Podcast Sejarah

Chris Zakaria

Chris Zakaria


Zakaria Sitchin

Zakaria Sitchin (11 Juli 1920 – 9 Oktober 2010) [1] adalah seorang penulis buku yang mengusulkan penjelasan tentang asal usul manusia yang melibatkan astronot purba. Sitchin menghubungkan penciptaan budaya Sumeria kuno dengan Anunnaki, yang dia nyatakan adalah ras makhluk luar angkasa dari planet di luar Neptunus yang disebut Nibiru. Dia menegaskan bahwa mitologi Sumeria menunjukkan bahwa planet hipotetis Nibiru ini berada dalam orbit elips yang memanjang sepanjang 3.600 tahun mengelilingi matahari. Buku-buku Sitchin telah terjual jutaan eksemplar di seluruh dunia dan telah diterjemahkan ke lebih dari 25 bahasa.

Ide Sitchin telah ditolak oleh para ilmuwan dan akademisi, yang menganggap karyanya sebagai pseudosains dan pseudohistory. Karyanya telah dikritik karena metodologi yang cacat dan kesalahan penerjemahan teks-teks kuno serta untuk klaim astronomi dan ilmiah yang salah. [2]


Dr Chris Zakaria

Dr Chris Zacharia adalah Psikolog Pendidikan Terdaftar HCPC dan rekan rekan dari British Psychological Society dengan pengalaman lebih dari dua puluh tahun. Dia telah bekerja secara ekstensif dengan anak-anak dan remaja dan berperan penting dalam memperkenalkan program literasi terstruktur, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy, NLP dan Coaching ke sekolah-sekolah. Chris telah berkontribusi pada sejumlah penelitian dan publikasi termasuk Mendukung Kaum Muda melalui Dukacita dan Kehilangan dan sebuah bab dalam buku Coaching in Education.

Chris Zacharia adalah psikolog mapan, spesialis Disleksia dan ADHD, psikoterapis, praktisi CBT, ACT dan SFBT, Praktisi Master NLP dan pelatih bersertifikat NLP.

Bidang minat

Dr Zacharia adalah spesialis dalam penilaian Kesulitan Belajar Spesifik termasuk:

. Disleksia
. Dispraksia
. Disgrafia
. Diskalkulia
. TAMBAHKAN/HD
. Dasar-dasar Emosional dari Kesulitan Belajar

Dia telah mendukung beberapa organisasi termasuk LEA, Universitas dan perusahaan terkenal lainnya di London. Dia adalah individu yang dicari karena pendekatannya yang profesional dan hangat.


Chris Zakaria

Dr Chris Zacharia adalah rekan rekan dari British Psychological Society dan seorang psikolog yang berpraktik dengan pengalaman lebih dari dua puluh tahun. Dia telah bekerja secara ekstensif dengan orang dewasa, anak-anak dan remaja dan berperan penting dalam memperkenalkan Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), NLP dan Coaching ke sekolah-sekolah. Chris telah berkontribusi pada sejumlah publikasi termasuk buku Coaching in Education terbaru.

Chris Zacharia adalah seorang psikolog, psikoterapis, praktisi CBT dan ACT, NLP Master Practitioner dan pelatih bersertifikat NLP, Time Line Therapy™, Hypnosis, Coaching, dan Dynamic Spin Release™.

Dr Zacharia juga seorang spesialis dalam penilaian Kesulitan Belajar Khusus termasuk:

. Disleksia
. Dispraksia
. Disgrafia
. Diskalkulia
. Pemutaran untuk ADD/HD
. Dasar-dasar Emosional dari Kesulitan Belajar

Dia telah mendukung beberapa organisasi termasuk LEA, Universitas dan perusahaan terkenal lainnya di London. Dia adalah individu yang dicari karena pendekatannya yang profesional dan hangat.

Sertifikasi

Praktisi NLP

Praktisi Master NLP

Pelatih NLP

Dilatih oleh Tad dan Adriana James

Pelatih NLP

Keahlian spesialis

  • Sesi Terobosan
  • Pelatihan Bisnis
  • Ubah Strategi Manajemen
  • Membangun Keyakinan
  • Disleksia
  • Gangguan Makan
  • Kesehatan dan Kesejahteraan
  • Membatasi Keyakinan
  • Strategi Memori
  • Motivasi
  • fobia
  • Kemampuan presentasi
  • Hubungan
  • Penjualan
  • Performa Olahraga
  • Manajemen stres
  • Membangun Tim

Pelatihan yang ditawarkan

  • pengantar
  • Diploma
  • Praktisi
  • Praktisi Guru
  • Lokakarya Khusus

Diakui / diatur oleh

Saya belum memposting studi kasus apa pun. Silakan periksa kembali nanti.

Saya belum memposting kursus/lokakarya. Silakan periksa kembali nanti.

Ulasan oleh Martin Smithes

Saya sangat terkesan dengan penyampaian dan materi yang digunakan selama kursus NLP Chris. Saya sudah melihat hasil positif dalam kehidupan pribadi dan profesional saya dan NLP dan keterampilan tambahan yang diajarkan Chris sangat luas dan praktis. Mereka bermanfaat bagi klien saya dan untuk praktik terapeutik.


Novel terbaru Paul Zacharia A Secret History of Compassion tenggelam dalam parodi besar namun, berlabuh pada beberapa kebenaran vital zaman kita — erosi ideologi, runtuhnya institusi, cara kosakata keadilan sosial telah dipersenjatai .

Menjelang awal novel Paul Zacharia Sejarah Rahasia Welas Asih (setelah ratusan cerita pendek, novel pertamanya, serta buku pertamanya yang ditulis dalam bahasa Inggris), kami bertemu Lord Spider, penulis fiksi genre terlaris, saat dia berjuang untuk melakukan transisi ke non-fiksi. Setelah 20 tahun potboilers, Spider ingin memperluas wawasannya. Untuk memudahkan "pergeseran paradigma dari fiksi ke non-fiksi", dia memberi tahu istrinya Rosi bahwa mereka harus "bercinta malam ini sedemikian rupa untuk memaksa alam semesta untuk memaksa hidup saya titik balik - perubahan besar ke non-fiksi. -fiksi". Rosi memohon untuk berbeda, menanggapi dengan teori yang mengejutkan suaminya.

“‘Juga,’ dia menyimpulkan, ‘bercinta pada dasarnya adalah fiksi. Jadi dengan menempatkan bercinta sebagai titik balik menuju non-fiksi, Anda sama sekali menggonggong pohon yang salah.’

Laba-laba sangat terkejut sehingga dia tidak bisa bernapas selama beberapa detik. Bercinta adalah fiksi!

Dia tidak memiliki masukan statistik komparatif untuk mengevaluasi angka-angka bercintanya, tetapi dia berpikir bahwa dengan caranya sendiri yang kecil dia telah memberikan kontribusi yang kredibel pada siklus besar kelahiran, persetubuhan, dan kematian. Apakah itu semua fiksi, kalau begitu? Dia hancur. Apakah itu, dia bertanya-tanya dengan sedih, setidaknya fiksi dewasa?

