Thursday, August 10, 2023

When "the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we're in a crisis."

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 10, 2023
"When we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we're in a crisis." Russell Moore

When I was reading the following article, I felt sick to my stomach. By the time I finished reading it, I felt vindicated.

Evangelicals Are Now Rejecting 'Liberal' Teachings of Jesus


An evangelical leader is warning that conservative Christians are now rejecting the teachings of Jesus as "liberal talking points."

Russell Moore, former top official for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) who is now the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, said during an interview aired on NPR's All Things Considered this week that Christianity is in a "crisis" due to the current state of right-wing politics.

Moore has found himself at odds with other evangelical leaders due to his frequent criticism of former President Donald Trump. He resigned his position with the SBC in 2021 following friction over his views on Trump and a sex abuse crisis among Southern Baptist clergy.

In his NPR interview, Moore suggested that Trump had transformed the political landscape in the U.S. to the point where some Christian conservatives are openly denouncing a central doctrine of their religion as being too "weak" and "liberal" for their liking.

"Multiple pastors tell me, essentially, the same story about quoting the Sermon on the Mount, parenthetically, in their preaching—'turn the other cheek'—[and] to have someone come up after to say, 'Where did you get those liberal talking points?'" Moore said.

"When the pastor would say, 'I'm literally quoting Jesus Christ' ... The response would be, 'Yes, but that doesn't work anymore. That's weak," he added. "When we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we're in a crisis."
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Yes, some people actually believe the teachings of Jesus no longer apply to the faith they claim to have as Christians. NOC (name-only Christians) are showing the rest of us what they really are while demanding the power to control others. They must have missed the part that Jesus never once tried to control or convert anyone He helped before He answered their prayers. 

He didn't ask for the 5,000 He fed with fish and bread to swear loyalty to Him before He gave them food. He didn't ask anyone to renounce their other Gods before He delivered a miracle they asked for. You need to look no further than the prime example of this then when the Roman Centurion asked Him to heal his servant. As a Roman he would have worshiped the Roman Gods and not the God that sent Jesus into the world to show us the way we should live.

Nowhere was it written that Jesus preached how those that followed Him should hate, condemn, judge, or force anyone to surrender their own free will. Yet today we're seeing all of that and now they claim that what He taught is nothing more than liberal talking points.

I am a spiritual Christian. I was Greek Orthodox, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and volunteered more hours than I can remember. I was the Administrator of Christian Education for a Presbyterian Church. I became a Chaplain because of what I saw going on in too many churches so that I could do what Jesus said and help people wherever they were.

What I've seen coming caused me to write the Ministers Of The Mystery Series. What I saw was hatred and contempt coming out of too many because of what they heard preached to them by those masquerading as ministers of Christ. I feel the same way Russell Moore does and fear for the future of the Christian faith. Reporters no longer feel the need to cover those honoring the faith they claim to have because they know what the evangelicals spread is newsworthy enough because it is so disgusting. All of this helps me to see how so many were repulsed by the word "religious" but embraced the title of spiritual. After all, that is how Jesus told people they needed to pray because God was spirit. 

The rules of denominations are manmade and did not come from God, nor were they laid down by Jesus. The views are spread by man and not by the Holy Trinity. 

So was I seeing the future when I wrote the series? No, I just saw what was happening and knew too many others like me were feeling the same way. There is so much we miss when we have such little faith we willingly surrender it to others and allow them to corrupt our spirits. 

