Pastor Benedict’s Blog July 6, 2018
These are some sermon notes I wanted to share for your continued study.
We are Gay by God, for Christ’s sake!
+ Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is Christ-centered in all of its teachings, and therefore does not ascribe to the dogmas, teachings, or practices of any denomination, or para-church organization of the Christian Church. Rather, we maintain an autonomous freedom to draw from the two millennia of immense riches known in all denominations of Christianity. Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is an "independent" local Church. This does not mean we stand alone, as though on pride or arrogance, rather we seek to share an interdependence with other assemblies and fellowships of believers who endeavor equally as hard as we do to bring the Gospel to all people. (Ray Of Hope Church Statement Of Faith)
We all experience birth and we shall all experience death, unless, of course we are “alive and remain” when Christ comes for the Rapture of the Church.
Wisdom 1:14 God fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome.
Wisdom 1:13God did not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (KJV) ** We die saved by the blood of Christ, and especially known in The Blessed Sacrament, the Bread of Life.”
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
BTW: If all the creatures of the world are wholesome then this is further proof that God is responsible for all the beauty of our sexual orientations and gender expressions and they are good.
Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Jn. 11:25,26
A verse we discussed in Bible Enrichment on July 3 has something to add to our thoughts on this subject: Revelation 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him (Antichrist and the Devil), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ... So here we see something very interesting "slain from the foundation of the world......" The sacrifice of the Cross goes from Alpha to Omega, Jesus identified Himself as the Alpha and the Omega..... everything about Him is eternal. In this way He alone is the sacrifice, the High Priest, the Saviour, the Christ and ultimately will be the King of the Kingdom we have been praying for all our lives, "on Earth as it is in Heaven" in the future 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom according to a literal reading of the Book Of Revelation.
The Doctrine of "before the foundation of the world" appears in the Christian Testament seven times.
Asher Intrater has written on each of these seven citations. Do read his web site ( https://reviveisrael.org/archive/language/english/2000/12-foundation.htm )
1. Secret Wisdom Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world. (God has always had a plan and God is never confused.) **add to this Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.
2. Perfect world Matt. 25:34 Come you blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (I see this a little differently, the Kingdom Of Christ was promised from the foundation of the world, not being built yet. The way, the path has always been leading to Christ’s Kingdom beginning in Genesus 3:15. Currently the Church of Jesus Christ is being built and is certainly pointing the path the way and the truth to Christ’s Kingdom.)
3. God’s Love John 17:24 God, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am …. for You loved Me before the foundation of the World. (“We are invited into that network of loving, trusting and intimate relationships which was started by god in Yeshua before Adam and Eve were even created.” -Asher Intrater)
4. Chosen Destiny Ephesians 1:4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy without blame before Him in love.
5. Blood of Messiah 1 Peter 1:18-20 You were not redeemed with corruptible things… but with the precious blood of the Messiah … who was foreordained before the foundation of the world.
6. The Lamb was slain. Revelation 13:8 In the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
7. Eternal Salvation and Damnation Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw… will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. Those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.
July 6, 1451 Priest John Hus (Jan Hus) was martyred by the church of Rome for teaching simple Gospel principles to the people in their own language. He taught nothing in conflict with Sacred Scripture and even taught the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I recommend this short YouTube video to each of you: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uay_N9WpMA)
July 11, Wednesday is the Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia the preacher of Christian Community who taught the equal standing of every believer in the worship community, and expressed this in the Western Monastic ideal. After the Reformation, his ideals for church government by the local congregation were memorialized in the format known as “congregational polity” which many churches, including Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. use to govern all matters brought before the Priesthood Of All Believers, the Congregation. ~ Br. Benedict (7-6-18)
Pastor Benedict’s Blog September 13, 2016
Dear Friends and Members,
Our "REVELATION, The Book" Bible Enrichment Session #23 will meet tonight, September 13, 2016 - 6:30 - 8:00 PM at
Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ 380 W. 1st St. Elmira, NY 14901and on Skype: rayofhope26.
Please sign on to Skype at 6:15 at the latest. You can make use of our new Skype button which will open your computer to your Skype sign on screen if you have Skype already on your device.
TONIGHT: We return to the study of the Seven Judgments found in Holy Scripture:
Among the many judgments mentioned in Scripture, seven are invested with especial significance. These are:
(1) The judgment of the Believer's sins in the cross of Christ.
(See Scofield) - (Joh_12:31).
(2) the believer's self-judgment.
(See Scofield) - (1Co_11:31).
(3) the judgment of the believers' works.
(See Scofield) - (2Co_5:10).
(4) the judgment of the nations (Individual Gentiles) at the return of Christ.
(See Scofield) - (Mat_25:32).
(5) the judgment of Israel at the return of Christ.
(See Scofield) - (Eze_20:37).
(6) the judgment of angels after the one thousand years.