Bagian ini mewakili nada dan tenor dari Sejarah Rahasia Welas Asih, sebuah novel yang tenggelam dalam parodi besar namun, berlabuh pada beberapa kebenaran vital di zaman kita — erosi ideologi, runtuhnya institusi, cara kosakata keadilan sosial telah dipersenjatai, dan sebagainya. Untuk beralih ke non-fiksi, dapat dikatakan, Spider memutuskan untuk menerima komisi dari Partai Komunis — sebuah esai tentang Welas Asih. Di situlah dimulai rangkaian peristiwa gila yang mengubah pandangan Spider tentang kehidupan dan sastra selamanya, berkat kolaborator barunya Jesus Lambodar Pillai — algojo profesional, pengubah bentuk kebiasaan, ahli intip, dan penulis wannabe. Bahkan ketika Pillai membantu Spider untuk menulis non-fiksi, kehidupan Spider mulai menyerupai salah satu novelnya sendiri yang diplot secara keterlaluan — menampilkan seorang Gandhi doppelganger, seekor anjing yang mungkin atau mungkin bukan agen Setan, seorang Stalin yang tampaknya bereinkarnasi dan Tuhan sendiri.

Mendorong batas

Berbicara pada peluncuran novel di Delhi, Zacharia berkata: “Saya telah mencoba menulis novel ini di Malayalam lebih dari satu dekade yang lalu, dua atau tiga bab. Dan kemudian muncul ide bahwa saya harus mencoba menulisnya dalam bahasa Inggris.” Zacharia, tentu saja, adalah salah satu penulis Malayalam paling terkenal yang pernah hidup, penulis lebih dari 30 buku kumpulan cerita pendek, novella dan esai, meskipun hanya tiga di antaranya yang telah diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Inggris sejauh ini.

Paulus Zakaria. Wikimedia Commons

“Saya penyembah bentuk-bentuk fiksi tertentu,” kata penulisnya, “apakah itu seni novel atau seni cerita pendek. Saya telah dipelihara oleh mereka, tetapi pada saat yang sama saya juga ingin tidak setuju dengan bentuk-bentuk yang diberikan, terutama cara mereka digunakan di India, dalam bahasa Inggris dan juga di Malayalam. Saya tidak tertarik menulis novel tentang kelas menengah, tentang konflik perkawinan mereka. Saya sendiri seorang pria kelas menengah, saya hanya berpikir ini adalah area yang sudah selesai sejauh menyangkut fiksi. Jadi saya mendorong diri saya untuk mengejar cerita murni, jenis fiksi di mana apa pun bisa terjadi.”

Ketika Sejarah Rahasia Welas Asih memang memiliki banyak plot twist deus ex machina, cara lain di mana ia mendorong batas adalah keterlibatannya dengan (dan kritik) wacana dialektis, yang mengatakan, menilai situasi dengan mempertimbangkan kekuatan yang berlawanan. Ini terlihat jelas di seluruh novel — setiap kali Spider atau Pillai menemui hambatan teoretis saat menulis esai Compassion, mereka hanya mengubah definisi konsep atau entitas sesuai kenyamanan mereka. Komunisme menjadi terikat pada kekuatan pasar, Kematian menjalani latihan branding untuk "meningkatkan citranya", dan seorang mantan aktris menggambarkan dirinya sebagai pemenang "Kutipan Nasional untuk Objek Seks Paling Sederhana".

Menjelaskan fenomena ini, Zacharia berkata, “Saya pikir itulah penulis dan non-penulis dalam diri saya, dalam percakapan, terutama mengingat dunia tempat kita hidup saat ini, di mana ada asumsi dan kesalahpahaman tentang segala hal. Seperti patriotisme misalnya, cara kata itu dilontarkan, cara kata itu digunakan untuk tujuan politik. Ada begitu banyak orang saat ini yang menginginkan Anda menjadi patriot tertentu. Jadi tanpa tampak mempertanyakan atau memperdebatkan konsep secara serius, Spider dan Pillai mencoba mengubah ide mereka tentang patriotisme dan cinta dan kasih sayang, dan banyak hal lain yang kami anggap remeh.”

Sudah sepantasnya esai Spider and Pillai ini diakhiri dengan meminta pembaca untuk mengubah definisi kasih sayang itu sendiri, sehingga lebih sesuai dengan nilai-nilai ekonomi dan politik dunia kontemporer.

Tangan kiri kegelapan

Karena esai yang sedang dikerjakan Spider telah ditugaskan oleh Partai Komunis, Sejarah Rahasia Welas AsihKeterlibatannya dengan kaum Kiri sangat menyentuh, bernuansa, terkadang pedas dan sering kali lucu, seperti fakta bahwa esai tersebut ditujukan untuk sebuah acara yang dimaksudkan untuk “menggalang dana untuk Rumah Kawan Lama”. Zacharia berbicara panjang lebar tentang hubungannya dengan Kiri.

“Saya tumbuh sebagai orang Kiri. Pemerintah Komunis terpilih pertama di dunia datang ke Kerala pada tahun 1957. Kami semua masih sangat muda. Kaum Kiri memenuhi udara dengan ide-ide baru yang fantastis, dengan puisi, dengan lagu, jenis yang belum pernah kami alami dalam hidup kami. Itu adalah Renaisans yang luar biasa. Saya tidak berpikir hal seperti itu telah terjadi di bawah partai Komunis di mana pun di dunia. Ini melibatkan banyak seniman, banyak anak muda, dan begitulah cara kaum Kiri berkuasa di Kerala — pada dasarnya di sayap revolusi budaya.”

Sampul dari A Secret History of Compassion

Tentu saja, sisi sebaliknya tidak terlalu jauh. “Kami berpikir bahwa Partai Komunis akan tetap menjadi proyek impian yang dimulainya. Namun, ketika komunis mencapai kekuasaan, mereka mulai menyerupai partai politik lain di India. Dan satu demi satu, artis, pembuat film, orang-orang yang sangat senior di bidangnya, mulai keluar dari Partai. Karena mereka diberi tahu, 'Apa pun yang Anda tulis atau gambar atau rekam harus sesuai dengan garis partai.' Segera, Partai menjadi sekelompok profesional yang tidak berperasaan dan tidak berakal yang berkumpul setiap lima tahun untuk membentuk pemerintahan.”

Namun, Zacharia memiliki peringatan untuk ditambahkan. “Ini tidak berarti saya bisa melepaskan cita-cita Kiri saya. Tapi itu masalah yang berbeda dari menjadi anggota Partai Komunis."

