Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of “the evangelical Protestant denominations” is “not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world’s convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!”—Sermon on “The Bible a Sufficient Creed,” delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force. GC 444.3
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. Nahum:3:4
By Swati Gupta and Lilit Marcus, CNN
Updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon March 13, 2023
Man hiking in rural landscape, Nepal ValleyCarlo A/Moment RF/Getty ImagesCNN —
Five years after banning solo adventurers from climbing Mount Everest, Nepal’s government has extended the restriction to the whole country.
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s tallest mountains, but it is also known for its beautiful rural trekking regions. From now on, travelers who hope to trek in remote regions must hire a government-licensed guide or join a group.
Spiritualism asserts that men are unfallen demigods; that “each mind will judge itself;” that “true knowledge places men above all law;” that “all sins committed are innocent;” for “whatever is, is right,” and “God doth not condemn.” The basest of human beings it represents as in heaven, and highly exalted there. Thus it declares to all men, “It matters not what you do; live as you please, heaven is your home.” Multitudes are thus led to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself.
With such teaching given at the very outset of life, when impulse is strongest, and the demand for self-restraint and purity is most urgent, where are the safeguards of virtue? what is to prevent the world from becoming a second Sodom?
At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution—all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France.
Such are the influences to be met by the youth of today. To stand amidst such upheavals they are now to lay the foundations of character.
In every generation and in every land the true foundation and pattern for character building have been the same. The divine law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; … and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luke 10:27), the great principle made manifest in the character and life of our Saviour, is the only secure foundation and the only sure guide.
“The stability of thy times and the strength of thy happiness shall be wisdom and knowledge” (Isaiah 33:6, Leeser’s translation)—that wisdom and knowledge which God’s word alone can impart.
It is as true now as when the words were spoken to Israel of obedience to His commandments: “This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations.” Deuteronomy 4:6.
Here is the only safeguard for individual integrity, for the purity of the home, the well-being of society, or the stability of the nation. Amidst all life’s perplexities and dangers and conflicting claims the one safe and sure rule is to do what God says. “The statutes of the Lord are right,” and “he that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 19:8; 15:5. Ed 227.6 – Ed 229.3
Christians should not seek the Lord by themselves without being part of a faith community and without spiritual accompaniment, Pope Francis said.
However, Francis cautioned against forms of accompaniment that “can give rise to unrealistic expectations, misunderstandings, forms of dependence that leave the person in an infantile state.”
The person who accompanies others in their spiritual life “does not substitute the Lord, does not do the work in the place of the person accompanied, but walks alongside him or her, encouraging them to interpret what is stirring in their heart,” the pope said Jan. 4 at his weekly general audience.
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Speaking with visitors in the Paul VI audience hall, the pope concluded his series of talks about the process of spiritual discernment by focusing on the importance of spiritual accompaniment in helping and supporting this process.
While the trekking industry is one of the country’s biggest moneymakers, the cost of search and rescue missions for solo hikers who get lost is significant.
“When you are traveling solo, in case of emergencies there is no one to help you,” Mani R. Lamichhane, Director of the Nepal Tourism Board, tells CNN. “It is fine if they are traveling in the cities, but in the remote mountains, the infrastructure is not adequate.”
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. John:8:16, Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. John:16:32, I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.Psalm:102:7-8
Lamicchane adds: “When tourists go missing or they are found dead, even the government cannot track them because they have taken remote routes.”
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. Psalm:102:6
Christian divisions make fertile ground for conflict, pope says
By Cindy Wooden
ROME — Doing nothing to overcome the divisions among Christians means allowing tensions to fester and even feed conflict, Pope Francis said.
“Ignoring the divisions among Christians, whether out of habit or out of resignation, means tolerating that pollution of hearts which makes fertile ground for conflict,” he said May 6 during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many ecumenical initiatives to be canceled or moved online, he said, it also had the benefit of creating a “renewed awareness” among Christians that they belong to one family, an awareness “rooted in the experience of sharing the same fragility and of being able to count only on God’s help.”
The pandemic proved the wisdom of 50 years of ecumenical work emphasizing that “for a Christian it is not possible, it is not viable, to go it alone within one’s confession,” he said. “Either we go together, fraternally, or we do not walk.”,
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord
hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
In addition to the challenges caused when hikers go missing in rural areas, Lamichhane says that unlicensed tour guides and companies are also an issue. These companies who do not register with the government do not pay taxes and, the tourism director alleges, take jobs away from Nepalis.
“There have been some cases where the trekking association has been requesting us to stop these unauthorized trekking operations. This has been a demand from tourism associations for a long time,” he says.
Those in the climbing and trekking community have mixed opinions on the new ruling.
Ian Taylor, owner of a well-regarded guiding company with a long history in Nepal, says that the move makes sense as more and more people attempt difficult climbs in Nepal.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
“Things have drastically changed in the region over the years,” he tells CNN.
The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.
The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. “Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy” (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?
It is not without reason that the claim has been put forth in Protestant countries that Catholicism differs less widely from Protestantism than in former times. There has been a change; but the change is not in the papacy. Catholicism indeed resembles much of the Protestantism that now exists, because Protestantism has so greatly degenerated since the days of the Reformers.
As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil, and as the inevitable result they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.
A large class, even of those who look upon Romanism with no favor, apprehend little danger from her power and influence. Many urge that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of her dogmas, superstitions, and oppression, and that the greater intelligence of modern times, the general diffusion of knowledge, and the increasing liberality in matters of religion forbid a revival of intolerance and tyranny. The very thought that such a state of things will exist in this enlightened age is ridiculed. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shining upon this generation. In the open pages of God’s Holy Word, light from heaven has been shed upon the world. But it should be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the darkness of those who pervert and reject it.
A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power.
A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of the papacy. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In past ages, when men were without God’s word and without the knowledge of the truth, their eyes were blindfolded, and thousands were ensnared, not seeing the net spread for their feet. In this generation there are many whose eyes become dazzled by the glare of human speculations, “science falsely so called;” they discern not the net, and walk into it as readily as if blindfolded. God designed that man’s intellectual powers should be held as a gift from his Maker and should be employed in the service of truth and righteousness; but when pride and ambition are cherished, and men exalt their own theories above the word of God, then intelligence can accomplish greater harm than ignorance. Thus the false science of the present day, which undermines faith in the Bible, will prove as successful in preparing the way for the acceptance of the papacy, with its pleasing forms, as did the withholding of knowledge in opening the way for its aggrandizement in the Dark Ages.
In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.
If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders.
Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world. The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine. (A.D. 321; see Appendix note for page 53.) This edict required townspeople to rest on “the venerable day of the sun,” but permitted countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits. Though virtually a heathen statute, it was enforced by the emperor after his nominal acceptance of Christianity. GC 571.1 – GC 574.1
“You used to see only experienced hikers and climbers in the region, many of them traveling without guides, and they were completely self-sufficient.”
“However, now, there are far greater numbers of people traveling in the region and more of them are tourists, not trekkers. They are not self-sufficient in the outdoors and therefore need the assistance of experienced guides.”
World’s highest mountains — and size-isn’t-everything alternatives
Taylor adds that the Nepali government doesn’t have the capacity to vet every single visa applicant separately, hence the decision to enact a blanket ban.
“As a person who loves the mountains and visiting the mountain regions of the world, it is extremely disappointing that it has come to this,” Taylor continues.
“Never do we want to see people’s access to the mountains restricted. However, the situation in Nepal is very unique, and changes do need to be made.”
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