link: the way the evangelical religion sees homosexuality.

Not even Felipe Neto’s tight skirts inhibited Marco Feliciano’s anachronistic stance on the topic. The vlogger demonstrated that he had done his homework by firing biblical passages, using even the original texts. I even suspect that the boy has been in a church. Or, at the very least, researched a lot before entering the parliamentarian’s office. Feliciano remained firm until the end, and the debate that began with an apology from Felipe Neto for the inelegant way he referred to the deputy on social media, ended with Feliciano’s tear of silk, stating that his daughters are fans of the vlogger. In fact, I liked to know that Felipe Neto comes from Engenho Novo, the same neighborhood in Rio where I exercise the pastoral function.

Nothing moves Feliciano from the conviction that homosexuality is a sin. For Silas Malafaia, his colleague from the pulpit and a private friend, what constitutes sin is homosexual practice. Therefore, if the individual has homosexual desires, but does not reach the end, he will not be sinning properly. This position has been almost unanimous among evangelicals in Brazil. It doesn’t matter what you feel, but just what you do, which, in my view, seems to clash with the original proposal of Christ, who is one of his most important sermons, stated that if a man desired a woman who was not his, in his heart he would have tampered with it, even if it never came to fruition. He also said that if we harbored a feeling of hatred towards our fellow man, it would make us murderers in the eyes of God. It is from the heart that all things sprout, good and bad. But for those who claim to be spokespersons for Christian morals, what matters is appearance, not what is felt in the heart. Therefore, if homosexual practice is sinful, we will have to admit that the homosexual desire is also sinful. So too, if the homosexual desire is not sinful in itself, then neither is its practice.

Following the same line of reasoning, they teach that both love and forgiveness are not feelings, but merely attitudes. Therefore, I must declare that I have forgiven my offender, even though my heart is still broken. I must say that I love it, even if I don’t. Those who abuse this teaching go so far as to say that a cure must be confessed, even if it has not occurred. All of this in the name of a faith divorced from love. What these evangelical gurus teach as truth, Jesus called hypocrisy.

And what does all this have to do with the traumatic separation of pastor Bianca Toledo? All! Bianca came from a traumatic separation when she met Felipe. Six months after the separation, they were married without having given a single kiss during courtship. They became the darlings of the traditional evangelical family and poster boys for the “I chose to wait for” movement. The fact that he had recovered from a deadly illness was proof that God could reverse any situation. And the fact that she rebuilt her love life after the first separation was proof that the same God who would have “raised her” would also raise her dreams. Result: Bianca became a champion of sales of DVD’s, CD’s and books in which she reports her testimony. Her second marriage became a model to be copied.instagram with perfect photos that resemble margarine commercial families. His travels were accompanied by thousands of fans via Snapchat.

Everything went wonderfully until … boom! The truth would have come out. According to Bianca, her husband confessed his homosexuality to her, and as if that were not enough, she attempted suicide after confessing to having abused her only 5-year-old son.

The subject took social networks by storm. It was only talked about during the week. And one of the most spoken phrases was “the mask fell”. And the worst thing is that this is said in a celebratory tone. A question arises that does not want to remain silent: Who really provided the mask? What masquerade did he use to parade at?

I wish the Christians finally understood what the apostle Paul meant to say by declaring that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. It is not, as many people think, freedom to worship as we please, jumping, dancing, handstands, etc. And yes, freedom to be what you are, without fear of being judged by anyone.

We are all beings in the finishing phase. Or if you prefer to use a philosophical expression, we are becoming. Nobody is ready. For this reason, Paulo is incisive: if we aim to become better human beings, we have to keep ourselves “with the face uncovered” while we transit in an environment steeped in freedom, love, and mutual respect.

Under the masks provided by religion, monsters eventually form. If they lived in the light, there would be no environment conducive to that.