Salibnya untuk dipikul

Fakta bahwa nama depan Pillai adalah Yesus (ia mengklaim bahwa ayahnya bertemu Yesus Kristus secara langsung) bukanlah suatu kebetulan, seseorang merasa — karya-karya Zacharia sebelumnya juga telah menunjukkan keterlibatan yang mendalam dengan kisah Kristus. Dalam cerita pendeknya Sampai Anda Melihat Kaca Mata, bagian dari koleksi Bayangan Ayam di Saat Terakhirnya (Penguin, 1999, diterjemahkan oleh AJ Thomas dan penulis), seorang Yesus muda mengalami saat ketakutan, keraguan dan akhirnya, keputusasaan eksistensial ketika dia melihat dengan seksama bayangannya sendiri di cermin besar. Dalam novel Berita apa, Pilatus? (bagian dari buku Katha 2001 Dua Novel, diterjemahkan oleh Gita Krishankutty), kita bertemu dengan Pontius Pilatus yang sudah tua, prefek Romawi yang memerintahkan penyaliban Kristus, seorang administrator yang bermaksud baik tetapi jelas-jelas tidak tahu apa-apa. Melalui surat yang ia tulis dan pengamatan jujur ​​dari sekretaris Yahudinya, Zacharia mengkritik Yesus (disebut sebagai Yeshu di sini), meskipun dengan lembut.

“Pilatus, haruskah saya memberi tahu Anda kegagalan terbesar Yeshu, yang tidak Anda mengerti? Itu karena dia tidak membuka semua pintu dunianya untuk kami para wanita dan mengundang kami untuk masuk. Dia menyia-nyiakan waktunya dengan keledai-keledai itu, yang dia sebut murid.(...) Siapa yang dapat melindungi jiwa seorang pria seperti yang dapat dilakukan oleh seorang ibu, seorang istri, seorang kekasih, atau seorang saudara perempuan? Kalau saja dia berpegangan pada ibunya dalam hiruk pikuk mencari ayahnya!”

Ini adalah tanda tangan Zacharia — untuk berbicara dengan penuh kasih sayang tentang sesuatu atau seseorang dan dengan tegas memotongnya ke ukuran yang sama di bagian yang sama. Pada akhirnya, itu adalah kekuatan terbesar dari Sejarah Rahasia Welas Asih, sebuah novel ide yang tidak pernah membiarkan kecepatannya bendera atau karakternya berpuas diri. Tidak ada yang berada di atas kritik dan semua orang berada di garis tembak, seperti yang biasanya terjadi pada satiris hebat. Dan untuk welas asih, nah, cicipi saja arah yang diambil Pillai/Spider, di sekitar tanda tengah novel (dengan banyak tikungan dan belokan di depan).

“Mungkinkah, kita kemudian bertanya, bahwa lembaga-lembaga Welas Asih yang paling terorganisir secara efisien di dunia adalah tentara, angkatan laut, angkatan udara, dinas rahasia, teroris, diktator, fundamentalis agama, dan pengontrol tombol nuklir kita? Mungkin kita telah salah mengira mereka sebagai pemusnah sedangkan mereka hanya memusnahkan Kesedihan pada akarnya dengan mengakhiri Kehidupan. Hidup adalah dasar dari semua masalah. Singkirkan itu, dan kita sampai pada model alam semesta kuburan massal di mana Compassion adalah burung hitam yang terbang di malam hari, menyanyikan kebebasan.”

Seperti parodi terbaik, bagian ini lucu dan menakutkan — dan itu adalah kombinasi yang sangat, sangat sulit untuk dipecahkan. Butuh waktu lama, tetapi novel pertama Paul Zacharia layak untuk ditunggu.


Pencarian Catatan Pidana dan Penangkapan Christopher Zacharia Metcalf

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Nama depan Christopher Zakaria

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Negara Penangkapan Kentucky

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Tinggi 169

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MayflowerHistory.com

Presiden George W. BushPresiden George H.W. Bush → Prescott Bush → Flora Sheldon → Mary Butler → Courtland Butler → Samuel Butler → Sarah Herrick →Silence Kingsley → Samuel Kingsley → Mary Washburn → Elizabeth Mitchell → Jane Cooke → MASAK FRANCIS

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Presiden George W. BushIbu Negara Barbara (Pierce) Bush → Marvin Pierce → Scott Pierce → Jonas Pierce → Chloe Holbrook → John Holbrook → John Holbrook → Zilpha Thayer→ Mary Samson → Stephen Samson → HENRY SAMSON

Alan B. Shepard, Jr. → Alan B. Shepard → Frederick Shepard → Rosina Johnson → Abner Johnson → Anna Delano → Silvanus Delano → Jonathan Delano → Mercy Warren → Nathaniel Warren → RICHARD WARREN

Marilyn Monroe (alias Norma Jean Baker) → Charles Stanley Gifford → Frederick Gifford → Charles Gifford → Lydia Tompkins → Uriah Tompkins → Micah Tompkins → Sarah Coe → Sarah Pabodie → Elizabeth Alden → JOHN ALDEN

Orson Welles → Richard Welles → Mary Head → Orson Head → Jonathan Head → Ruth Little → Fobes Little → Constant Fobes → Martha Pabodie → Elizabeth Alden → JOHN ALDEN

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Kebangkitan dan Kejatuhan Antikristus

Alkitab mengajarkan bahwa di akhir zaman, tepat sebelum kembalinya Yesus, pemimpin politik terbesar dalam sejarah umat manusia akan muncul dari Eropa. Setelah mengambil alih wilayah itu dengan kelicikan dan tipu daya diplomatik, dia akan melancarkan kampanye militer yang akan menghasilkan 'kekuasaan atas setiap suku dan umat dan bahasa dan bangsa' (Wahyu 13:7). Kerajaannya akan menjadi yang paling luas sepanjang sejarah, meliputi seluruh dunia, dan pemerintahannya akan menjadi yang paling kejam yang pernah dialami dunia.

Dia akan mulai naik ke tampuk kekuasaan sebagai pemimpin yang dinamis, karismatik, berwawasan luas, visioner yang akan mengejutkan dunia dengan kepintaran solusi untuk masalah dunia. Dia akan muncul sebagai penyelamat dunia. Tapi saat dia mengkonsolidasikan kekuatannya, sifat aslinya akan terungkap. Dia akan muncul sebagai orang yang kerasukan dan berkuasa Setan yang membenci Tuhan dan bertekad untuk memusnahkan baik Kristen maupun Yudaisme. Untuk alasan ini, ia diidentifikasi dalam kitab suci sebagai Antikristus (1 Yohanes 2:18), karena ia akan melawan Allah dan yang diurapi-Nya, Yesus Kristus.

Asal usulnya

Dari mana orang jahat ini berasal? Beberapa orang berspekulasi bahwa dia akan keluar dari Suriah karena salah satu tipe kenabiannya dalam sejarah — Antiochus Epiphanes (215-164 SM) — adalah seorang tiran Suriah. Tetapi Antiokhus sebenarnya adalah keturunan Yunani. Mungkinkah dia karena itu orang Yunani? Hal ini tidak mungkin.

Kemungkinan besar dia akan bangkit dari jantung Kekaisaran Romawi kuno dan dia akan menjadi keturunan Italia. Kesimpulan ini didasarkan pada pernyataan dalam Daniel 9:26. Dalam perikop itu Antikristus disebut sebagai “pangeran yang akan datang,” dan dia diidentifikasi sebagai orang yang “akan menghancurkan kota dan tempat kudus.”

