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Pope, Creflo Greenback and their rides – PolitiFact

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Viral symbol evaluating Pope Francis to Atlanta megachurch pastor Creflo Greenback
The picture that confirmed up the PolitiFact Georgia inbox had already pinged wildly round social media.
The highest phase confirmed the Pope waving from the again seat of the small four-door Fiat 500L. Beneath it was once a photograph of a driving force presupposed to be Faculty Park megachurch pastor Creflo Greenback, tooling in a sparkly silver roadster with an EU registration number plate.
The reader puzzled, may that in reality be the lead pastor of Global Changers Church Global at the back of the ones sun shades, zipping alongside someplace in Europe? We puzzled too, and made up our minds to perform a little digging.
Breaking down the rides
That the highest a part of the meme was once correct was once transparent from information protection, and the social media reaction, throughout Pope Francis’ contemporary talk over with to the US.
The Pope made information for what he mentioned but in addition for his use of the Italian-made subcompact automotive.
Information reviews mentioned Vatican police, no longer the Holy See, decided on the automobile, which has a beginning record value of $19,935. However they did so on Francis’ explicit request of modesty and ease for his journey.
Figuring out who was once at the back of the wheel within the roadster proved extra of a problem.
Greenback is a recognizable face who has made his personal headlines, maximum not too long ago from a fundraising video to assist his ministry purchase a $65 million Gulfstream G650 luxurious jet.
Although the church got rid of the video after a backlash, the church’s board of administrators later mentioned it nonetheless supposed to interchange Greenback’s jet with the Holy Grail of luxurious jets.
“We plan to obtain a Gulfstream G650 as a result of it’s the most productive, and this can be a mirrored image of the extent of excellence at which this group chooses to function,” the administrators mentioned in a ready commentary.
So, the speculation of Greenback photographed in a sports activities automotive didn’t appear all that outlandish. However with the sun shades masking a lot of the motive force’s face, it was once laborious to inform simply who was once at the back of the wheel.
Specializing in the automobile, regardless that, introduced the navigator into a lot clearer view.
We despatched the picture to Jim Donnelly and Tom Comerro, the senior editor and editorial assistant, respectively at Hemmings Motor Information.
The reputable phrase from the bible for automotive creditors: the silver roadster is a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Stirling Moss version.
Handiest 75 of the cars had been produced, with a beginning record value in 2009 of 750,000 Euros, or north of $1 million for a supercharged journey that would succeed in 217 miles in line with hour without a windshield.
Looking for who has get entry to to that journey led us to a an identical image, of a distinct attitude and a driving force with the sun shades off.
That’s no longer a reverend riding the $1 million automotive. The driving force is rapper Kanye West, whose nickname Yeezus is a transparent play at the title for the son of God, arriving at a gala in Cannes, France. (You’ll be able to see a extra transparent photograph of Kanye as the motive force right here).
Modesty and prosperity
Merely put, the picture itself is flat-out mistaken.
And what concerning the context of the ones 1,000 phrases the image is attempting to mention?
A lot has been product of the “simplicity” sought by way of Pope Francis ever since he took a vow of poverty as a Jesuit priest. He took the subway as a cardinal in Argentina and information reviews say he humbles himself in both a Ford Focal point or a 1984 Renault when getting across the Vatican.
Greenback, in the meantime, is well known for preaching the “prosperity gospel,” which says that God desires all believers to do neatly in all facets in their lives, together with funds.
Greenback indexed two Rolls Royces – one paid for by way of his congregation and some other by way of participants of his ministerial affiliation of the ones pastors he has educated – in a 2007 congressional inquiry into the tax-exempt standing of a handful of such megachurches.
Global Changers spokesman Vic Bolton mentioned Greenback now not makes use of the ones $250,000 cars and as a substitute drivers a normal Mercedes Benz S-Magnificence sedan (which new lists for $96,000) that’s about 8-10 years previous (within the $65,000 vary).