(See Scofield) - (Jud_1:6), and
(7) the judgment of the wicked dead with which the history of the present earth ends. (Rev. 20:11-15)
In our previous studies we have covered the first three in the list. We will attempt to finish the remaining four tonight.
Come to the Table of the Fest of the Word Of God, come tonight.
All versions of the Bible are welcome, so bring your favorite(s) with you.
Cost? There is no cost, or fee, ever. Your tax deductible donations are always welcome.
You are as welcome here as Christ Jesus Himself. In Romans 15:7 we are commanded to:
"Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15:7 NABRE-2011)
Christ's peace be with you,
Pastor Br. Shawn Benedict
**Please pass this information along to anyone you think may be interested in this great topic.**
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:14)
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As a reminder, our Ray Of Hope Church chapel is open for prayer every day and night from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM. (Closed 5 hours a day for cleaning and maintenance.) The Blessed Sacrament, the "Bread from Heaven" (Exodus 16:2, Psalm 78:24, John 6:32, 41,50,58), the Bread of the Angels (Psalm 78:25), the Bread of God (John 6:33), the Bread Of Life (John 6:35, 48) the Living Bread (John 66:51), the Sacrament of the Eucharistic "flesh and blood" of Jesus (John 6:52-56) is reserved in both kinds (Eucharistic bread and wine) in the Tabernacle in our chapel. Please know you are always welcome to stop in for a visit with Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament, for quiet prayer, a quiet place to read and meditate, say a rosary, or just be. Our little chapel could be your perfect get-away. Who would suspect you were here? If we see you in the chapel we will certainly say hello and offer a cup of tea or coffee.
Pastor Benedict’s Blog September 11, 2016
My Statement on "911" September 11, 2001 (revised and slightly expanded on 9-13-16). One of the definitions of terrorism is "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal." Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The events of 9/11/2001 were certainly horrific in every sense of the word, as is every act of war and terror. The primary goal of the offenders seems to have been to terrorize people all over the world on that innocent Tuesday morning. Every act of war is certain to destroy the lives of innocent people. It seems to me, therefore, to replay the films of that day, and to spend every 9/11 in a state of recall may be a way of continuing to glorify the horrific agenda of those whose intent was / is to harm. On this morning I am remembering the innocent people of every culture and every time and place who have been caught up in the lies of this world system that have led to bloodshed. I am also remembering their families and friends who have had to go on without them. I pray for the coming of the new heavens and the new earth that are promised in Holy Scripture; free from sin and death. I want everyone to know what God has in store for us as we travel through "this valley of tears." (Salve Regina) I am remembering today, yes, and I am looking forward in Christ and through the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church. I hope we will join together with the millions of other persons of faith who pray for a better day and a more decent way of living here and now. Our hope and understanding of God’s plan for humanity should inform and shape our approach to living in the here and now. We shall, therefore, continue to do everything within our ability to promote the respect and the honored dignity of every human person as we move on through our shared time and space on this planet. Respectfully, Pastor Benedict - 9/19/2016
Pastor Benedict’s Blog August, 16, 2016
Tonight at the Bible Enrichment Session we started the glorious study on creation of all that is. The Bible does not claim all the story of the Earth has been accomplished in 6, 000 years as some denominations teach. In fact, the Bible makes no claim as to the date of the creation of the planet we live on, or when Adam or Eve were created. There is no record and no claim to make a record of dating in the Bible. The creative act of the creating God is simply stated as a fact. In a few days extensive notes from tonight’s session will be posted on our Bible Enrichment Announcements and Information pages. This will be a new and exciting addition to or new and ever growing web site. Do check back frequently for ongoing updates.
God bless you as you explore the ways of God with us.
A few words of wisdom
for you from Brother Benedict: updated June 18, 2016
It is with great joy that we welcome you to our website in the Name of Jesus. It is the message of God we proclaim through the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit who is the Vicar Of Christ (John 16:7-15).
We have found His Word in the Bible to be the most wonderful news we have ever heard in our lives. Ray Of Hope Church is 100% Christian and Bible - based. We are at once a Sacramental Church, a Church that celebrates all the of the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit, in fact we are the best of every denomination of Christianity. We also celebrate with and welcome Messianic Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah in these Last Days. We also welcome God's Chosen People, the Jewish People, the People Of Israel and we support the State Of Israel as God's plan for restoration of the Jewish People to their homeland and the rebuilding of their temple in these Last Days.
Our intense study of the Scriptures has revealed that God's Word absolutely does not condemn persons based on their sexuality, sexual orientation or gender expression. Salvation is based on faith and faith alone, not sexual orientation. We take our commission from Christ very seriously. Our main purpose is to proclaim God's Kingdom through the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit.