Kita tahu dari sejarah bahwa baik Yerusalem dan Bait Suci Yahudi dihancurkan oleh orang Romawi pada tahun 70 M. Oleh karena itu, menurut Daniel, Antikristus harus berasal dari warisan Romawi.

Apakah dia akan menjadi seorang Yahudi? Banyak yang mengira dia akan demikian karena Yesus berkata, 'Aku datang dalam nama Bapa-Ku, dan kamu tidak menerima Aku, jika orang lain datang atas namanya sendiri, kamu akan menerima dia' (Yohanes 5:43). Berdasarkan pernyataan ini, orang bertanya, “Bagaimana mungkin orang Yahudi menerima seorang non-Yahudi sebagai Mesias mereka?”

Tetapi Alkitab tidak mengajarkan bahwa orang-orang Yahudi akan menerima Antikristus sebagai Mesias mereka. Ini mengajarkan mereka akan menerima dia sebagai pemimpin politik dan diplomat yang hebat dan bahwa mereka akan menaruh kepercayaan mereka padanya sebagai penjamin perdamaian di Timur Tengah.

Tetapi saat dia menyatakan dirinya sebagai Antikristus dengan menodai Bait Suci yang dibangun kembali oleh orang-orang Yahudi dan menghujat Tuhan, orang-orang Yahudi akan memberontak. Mereka akan menolaknya sebagai Mesias, dan dia akan menanggapi dengan marah dengan mencoba untuk memusnahkan mereka.

Antikristus tidak harus seorang Yahudi. Dan, kenyataannya, Alkitab menjelaskan bahwa dia akan menjadi seorang non-Yahudi. Dalam Wahyu 13:1 ia digambarkan sebagai “binatang yang keluar dari laut.” Laut digunakan secara konsisten di seluruh kitab kenabian sebagai lambang bangsa-bangsa bukan Yahudi (Daniel 7:3 Lukas 21:25 dan Wahyu 17:1).

Sebaliknya, tangan kanan Dajjal, Nabi Palsu, yang akan menjadi pemimpin agamanya, adalah seorang Yahudi. Hal ini terungkap dalam Wahyu 13:11 di mana dikatakan bahwa Yohanes melihat “binatang lain keluar dari bumi [harfiah, tanah].” Sama seperti laut digunakan secara simbolis dalam nubuatan untuk merujuk pada bangsa-bangsa bukan Yahudi, tanah (atau bumi) digunakan untuk merujuk pada Israel. Ini tidak berarti Nabi Palsu akan menjadi seorang Yahudi Ortodoks. Itu hanya berarti bahwa dia akan menjadi keturunan Yahudi. Secara agama, dia akan menjadi seorang Yahudi murtad yang akan mengepalai One World Religion of the Antichrist.

Ada satu masalah lain mengenai asal usul Antikristus yang perlu kita pertimbangkan. Banyak yang berpendapat bahwa dia akan menjadi orang yang dibangkitkan dari kematian — kemungkinan besar Nero atau Yudas Iskariot. Asumsi ini didasarkan pada pernyataan dalam Wahyu 13:1-3 dimana Yohanes menggambarkan Antikristus sebagai binatang dengan tujuh kepala. Dia kemudian membuat pengamatan bahwa salah satu kepalanya muncul “seolah-olah telah dibunuh, dan luka fatalnya telah sembuh.” Dia berkomentar bahwa “seluruh bumi kagum” dengan ini dan karena itu “mengikutinya. binatang' (Wahyu 13:3).

Masalah dengan interpretasi ini adalah bahwa “luka fatal” yang dirujuk dalam perikop itu tidak ada hubungannya dengan pribadi Antikristus. Tujuh kepala mewakili tujuh kerajaan non-Yahudi — yaitu, Mesir, Asyur, Babel, Media-Persia, Yunani, Roma, dan kerajaan terakhir Antikristus. Kepala dengan luka fatal yang telah disembuhkan adalah Kekaisaran Romawi. Kita mengetahui hal ini dari kitab Daniel di mana dinubuatkan bahwa Kekaisaran Romawi akan menjadi yang terakhir dari kerajaan-kerajaan non-Yahudi sampai akhir zaman ketika kerajaan Antikristus akan muncul dari Eropa yang bersatu kembali — yaitu, dari kebangkitan kembali Kekaisaran Romawi kuno (Daniel 2:31-45 dan 7:1-8, 24-28).

Nubuatan Daniel telah terbukti benar-benar akurat. Kekaisaran Romawi adalah yang terakhir dari kerajaan non-Yahudi. Itu hancur ke dalam sistem negara-bangsa yang berlaku hingga hari ini. Ada banyak upaya militer untuk membangkitkan kembali Kekaisaran Romawi, terutama oleh Napoleon dan Hitler. Hari ini, inti dari Kekaisaran bersatu di depan mata kita melalui cara-cara diplomatik, menghasilkan Eropa bersatu yang akan menjadi basis bagi kebangkitan Antikristus.

Bagian lain yang digunakan untuk membenarkan gagasan tentang Antikristus sebagai orang yang dibangkitkan adalah Zakharia 11:17 — “Celakalah gembala yang tidak berguna yang meninggalkan kawanannya! Sebuah pedang akan berada di lengannya dan di mata kanannya! Lengannya akan layu total, dan mata kanannya akan buta.”

Dikatakan bahwa perikop ini menunjukkan bahwa Antikristus akan menjadi orang yang menderita luka fatal. Sekarang, tidak diragukan lagi perikop ini merujuk pada Antikristus, tetapi saya percaya ini berbicara tentang nasibnya daripada asal-usulnya. Dengan menggunakan bahasa simbolis, bagi saya tampaknya nabi mengatakan bahwa penghakiman ilahi (pedang) akan menimpa kekuatan Antikristus (lengannya) dan kecerdasannya (matanya), dan bahwa ia akan menderita kekalahan total (melemahnya jiwa). lengannya dan membutakan matanya).

Gagasan bahwa Antikristus akan menjadi orang yang dibangkitkan menimbulkan masalah teologis yang serius mengenai kuasa Setan. Kitab Suci menjelaskan bahwa Antikristus akan menjadi manusia Setan, diberdayakan olehnya dan dirasuki olehnya. Tetapi tidak ada indikasi dalam Kitab Suci bahwa Setan memiliki kuasa untuk memberikan kehidupan kepada siapa pun. Setan tidak mahakuasa. Yesuslah yang memiliki “kunci maut dan Hades” (Wahyu 1:18).

Salah satu pertanyaan yang paling sering diajukan adalah apakah Antikristus masih hidup hari ini atau tidak. Saya percaya dia, dan saya percaya begitu karena dua alasan. Pertama, saya percaya Kitab Suci mengajarkan bahwa generasi yang melihat pendirian kembali Israel (14 Mei 1948) akan hidup untuk melihat semua nubuatan akhir zaman digenapi (Matius 24: 32-34). Kedua, saya percaya tanda-tanda zaman dengan jelas menunjukkan bahwa kita sedang berdiri di ambang Kesengsaraan, yang paling penting dari tanda-tanda itu adalah pengumpulan kembali orang-orang Yahudi ke tanah mereka (Yesaya 11:10-12) dan pendudukan kembali mereka. kota Yerusalem (Lukas 21:24).