“It’s a pleasing automotive, but it surely’s no Aston Martin,” Bolton mentioned. “I don’t assume he drives a Mercedes to ship a message. He drives a pleasing automotive as a result of that’s what he desires. True prosperity is having choices.”
The similar may well be mentioned about Pope Francis. The Catholic Church, too, is mum about its wealth.
However a 2014 document discovered masses of hundreds of thousands of Euros tucked away, off the reputable church steadiness sheet. And the Vatican financial institution manages $7.3 billion in property and helps to keep $20 million in gold reserves within the U.S. Federal Reserve.
This is sufficient to shop for and promote quite a lot of of the ones fancy roadsters.
So the actual distinction – past the size of wealth – is between the ideologies of the ones Christian faiths, mentioned Kate Bowler, a professor of American Christianity at Duke Divinity College in North Carolina.
The Catholic Church is closely collective, with a focal point at the church’s accountability as a gaggle. Within the prosperity gospel, accountability falls totally to the right-believing particular person.
Continuously, the evidence of that trust displays up in flashy automobiles or extravagant church buildings, such because the 8,500-seat Global Changers dome that has change into a landmark in Faculty Park.
However Bowler mentioned the religion encourages circle of relatives connections and neighborhood connections as in reality wealthy, in addition to specializing in sharing the gospel in order that others might to find that luck.
“It doesn’t in point of fact subject if it’s no longer true,” Bowler mentioned of the meme, “as it does seize the essence of a religion that calls for evidence of wealth to be true.”
That implies Kanye West being puzzled for Creflo Greenback provides to, no longer diminishes, his message, she added.
“I don’t assume Creflo would thoughts in any respect,” she mentioned. “He’s a victor and that language of triumph and the rich automotive demonstrates to believers that God is with them.”
Our ruling
A viral symbol making its method round social media purports to turn Pope Francis getting round the town in a small compact sedan, whilst Georgia’s megachurch pastor Creflo Greenback zips alongside in a classy two-seater sports activities automotive.
The roadster driving force is in reality rapper Kanye West, making the picture obviously false.
Even the context – attempting to attract difference between a supposedly humble servant of God with an it seems that audacious one – ignores that each the Pope and Greenback have in a position get entry to to lavish luxuries.
We fee this declare Pants on Hearth.
PolitiFact Georgia, "Creflo Greenback’s want for $65 million jet by no means will get off the bottom," March 23, 2015
Atlanta Magazine-Charter, "Creflo Greenback’s ministry says he’s going to get his $65 million jet," June 3, 2015
The Day by day Mail, "A 53-acre property, a Rolls Royce, $4m from Evander Holyfield and a plea to worshipers for brand new Gulfstream – how mega wealthy preacher was once threatened with prison over his monetary secrecy," March 31, 2015
NPR.org, "The Pope, his black Fiat and the symbolism at the back of it," Sept. 25, 2015
BBC.com, "Pope Francis and the little black automotive," Sept. 28, 2015
Christian Put up, "Creflo Greenback Will Get $70 Million Gulfstream G650 Jet Says Church; Global Changers Board Says It Is 'Vital' for Ministry,’" June 2, 2015
Autoblog.com, "Kanye West rolls as much as AIDS receive advantages in Mercedes-McLaren SLR Stirling Ross," Would possibly 23, 2011
Huffington Put up, "Kanye West’s new $1.7 million Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Ross," Would possibly 23, 2011
Global Trade Occasions, "How wealthy is the Vatican? So rich it could actually stumble throughout hundreds of thousands of euros simply 'tucked away,'" Dec. 5, 2014
Electronic mail interview, Jim Donnelly, senior editor, and Tom Comerro, editorial assistant, Hemmings Motor Information, Oct. 1, 2015
Interview, Vic Bolton, spokesman, Global Changers Church Global, Oct. 5, 2015
Interview, Kate Bowler, professor of American Christianity, Duke Divinity College, Oct. 5, 2015
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God

The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God

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The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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God

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement

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The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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