On a personal note:
It has taken me over 34 years to understand and reconcile the fact that God made me a gay man and the fact that I am a Bible – based, and Sacramental Christian. The call on my personal life is to be a living witness that God does indeed call GLBTQ persons into an eternity of service to God. In the Name of Jesus, I declare to you that you are saved by faith alone, and not kept out of God's Kingdom because of your sexuality, sexual orientation, gender expression or change of gender. We invite you to come and worship with us and study the Word of God with us and you will see for yourself and the truth will set you free as Jesus Promised in John 8:32.
Continue reading for more on this subject.
If there isn't all this emphasis on sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender issues in the Bible as claimed by so many "churches," then what is the central issue for God, creation and humanity?
The universal eternal good news of God is that God desires the full reconciliation and restoration of all creation (human, plant, animal, etc., all of creation) into the Universal Eternal Kingdom Of God. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
"Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as through God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who know no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Peter proclaims Jesus is stalling His Second Coming as He waits for all to come to God's love. Peter wrote:
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
About all creation being saved too, Paul says;
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." (Romans 8:18-22)
Jesus said: "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)
The restored creation in the Eternal Kingdom Of God is the subject of the entire Bible and is final proclamation of the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation chapters. 21 and 22.
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away..." (Rev. 21:1) ... "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. The shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God fives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true.'" (Rev. 22:3-6)
Perhaps now you see why we say this wonderful news of God's Kingdom coming to us through Jesus is the source of our constant joy at Ray Of Hope. We have found His Word in the Bible to be the most wonderful news we have ever heard in our lives and every week we sing an anthem that says
"We love your Word oh Lord, for it set us free. We know the truth oh Lord, we are yours eternally. So we stand to hear your Word. We praise you for your Word. Alleluia for your Word, it heals our hearts, souls, and minds. For your Word, Alleluia, thank you Jesus."
In our day we hear many denominations and evangelists saying that if we are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, divorced, remarried, separated, have had children out of marriage, etc., etc., that we should be afraid of the Bible. One result is many people today claim to strongly dislike the Bible due, in part, to such "church" messages. We, on the other hand boldly proclaim to love the Word Of God! We find no basis at all anywhere in the Bible for the claims of condemnation mentioned above. Ray Of Hope Church is 100% Christian, and Bible - based, celebrating with the Jewish People, and Messianic Jews as well. Again, our intense study of the Scriptures has revealed that God's Word absolutely does not condemn persons based on their sexuality, sexual orientation or gender expression.
Salvation is based on faith and faith alone, not sexual orientation, or gender expression or status. We take our commission from Christ very seriously, to proclaim the true Word Of God as it is written. Our main purpose is therefore to proclaim God's Kingdom through the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the powerful minsitry of the Holy Spirit.
As I said above, on a personal note:
It has taken me over 34 years to understand and reconcile the fact that God made me a gay man and the fact that I am a Bible - based and Sacramental Christian. The call on my personal life is to be a living witness that God does indeed call GLBTQ persons into an eternity of service to God. In the Name of Jesus, I declare to you that you are saved by faith alone, and not kept out of God's Kingdom because of your sexuality, sexual orientation, gender expression or change of gender. Come and worship with us and study the Word of God with us and you will see for yourself and the truth will set you free as Jesus Promised in John 8:32.
May Almighty God bless you: In the Name of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Rev. Brother Shawn Francis Benedict Blog
June 18, 2016 Central New York Pride Parade and Festival. Once again, members of Ray Of Hope Church participated in the parade and festival celebration held in Syracuse today. Here is a picture Christina took as we stood on the side of the street encouraging and celebrating with the units marching in the Pride Parade. It was a very joyous day. At our booth today we were assisted by John, Michael, Robb, Marcus, and Christina. Lisa had to unexpectedly drive the cash box up to the festival because we managed to leave the monastery in Elmira without it this morning. We send out a special thanks to Lisa for this labor of love. It was a very successful day. The Pride Committee continues to do an outstanding job keeping up with the ever increasing crowds of people who attend the events each year. God certainly was blessing us today and for this we give God thanks and praise.
Advent December, 2001 AD
The Season of Advent is here again. The year 2001 has
flown by. It is time to bring out the family Advent Wreath and decorate for the
holidays. The Church seems to be swimming upstream with its celebration of
Advent while society celebrates "Christmas" with snow men, jingle
bells, and such. Just when the Church begins to celebrate the Birth Of Christ,
December 25, through mid-January, society is taking the decorations down. We
start on December 25, and they finish on the same day. Many denominations have
given up on Advent and have turned it into a four-week preparation for
Christmas. The reason this approach is not acceptable is the season of Advent
is designed to be the four-week study of Eschatology, the "last
things" or the "end times" on the calendar of readings, the
Lectionary. Granted, Year C has given us a lot of readings about the Kingdom Of
God in the last quarter of the calendar. However, Advent is that time when we
specifically look to the glorious Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
The Second Coming is the main event the Church Age is moving toward and so it
is really the main point of our gospel.