Jika Antikristus masih hidup hari ini, apakah dia tahu siapa dia? Saya pikir tidak. Saya tidak berpikir dia memiliki gagasan yang paling kabur tentang peran yang Setan pikirkan untuknya. Dia tidak akan menjadi Antikristus sampai Setan memiliki dia dan memberdayakan dia untuk menipu Eropa dan orang-orang Yahudi. Wahyu penuhnya tidak akan terjadi sampai dia memasuki Bait Suci yang dibangun kembali di Yerusalem di tengah Kesengsaraan dan menyatakan dirinya sebagai tuhan.

Tapi kita maju dari cerita kita. Mari kita pertimbangkan karakternya sebelum kita melihat karirnya.

Karakternya

Alkitab sangat spesifik tentang karakter Antikristus, dan gambar yang dilukiskannya sangat menjijikkan. Informasi yang paling rinci dapat ditemukan dalam kitab Daniel. Perhatikan grafik di bawah ini:

Berulang kali penekanan diberikan pada mulut Antikristus. Dia akan bermegah tanpa henti tentang dirinya sendiri (Daniel 7:8). Dia akan 'membicarakan hal-hal yang mengerikan melawan Allah para dewa' (Daniel 11:36). Dia akan 'diberi mulut yang mengucapkan kata-kata sombong dan hujat' (Wahyu 13:5). Pertama dan terutama, dia akan menjadi pembual dan penghujat.

Dia akan berkemauan keras dan sembrono dalam tekadnya untuk mendapatkan apa yang diinginkannya. Dia akan menunjukkan penghinaan terhadap tradisi manusia dan tentu saja akan mengubah bahkan kalender sehingga tidak lagi terkait dengan kelahiran Yesus (Daniel 7:25).

Another point that is emphasized repeatedly is that the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan, just as Judas was (Luke 22:3). Daniel says his power will be mighty, “but not by his own power” (Daniel 8:24). Paul says his coming will be “in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). John says that Satan will give his power and authority to the Antichrist (Revelation 13:2).

Because he will be demonized, he will be a man who cannot be trusted. Psalm 52:2 says he will be a “worker of deceit.” Psalm 55:21 says his speech will be “smoother than butter” but his heart will be filled with war. Psalm 5:6 calls him “a man of bloodshed and deceit.” In Psalm 43:1 he is referred to as a “deceitful and unjust man.”

Daniel indicates that he will be a sexual pervert, most likely a homosexual. As Daniel puts it, the Antichrist will show no regard “for the desire of women” (Daniel 11:37).

The overall picture is that of an ego-maniac who abhors God and exploits people for his own purposes. He is deceptive and ruthless. He is a man devoid of integrity. This is probably the reason that when Jesus returns, John characterizes Him as the “Faithful and True” One (Revelation 19:11), in contrast to the Antichrist who has been both unfaithful and untrue.

The lack of character that will be displayed by the Antichrist is perhaps best summed up in some of the names given to him in the Scriptures:

  • The Beast (Revelation 13:1)
  • The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
  • The Son of Destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
  • The Despicable Person (Daniel 11:21)
  • The Willful King (Daniel 11:36)
  • The Worthless Shepherd (Zechariah 11:17)
  • The Insolent King (Daniel 8:23)
  • The Abomination (Matthew 24:15)

His Career

The Rapture of the Church is the event that will launch the career of the Antichrist. This is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul states that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “he who now restrains” him is “taken out of the way” (verse 7). The restrainer of evil in the world today is obviously the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit performs that task by working through the Church.

It is the Church that will be “taken out of the way,” not the Holy Spirit. We know this for certain because the book of Revelation teaches that a great multitude will be saved during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14), and no one can be saved apart from the witness of the Spirit (John 6:44, John 15:26, and 1 John 5:7). The Spirit will remain in the world, but the agency the Spirit currently works through to restrain evil, the Church, will be removed.

The Rapture itself is likely to be the event that will catapult the Antichrist to power. This is because the Rapture will produce international chaos and panic. The Antichrist, energized by Satan (Daniel 8:24), will seem to have all the answers to the world’s problems. He will take over the European Union through skillful intrigue (Daniel 8:23) and will establish his headquarters in Rome (Revelation 17:3,9,18).

The seven year time period of the Tribulation will actually begin when the Antichrist negotiates a treaty that will bring true peace to the Middle East, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). With his European base consolidated and peace achieved in the Middle East, he will set forth to subdue the whole world.

One of the myths about the Antichrist that has developed in modern day interpretation is that the whole world will become so enamored with him that all the nations will surrender their sovereignty to him voluntarily. The Bible does not teach this. It is also contrary to common sense. Africa and Asia and Latin America have not spent a century casting off European colonialism in order to suddenly turn around and receive a European dictator with open arms.

The world will resist him, and the result will be a Third World War in which he “will destroy to an extraordinary degree” (Daniel 8:24). This war will initially result in the death of one-fourth of humanity, or 1.5 billion people in today’s terms (Revelation 6:2-8). As the Tribulation approaches its mid-point, this war will escalate into a nuclear holocaust that will result in the deaths of an additional one-third of those still alive — another 1.5 billion (Revelation 8 and 9).

It will be a empty victory because in the process of his conquest, one-third of the earth will be destroyed and half its population will be killed. He will then consolidate his “victory” by instituting a one-world economy and a one-world religion.

The key to his economic control will be a mark that each person will have to bear on their right hand or on their forehead (Revelation 13:16-18). No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have this mark. The mark will consist of “either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:18).

His religious control will be exercised by a false prophet who will head up his pagan religious system (Revelation 13: 11-15). He will force all of humanity to worship the Antichrist. He will be a deceiver who will astound people with “great signs” that appear miraculous in nature. In order to consolidate this Satanic religious system, the Antichrist will launch a great persecution of all those who have placed their faith in the true God since the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 12:13-17). The result will be a mass slaughter of believers (Revelation 7:9-14).

This means that by the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will have killed more than half of humanity (1.5 billion in the seal judgments, 1.5 billion in the trumpet judgments, and an undetermined multitude of saints.) It is no wonder that he is referred to in Scripture as “the man of lawlessness” and “the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Nor will all this slaughter satisfy his blood thirst. About the time that the Antichrist has consolidated his world empire, Satan will be cast from Heaven and will come to earth in “great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Revelation 12:12). At that point he will possess the Antichrist, even as he possessed Judas (Luke 22:3).

When the Antichrist becomes Satan incarnate, he will become a megalomaniacal tyrant obsessed with two things: himself and the Jewish people.

He will suddenly march into the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stop the sacrifices, blaspheme God, and declare himself to be the one and only true god (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). And when the Jews reject this horrible blasphemy, he will turn on them and seek to annihilate them. This will be his all-consuming passion during the second half of the Tribulation. That’s why Jesus told the Jews that this period of time would be the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) — not because it would be worse than the first half, but because the wrath would be focused upon them as a nation and a people.