If Felipe Heiderich is, in fact, a homosexual, he should never have married a woman. On the other hand, it probably would not have been welcomed by the church. Basically, we have nothing against homosexuals, as long as they stay in the closet and don’t bother us. Holy hypocrisy, Batman! If they marry people of the opposite sex, even better. This would prove that our gay healing theory is correct. But this is where things change. A conversion is forged (not only religious, but sexual), and, to prove that he is “cured”, he marries and begins to live a lie. Often, the spouse is an accomplice. In others, it is a victim.

Please stop this litany that insists on linking homosexuality to pedophilia. Being homosexual is not a crime. Although many think it is a sin. However, pedophilia is both a crime and a sin. Furthermore, it is statistically proven that child abuse is rarely perpetrated by homosexuals. They are generally practiced by straight men. If you have abused a child, you should be arrested, but not hated by those who should love you.

The rapist, the pedophile, or any other criminal, cannot escape the rigor of the law. This does not mean that they should be the target of our hatred and contempt. They are human beings, as lacking in divine mercy as each of us.

Judging by the reaction of most Christians, it was not just the mask of that pastor that fell, but that of all of them. All the love we preach went down the drain. Our desire for revenge testified against us, both before society and before God Himself.

Allow me, now, a sincere opinion on the position of the pastor, considered by many, courageous. Was she an accomplice or victim of this whole situation?

According to what was published in the media, both written and television, Bianca had been informed by the nanny that her current husband had abused her son since she was 3 years old. But she did nothing. He preferred to turn a blind eye. The nanny reported having communicated to Bianca that the boy was always without diapers in the crib and that his stepfather was seen constantly leaving his room at dawn, and that whenever Bianca traveled, he dismissed the nanny and slept with the boy in his bed. bed. Why did she just decide to throw everything on the fan?

What about how you made the situation public? Why expose your own child in this way? Wasn’t it enough to handle the case in the private sphere?

She could even expose the fact that her husband has not shown sexual interest in her since the sixth month of marriage, and reveal to everyone her homosexuality and even her suicide attempt. But I see no reason to expose a child who can carry this stigma forever.

And what causes me even more disgust is to perceive the spiritual bias that is trying to be given to the case, as if foreseeing the repercussions and the way in which he can spare his ministry from a scandal, increasing the sales of his material. Already, we will have another bestseller telling how he survived this. I can’t look kindly on such a marketing strategy at the cost of exposing an innocent child.

Imagine twenty years from now, when you are an adult, and do a google search for your name, what this child will come across. All of this could be avoided.

Today, Bianca posted a banner with her photo and the phrase: “Bianca Toledo alerts the church: A storm is going to clean Christian altars across the land.” And more: “See that many others will fall in the coming days because they have consciously stained what is holy and the church will wake up to what it ignores: Satanism infiltrated the leaders, pedophiles, and immortals, corrupt and adulterous, greedy and manipulative. So that there are fear and healing. ”

Before worrying about the church and its ministry, she should be concerned about her little boy. The same apostle says that whoever does not care for his home, how can he care for the church of God?

I even think she should take a break from social media. Take a gap year. Dedicate yourself entirely to your child’s restoration.

Finally, we must consider your ex-husband’s right to go public and expose his version of the facts. To date, there is no evidence that the child has been abused. He is under arrest for precautionary measures, following the protocol in these situations.

Felipe Heiderich’s lawyer, Leandro Muses, used his client’s Facebook profile to say that “the charges against Felipe are entirely false” and that “the police will be able to investigate in order to finally clarify the truth”. According to him, neither the pastor nor the lawyer will go to the media to clarify the facts: “We will not go in search of the media to promote any of our interests, we will rather prove Felipe’s innocence in the police investigation records, trusting the work of the Police and Justice! ”, he explained. “Pray for Felipe so that he has the strength to overcome this serious injustice, and ask God that he only do justice, nothing more!”

If your crime is proven, pay for what you did. But on the other hand, if your innocence is proven, let us be Christian enough to ask your forgiveness for the public lynching to which we are subjecting you.

In the meantime, how about we abandon our hypocrisy and stop projecting our fantasies of perfection on the stars of the gospel world? How about we assume our humanity for good and look mercifully at the idiosyncrasies of others?

More love, less bitterness, please.