As for an update on our Congregation, we are in very exciting times. During the last two months God has been guiding us to very generous people. We have received a number of donations recently which have made it possible for us to purchase two worship centers. The exact locations will be disclosed soon. Also, we are no longer holding our worship services in Syracuse at Trexx and we are very grateful to Al for hosting us. We have also concluded our Bible studies at Border's for the time being, mainly because the noise was hard to compete with. Especially with the holiday season the noise level is sure to rise even higher. Please keep an eye on the Times and Locations pages on our website to find where we are meeting in your community.
We pray you have a blessed Advent Season.
In Christ, Br. Benedict, O.S.B.
Holy Week 2001 AD
I can hardly believe it has been a year since I last
updated this page of the website. I am sorry to say this has been the pace of
life this year. Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is growing so fast
and there are so many new areas that need my attention that I am constantly
re-evaluating how to keep the Benedictine pillars of Prayer, Work, and Study in
balance. All three areas have suffered at various times this year. There are so
many people contacting us through this website and through email:
email@example.com. It is a joy to be in contact with so many good people.
We have discovered an excellent book that takes apart each of the verses that are supposed to be indicators that the Bible and God is sending all people other than heterosexuals to Hell and shows using the LITERAL method of interpretation this is not what God says. As you know, Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ uses the same exact resources as every fundamentalist and conservative pastor. We use their own resources to show the Bible does not judge us as the pastors say it does. The shocking truth is they have to know the Bible does not cast this on us and that of course means they are not telling the truth. The book is "Openly Gay Openly Christian: How the Bible Really is Gay Friendly" by Rev. Samuel Kader. The book is published by Leyland Publications - San Francisco, 1999. We do have copies available for sale if you email or call us.
To pick up Rev. Kader’s book click HERE
Rev. Kader does an outstanding job of showing the verses in their original languages of Greek and Hebrew using the Strong's Concordance, and all the other conservative resources. This book supports what all the other study sources we use show, namely that the conservative Christians are not telling the truth. Conservative pastors and theologians know beyond a doubt that there is a tradition of human opinion that has enslaved the true study of the Word Of God when it comes to sexuality. Human tradition attempts to rewrite the Bible and say that any sexual orientation other than Heterosexuality is condemned in the Scripture. This is not true when you study the verses in Hebrew and Greek. We highly recommend Rev. Kader's book as well as the other resources listed on our pages on Homosexuality and the Bible. Visit our pages on this subject by clicking here: Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Transgender and the Bible - NOT CONDEMNED IN SCRIPTURE! CLICKHERE.
Pray for us at Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ as we continue to pray for all of you. Stay in touch through email and the phone lines. May God grant all of our visitors a blessed and holy Season Of The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ.
UPDATE:Sunday March 12, 2000
Lent 2000 AD
We are now in the season of Lent, 2000. For many in our congregation this is their first real experience with the season of Lent. Rather than concentrate on "giving up something for Lent" we are focusing on aligning our priorities with God's priorities. That sounds like a big order to fill in 40 days and six Sundays. However, if the Holy Spirit lives within the believer, we have a tremendous source of assistance on how to begin this conversion process. The Holy Spirit is eager to help us be more Christ-like. Therefore, at Ray Of Hope Church we are dedicating this season of Lent 2000 as a "retreat" or a "parish mission" or a "revival." We are very aware that Christians all over the globe are journeying through this season of Lent. We join them spiritually and we are supporting our brother and sister Christians world over with prayers for the Body Of Christ. We would like to encourage you read the six sermons of the season of Lent as they appear here on our Sermons page. Take time this Lent to really offer to Christ what really is God's time in your life. By that I mean, all time belongs to God who alone owns the entire Universe. We are under the wrong impression that any of it is "our" time. So, one way to begin the season of Lent is to appreciate that all time belongs to God. We could start by asking ourselves how we spend God's time. Once we realize the awesome concept that all time belongs to God we can begin to re-evaluate how we either wisely use, misuse, or squander God's time. It is really amazing to stand in awe that even all time is God's and God shares it with us for our lives. Perhaps this meditation would help you begin the journey toward further conversion into that person Christ knows you can be.
Celebration Week 5, May 1, 1999:
Please be sure to visit our new section on the Sermons of Ray Of Hope Church and our updated section on Homosexuality in the Bible. There is plenty more information to put on that page, so watch for updates on it from time to time. Also, be looking for our new page for QUEER YOUTH! That is right, we shall have a page giving youth many links to the GLBTQ Community pages designed just for them. Keep watching all of our pages as this site develops. Please remember to pray for Ray Of Hope Church. Pray that Jesus keep us closely in His Will for our church. Remember, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you!!!