Satan has an insane hatred for the Jews. He hates them because they gave the world the Scriptures. He hates them because God sent the Messiah through them. And he hates them because God has promised that He will bring a great remnant of them to salvation in their Messiah. He wants to destroy them so that God cannot keep that promise.

During the second half of the Tribulation, he will almost succeed in accomplishing this goal. We are told in Zechariah 13:8-9 that two-thirds of the Jewish people will die during this holocaust (another 9.3 million people).

His Fate

The Bible indicates that as the Antichrist becomes obsessed with the Jews, he loses interest in his worldwide empire, and segments of that empire begin to revolt. The core of the revolt is centered in the Asian nations who raise an army of 200 million and send it marching across Asia toward Israel where they hope to engage the Antichrist in a decisive battle for their freedom.

Daniel says that while the Antichrist and his armies are rampaging around the Middle East, looting the nations and killing the Jews, the Antichrist suddenly hears “rumors” that “disturb him” (Daniel 11:40-44). He evidently hears about the great Asian army coming to challenge him. He responds by consolidating his forces “between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain” (Daniel 11: 45). This is the same area that is referred to in Revelation as the Valley of Armageddon.

We are told that the Euphrates River dries up at this time and the great Asian army crosses to engage the Antichrist and his armies in battle (Revelation 16:12). As they fight, the Lord Jesus Christ breaks from the heavens, returns to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and speaks a supernatural word that causes all the armies to drop dead in their tracks. “Their eyes rot in their sockets and their tongues rot in their mouths” (Zechariah 14:12), and the valley is filled with blood up to the horses’ bridles for a distance of two hundred miles (Revelation 14:20).

Paul says the Antichrist will be slain by “the breath of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). John says the Lord will make war against the Antichrist “with the sword of His mouth” (Revelation 2:16). Daniel says the Antichrist’s “dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever” (Daniel 17:26). Daniel also says that the Antichrist will be thrown into “the burning fire” (Daniel 7:11).

John confirms the fate of the Antichrist in Revelation when he says that both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into “the lake of fire which burns with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20) where “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). This means that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be the first occupants of Hell. (Satan will not be confined there until the end of the Millennium — Revelation 20:10).

Our Hope

The good news for believers is that we will not have to experience the horror of the Antichrist. We are never told to watch for the Antichrist rather, we are told to look for Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we are assured that we who are believers are waiting for Jesus to return to “deliver us from the wrath to come.” That is a glorious promise. That’s why Paul calls the Rapture our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), and its also the reason that he tells us to “comfort one another” with the promise of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18).


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Is Dave Ramsey’s empire the ‘best place to work in America’? Say no and you’re out

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — Dave Ramsey has spent the past three decades trying to build what he calls the best place to work in America.

From his headquarters south of Nashville, the evangelical Christian personal finance guru runs a media and live events empire that includes a popular national talk radio show. Tickets to workshops on topics such as “EntreLeadership”  run from $3,000 to $10,000.

Thousands of churches around the country, meanwhile, host Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” a 9-week program built around his principles for handling money “God’s way.”

Ramsey’s primary product, he says, is hope, often in short supply when debt mounts up. That’s something Ramsey knows firsthand. When he was in his mid-20s, Ramsey and his wife owed millions after his real estate business failed. Following advice from a church friend, they rebuilt their lives.

The people who have followed his path now make pilgrimages to perform their “Debt Free Scream” on his radio show — celebrating  that Ramsey’s methods gave them control of their lives.

But inside the company’s $42 million headquarters, which opened in 2019 in Franklin, Tennessee, Ramsey’s orchestration of what he calls a “predictable and reliable and safe and godly” company has been under stress from COVID-19, and Ramsey’s demands for unquestioning loyalty.

Ramsey’s intolerance for dissent has created what former employees call a cultlike environment, where leaders proclaim their love for staff and then fire people at a moment’s notice.

Ramsey Solutions, former employees and their spouses say, is run more like a church than a business. A review of court documents, company emails and recordings of staff meetings backs up these sources’ claims that company leaders attempt to exert control over employees’ personal lives.

At a staff meeting in July, Ramsey railed at his staff after an employee sued Ramsey Solutions for firing her for having premarital sex, which is against company policy, and said he would pay the price to protect what he had built out of love for his employees.

“I am sick of dealing with all this stuff,” Ramsey bellowed, according to a recording obtained by Religion News Service. “I’m so tired of being falsely accused of being a jerk when all I’m doing is trying to help people stay in line.”

In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey Solutions later moved to a new corporate headquarters in Franklin. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

In a sarcastic email responding to a request for comment on this story, Ramsey Solutions wrote, “We want to confirm for you that you are right, we are horrible evil people.”

In a follow-up email, the company said that it contests many of “the facts, details and conclusions” of Religion News Service’s reporting,” without specifying their objections. The company also declined to comment on pending litigation. (The entire statement can be found here.)

Religion News Service’s request for comment was also emailed to all the staff at the company and to local pastors. Many of them emailed or called, either to tell how Ramsey’s teaching had changed their lives and their passion to change the “toxic money culture.”

Former employees also described Ramsey as a great place to work, at least at first. 

In the spring of 2020, Heather Fulk’s husband, Jon, was working as a developer for Ramsey Solutions, a job that offered great co-workers and a family-friendly schedule. The company’s mission, too, was something Jon could believe in, his wife said.

Heather was more skeptical. For one thing, there was the spousal interview. In his 2011 book “EntreLeadership,” Ramsey recommends that companies vet spouses to make sure their hire is not “married to crazy.”

“When hiring someone, you are employing more than just the person,” his website advises. “You’re taking on the whole family. And when they are married to someone who is domineering, unstable or simply full of drama, you’ll end up with a team member who can’t be creative, productive or excellent.”

Heather Fulk balked: She didn’t want to work for Ramsey, her husband did. She had no desire to risk being labeled a “crazy spouse” or to cost her husband a job. But after Jon got the position, Heather said, the company had little impact on their personal life, except for their feeling that they had to keep her credit card a secret — consumer debt is a Ramsey no-no.  

From the beginning, Ramsey downplayed the virus. His March 2, 2020 radio show began with a long rant against the news media, who, he said, were overstating the threat.

“You would think that the black plague was coming through the U.S., listening to people whine,” he told his audience. “You guys have lost your mind out there.”

He went on to say that the virus only affected the weak and infirm and that everyone else should get on with business as usual. He vowed to keep the company’s live events rolling, warning there would be no refunds.

“We have people calling in, they are wanting to cancel stuff for a live event in May — let me tell you how much of your money I am going to give you back if you don’t come for the coronavirus in May,” he said. “ZERO. I am keeping your money. You are a wuss.”

Plugging a “Live Like No One Else” cruise, scheduled for late March, Ramsey said he would go on the cruise, even if he was there “by my freaking self.” The cruise was later canceled.

Staffers, who are called “team members,” heard the same message. Don’t freak out. Trust company leaders to make wise decisions. Remember, the company existed to give people hope even in hard times.

“You are ok,” Ramsey said in an all-staff email published by the Nashville Scene in March after a company employee tested positive for COVID-19. “Ramsey is ok. This will soon be a memory.”