Reviews for The Scribe Of Salem

Risah Salazar for Readers' Favorite
The dialogue could be clearer, as sometimes it’s hard to tell who is talking. The progressive viewpoint regarding spirituality is this book’s best asset. The text reiterates that being religious is different from being spiritual and that the latter is usually preferable. Costos makes a compelling argument through this narrative that can be appreciated by people from all walks of life. Readers who believe in something will strengthen their faith as they read on, while non-believers will surely discover something interesting, no matter how small.
Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos is a great start to a new series. It’s an intriguing story, blending fantasy and supernatural horror as it delves deep into the Salem Witch Trials. Plenty of novels are based on the Witch Trials, but none are quite like this. It goes into great, descriptive detail about the horrors faced in those times and touches on other themes, such as domestic violence and PTSD. It’s also about having faith, not just in God, but in yourself and the power of friendship. It is a story of horror but also a story of pain, compassion, and healing, a gripping tale that will draw you into its tight clutches. It’s clear that Kathie Costos has done her research, and her characters are realistic people, easy to identify with, and infinitely likable. This wonderful story would make a great movie, and I highly recommend this author. I am looking forward to reading book two.
Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
In this story, I was struck by the words of the character Alex Michaels: “If love could still live after all that horror, love could live in anyone." The start of The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos taught me about the importance of compassion and support from friends and even strangers. This is a heartrending and powerful tale of pain and healing. Mysterious forces are at work to give Chris the saving he deserves after the nightmare life he has experienced. I appreciate how this story does not shy away from the pain of trauma. Costos portrays Chris’s suffering succinctly and with great emotional depth. Chris is careful and tries not to be too hopeful that he too will have a chance at a happier life and that broke my heart. As I read through his and many other characters' stories, I could not help but cheer them on and wish them the best. This first book of the series was a journey of change and hope with an interesting twist and many important lessons to learn. I learned that the past may be painful but acknowledging the pain is important and it takes great strength to focus on the future and move forward with hope and love in our hearts. Overall, I found this to be an excellent and unforgettable read.
K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Kathie Costos weaves an engrossing and spine-tingling tale that beautifully blends dark fantasy, gothic fiction, and supernatural horror to deliver the best of all these genres combined. This is an area of history that I’ve read a lot about and enjoyed exploring. I loved the perspective that Costos takes with the idea of secrets, gossip, whispers, and the written word being more dangerous than any otherworldly monster could ever be. The writing style is sharp and focused on the moment at hand, moving quickly through different scenes with swift dialogue that helps keep the pace. Overall, The Scribe of Salem is a work filled right to the brim with intrigue, emotional depth, and historical horror, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series holds in store.
Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite
The first book in the Ministers of the Mystery Series is mysterious, unique, and spiritual. Kathie Costos’ The Scribe of Salem took me on an emotional, healing journey. The characters each have had their struggles. They have all reached a low point in their lives that made them think of giving up but a fateful encounter changes their hearts and minds. I was drawn in by the characters’ struggles and stayed to see how their stories would turn out. None of their journeys have been easy but the characters persevered and pushed through. I greatly admired the strength it took for them to face another day and to continue hoping against adversity. It is hope that allows them to listen for their salvation and see a brighter day. I learned a powerful and unforgettable lesson about faith and hope and the important role it plays when it comes to reclaiming one’s life again. Good job!
Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
It's all about finding your way spiritually in Kathie Costos' novel. Her storyline is a deeply disturbing one that we can identify with in one way or another. Her characters are well put together. They lay their physical and emotional deficiencies bare very slowly, allowing us to take it all in without rushing to judge their motivations for what they did to others or what happened to them. Through it all, you feel the theme of redemption playing out constantly in the subplots. What I love about this story is how Costos goes out of her way to link the characters' journeys into an intricate web, reflecting the interconnectivity of purpose in the real world. The Scribe Of Salem is a thought-provoking and inspirational work from a gifted writer.
Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
The parallels between the persecution of witches and the persecution of open Christians set the foundational theme in The Scribe of Salem by Kathy Costos. The novel is a no-holds-barred story of faith and will resonate well with readers who enjoy Christian fiction in a way where scripture and conversational sermons run through almost every scene, as opposed to the more nuanced approach that is found in most fiction within the same genre. Costos' style might not be as elegant, but it certainly does get the message across. I liked the contemporary setting and the way the characters are confronted with incidents surrounding COVID-19 protocols. As an observer, these feel really authentic and do well in exploring the group's unique contributions in the fight against chaos and darkness, to which the pandemic adds an additional layer, and realizing the profound impact of their connections and gifts. The full circle that the ending brings is satisfying in that there is closure; a relief given the possibility of a book in a series ending with a cliffhanger. Recommended.
Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite
In The Scribe of Salem, Kathie Costos skillfully weaves a narrative that delves into Chris's struggles and his journey toward healing and self-discovery. The author's exploration of spirituality goes beyond conventional religious boundaries, inviting readers to contemplate the profound power of faith in oneself and in the presence of something greater. Through Chris's meeting with Mandy, readers are taken on a captivating journey that merges supernatural horror with the themes of redemption, personal growth, and the transformative nature of spiritual experiences. The characters in The Scribe of Salem are vividly depicted and elicit empathy from readers. Chris's emotional journey resonates deeply as he confronts his past traumas and seeks solace and meaning in a world that often feels bleak. Costos's adept characterization brings authenticity and relatability to the story, allowing readers to connect with the protagonist on his quest for redemption.
Reviews for the 13th Minister Of Salem
K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
13th Minister Of Salem is a work in the supernatural horror, suspense, and gothic drama subgenres

Kathie Costos brings us back into the world of gothic suspense, deep drama, and a chilling thriller with a bang in this third installment in the series. I found myself deeply involved in Chris’s psychological storyline. We see the painfully realistic damage that his adventures, battles, and triumphs have left him with over the events of the first two novels. I felt his pain, isolation, and pressure deep in my soul; such is the efficacy of Costos’s intimate narrative, thought, and speech portrayal. The darkest elements of the work are also well-handled to avoid being gratuitous but remain chilling to the core. I recommend 13th Minister Of Salem to fans of the existing series as another accomplished paranormal chiller to devour.
Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
Chris Papadopoulos continues his journey of self-discovery in the series' second book. Kathie Costos creates a storyline that sees her principal character make breakthroughs in his personal life and efforts to spread the gospel, similar to the travails of the apostles. Costos takes a firm stand in her position against the growing trend of the tolerance of sin in the church, with the quasi-Christianity topic featuring prominently. The supporting characters in the plot maintain that depth in their creation that I associate with Costos's eye for attention to even the least obvious details, and their conversations come across smoothly enough for the reader to follow. The best part of this novel for me has to be the romantic subplot coming full circle as Grace finds answers to the puzzle surrounding her life and the way it factors into her growing relationship with Chris. Kathie Costos's 13th Minister Of Salem is an all-around satisfying reading experience I am sure everyone will enjoy.
Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite
In 13th Minister Of Salem, Kathie Costos skillfully plunges readers into gothic suspense, drama, and chilling thrills. The psychological storyline captivates and resonates deeply as readers witness the realistic damage inflicted upon Chris by his previous adventures and battles. Costos's intimate narrative portrayal effectively conveys Chris's pain, isolation, and the mounting pressure he experiences. Handling the story's darkest elements is expertly executed, evoking a bone-chilling sensation while avoiding gratuitousness. The story is a compelling paranormal thriller that continues to showcase Costos's prowess in crafting an engaging narrative. Fans of the series will find themselves deeply involved in the twists and turns of Chris's journey. With its compelling narrative, intimately portrayed characters, and exploration of challenging beliefs, this paranormal suspense novel is a must-read for fans and enthusiasts of the genre. Costos once again demonstrates her ability to deliver a satisfying reading experience.

1 comment:

  1. This describes the followers of the False Prophet who is the "antichrist spirit which denies the Son". These "evangelicals" serve Satan.


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