Within a few days, a second team member tested positive. Headquarters was shut down on March 20. Although the work-from-home experiment went well, the company’s leaders soon decided that Ramsey was not a work-from-home employer.

On May 4, the company’s offices reopened and, despite at least 100 positive cases in the subsequent seven months, have remained open since. Work continued on a $50 million addition to the company headquarters, which would house an additional 600 employees. 

Heather Fulk. Courtesy photo

Ramsey’s return to in-person work frustrated Heather Fulk. She has asthma, which puts her at higher risk if infected with COVID-19. After learning employees were being called back to headquarters, she made what she thought was an innocuous comment in a private Facebook post.

“Jon’s company wants to bring all 900 employees back asap when a majority can do their work from home,” she wrote on April 20. “I do *not* understand how people don’t see we are setting ourselves up for a huge second wave. Ugh, people make me so angry.”

Before long, Jon got a call from his supervisor who said a co-worker had reported Heather’s comment. They had a screenshot of the post, sent by the co-worker’s spouse.

A few weeks later, Jon was fired. In his exit interview, Armando Lopez, head of human resources at Ramsey, confirmed that the cause was his wife’s social media comment, according to a recording of the meeting.

“There is definitely a line in the sand that we have drawn, for good or for bad,” Lopez is heard saying on the recording. “But it is a definite point that we are making.”

Ramsey Solutions offered $18,000 in severance, provided the Fulks would sign a nondisclosure agreement and agree never to make any negative comments about Ramsey.

The couple refused, forfeiting the severance. The company later claimed in a cease-and-desist letter that Ramsey policies that Jon signed at his hiring required him to keep details about Ramsey confidential.

Heather said that turning down the money was the right thing to do, despite their having to rely on friends who bought groceries and gave them money to pay their bills — a sign, she said, that God was looking out for them.

“I didn’t want to live under the fear of if I say something,” she said. “Dave is watching, you know. And he is. He’s always watching. I just didn’t want to live under that cloud.” 

In mid-May, someone at Ramsey Solutions   filed an anonymous complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging that the company was not doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a record of the complaint in OSHA’s database.

That led to an angry tirade from Ramsey during a staff meeting last May. After ranting about how the pandemic was affecting his golf game, he said the company had told OSHA it was not going to do anything in response to the complaint. 

“So whoever you are, you moron, you did absolutely no good, except piss me off,” he told staff. “You are not welcome here if you are willing to do stuff like that. If you are really scared and you really think that leadership is trying to kill you … please, we love you. Just leave. We really don’t want you here.”

He warned employees not to contact anyone outside the building with their concerns.

“If you really think the people here are evil, bad people and you think that you can effect change by reaching outside of here, you are wrong,” he said. “And you are not welcome.”

Against the recommendation of his board not to address the OSHA complaint, Ramsey said he felt duty-bound to talk about it, because “I love this place and I really don’t want any morons here.” If he found out the person’s identity, he continued, “I will fire you instantaneously for your lack of loyalty, your lack of class, and the fact that you are a moron and you snuck through our hiring process,” he said.

Then he went on to tell employees how much he loved them and how Ramsey Solutions was still the best workplace in the world.

Rachel Self did not buy it.

A former user-experience designer at Ramsey, Self said Jon Fulk’s firing was a sign that something was wrong at the company. “That was proof to me that they meant what they said about some of these threats,” she said. “He was just gone.”

Self, who grew up in a Southern, evangelical home where her mom was a big Ramsey fan, said she had heard there had been issues at the company, but, like the Fulks, she liked the stable work environment and the company’s mission.

It was a chance, she said, to do something bigger than “just making a product people don’t need.” Besides, she said, “People were just kind. Exceedingly, glowing, Christian kind.”

Hired in January 2020, she was trained in the company’s 14 core values, which include having a “self-employed” mentality, never giving up and working “as unto the Lord.”

Co-workers asked her about her “Dave story”: a tale about how Ramsey had changed their life.

“It was like asking, ‘How did you meet Jesus?’” she said.

Returning to the office during the pandemic, however, Self became uncomfortable with the level of risk. People would lean over her desk to talk with her without masks, paying no heed to social distancing. Wearing a mask in the office, she said, was seen as a sign of distrust in the company’s leaders.

She doesn’t blame Ramsey alone. “A lot of Christians these days think COVID is not real,” she said. “I think that’s the underpinning problem.”

Amy Fritz, a Christian writer from Spring Hill, Tennessee, whose husband, Nathan, worked for Ramsey from 2012 to 2019, said that long-term staffers learn to dismiss his rants as just Dave being Dave. They love the work and keep their heads down.

“I think you sort of get inoculated to it,” Amy said.

It isn’t the Dave Ramsey she expected. Having read his EntreLeadership book, she said, “I thought, wow, here is a Christian businessman who works at a for-profit that’s about Jesus,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to be part of that?”

During the interview process, Fritz said she was asked about the company’s famous gossip policy. Ramsey often described gossip as “when you discuss a negative with anyone who can’t solve the problem.” He is ruthless in rooting it out.

 “We will not have it. I will fire your butt for this,” he boasted at a 2017 leadership event.

When the interviewer asked what she would do if her husband came home frustrated after work, Fritz said she would tell him to “talk to your leader.” At the time, Fritz said, she believed it.

While Nathan finished his interview, a member of the “Lampo Ladies,” a group of employee spouses, gave her a tour of Nashville. (Until a company rebrand in 2014, Ramsey Solutions was known as the Lampo Group.) 

Her husband was offered the job but first the couple would have to submit a budget to show that they could live on the salary Ramsey offered.

It was a stretch, said Fritz, but the couple made it work. And the excitement of going to work for Ramsey overwhelmed any concerns they had.

“We felt like we were chosen,” she said.

After they moved, Nathan’s new co-workers showed up to help unload the couple’s moving van. The next day, more Lampo Ladies showed to unpack boxes and set up their home. For years, Fritz did the same for other new employees.

 “They just provided this awesome sense of community,” said Fritz, who would eventually serve as a volunteer administrator for the Lampo Ladies Facebook group and encouraged wives of employees to join. “Nathan felt like he was going to Disneyworld every day.”

Doubts about the company began to creep in only after a 2014 incident that came to be known as “Twittergate.” After several anonymous Twitter accounts began to make fun of the company culture, the Daily Beast reported at the time, Dave Ramsey offered bounties during a staff meeting for anyone who would identify the tweeters.

The Daily Beast also reported that in 2011, Ramsey pulled out a gun to make a point about how much he hated gossip — a detail that a company official would later confirm in a deposition. Since that time, Ramsey has boasted to staff about carrying a gun at all times.

Fritz defended the company during Twittergate.

“Kind of bummed to see you tweet in support of an untrue hit piece. My husband works at Lampo. So, we actually know the truth,” she tweeted after the Daily Beast piece. The possibility that something was wrong at Ramsey, she told RNS, was too “horrible to consider.”

But she remembers thinking, “I don’t want people to see Dave’s character.” She also began to worry about the company’s merging of Christian mission and business opportunism. “When you mix faith, Christianity, and business, it can sometimes feel icky,” she said.

Some employees question how much of the culture at Ramsey Solutions is driven by Christianity and how much by a pursuit of profit.

In November 2018, as the company was gearing up for a multimillion-dollar book launch for Ramsey radio host Chris Hogan’s “Everyday Millionaires,” Hogan’s wife, Melissa, came to Ramsey leadership with allegations that Chris had been unfaithful to her.

The husband of a woman Chris had an affair with had begun to comment on Chris’ Twitter feed, responding to his tweets with Bible verses about adultery. Melissa Hogan believed that the allegations against her husband would become public.

Melissa told RNS in an email that she went to see Ramsey to discuss what to do. The company, she said, had been supportive of her and her husband after their youngest son was diagnosed with a rare disease. She also knew, given Ramsey’s outspoken stand against adultery, that coming forward could cost Chris his job and was concerned about the couple’s future. 

“If their spouse can’t trust them, neither can I,” Ramsey wrote in “EntreLeadership,” and the company has been willing to defend its code of conduct in court.  

In July 2020, Caitlin O’Connor, a former Ramsey Solutions employee, sued the company, claiming she had been fired after requesting maternity leave in the summer of 2020. According to the lawsuit, O’Connor emailed Lopez, the human resources chief, on June 18, 2020, asking for accommodations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act because she was 12 weeks pregnant.  

A week later, after meeting with two members of Ramsey’s operating board, O’Connor was fired for being pregnant and not married, according to the lawsuit. Board members and Lopez told her it was because she had violated the company’s code of conduct.

The lawsuit claims the company’s “righteous living” core value “discriminates against employees who do not strictly adhere to Ramsey’s interpretation of ‘Judeo-Christian’ values for non-work related behavior.”

Ramsey’s lawyers denied any discrimination. “Defendant admits that Plaintiff’s employment was terminated because she engaged in premarital sex,” which the company’s court filings said is a violation of its core values.  

The day after news of the lawsuit broke, Ramsey defended the company’s policies during the company’s regular Wednesday “devo” meeting, a mandatory all-company chapel service.

Ramsey told employees that the policies were necessary to maintain a predictable, safe and “godly” culture. Without them, he said, Ramsey would be just like any other company, a “cesspool” of sex and racism and #MeToo complaints. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, he told employees, according to a recording obtained by RNS.

“Don’t talk to me about how you love your pastor and your church. And I just moved in with my boyfriend,” he said. “That’s so freaking inconsistent and stupid.”

People who disagree with company policies should leave, he said, because the company would not sanction “misbehavior.”

“And if you don’t like that, this is your cue,” he said. “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.”

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, secular employers, especially larger ones, are generally barred from discriminating on the basis of religion and other factors. Federal law also bars discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. 

But at-will employment states such as Tennessee permit employers to fire employees for almost any reason, said Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Many companies have codes of conduct that bar behaviors also frowned on by religious groups.

Still, she said, there is a difference between a secular employer and a faith-based one. Secular employers like Ramsey, she said, are not exempt from Title VII, even if their owners are religious. A Christian boss such as Ramsey can’t require employees to share his beliefs or practice Christianity the way he does.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the owners of Hobby Lobby, who claimed their Christian faith prohibited them from paying for certain kinds of contraceptives. But that was a narrow ruling and very case-specific, said Hollman.

“There is no religious exemption under Title VII based on the piety of the owners,” she said.

Stuart Lark, a Colorado Springs attorney who advises nonprofits on personnel issues and religious accommodations, said that in recent years, the courts have supported the religious exercise rights of commercial employers.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has expressly held that employers do not forfeit their religious exercise rights when they enter the commercial marketplace,” said Lark. He thinks that for-profit companies whose owners have strong religious beliefs may be exempt from Title VII in some cases.

“It’s still an open question, and the answer may depend on whether the employer can establish that its activities and policies exercise or express its religious beliefs.” he said.

On his leadership blog, Ramsey has defended his rights to enforce a moral code and to fire people for things like extramarital affairs. “I’ve got a right to tell my employees whatever I want to tell them,” he wrote. “They freaking work for me.”

People attend a worship service entitled “Watch the Darkness Flee,” Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Ramsey Solutions headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

After RNS asked to interview Ramsey and Hogan and to request comment for this story, the company invited a reporter to attend a worship service entitled “Watch the Darkness Flee” at the company’s headquarters, where hundreds of team members gather in the building’s atrium to sing worship songs. Almost no one wore a mask. There was little social distancing. 

“Ramsey, may we be those who trust him even in the day of trouble, because we know he is good,” one of the worship leaders said as the service drew to a close.

In the end, Ramsey did not fire Hogan. Instead, after a meeting that included the Hogans, leaders from their church and other members of the company’s board, the company set up a “restoration plan” for the couple’s marriage that would allow the book tour to go forward. After the tour, Chris would take time off to work on the couple’s marriage.

Melissa Hogan said she agreed with the plan at first but then became concerned at the level of control that Ramsey’s leadership wanted.

“In essence, as part of that process, we were to waive confidentiality with our therapists in order for them to report to Ramsey Solutions’ leaders,” she said in her email. “I now recognize that to be unhealthy, controlling, spiritually manipulative, and deeply wounding.”

According to emails obtained by RNS, the leadership at Ramsey offered to pay for marriage counseling, with “regular and full reports” from the counselor to Ramsey leadership. Dave also asked two of his colleagues to work with the pastor and elders at the church the Hogans attended to get reports on the couple.

 When Melissa Hogan disagreed with parts of the Ramsey restoration plan, she was told that she “lacked hope for her marriage’s future” and lacked faith in the company’s wisdom. She was eventually barred from her husband’s book tour.

“During a process that was supposed to help restore our marriage, Ramsey Solutions’ board members attempted to manipulate and control me through emails and phone calls,” she said in her email. “They characterized their plan as aligning with the Holy Spirit and suggested that things would not ‘end well’ if I made choices to support healing in my marriage and family that either were not directed by them or decisions that they did not approve.”

Ramsey officials justified their approach by saying that working for the company was a “ministry and a mission,” and her husband had a “calling on his life.”

After the Hogans filed for divorce, Ramsey told employees in a May 2019 all-staff meeting that Chris Hogan was going through what Ramsey characterized as a “really nasty divorce” and that Melissa had shown up unannounced at his office to make angry and untrue allegations about her then-husband.

“Suffice to say, there are no angels on this story,“ he said.

Ramsey said that some staff had already begun to believe rumors that the leadership was somehow covering up misconduct on Chris Hogan’s part. Leadership, on the other hand, had put “rumor and innuendo aside” and focused on fact, he said.

“Looking at it, it was messy but there weren’t clear lines. And we said, OK, not because we are taking up for Chris because he’s getting ready to go on book tour but because there was not a clear line,” Ramsey told his employees at the staff meeting. “If there was a clear line, we would have taken the hit and canceled the book tour. But there wasn’t. And Chris wouldn’t be here anymore.”

Documents in the Hogans’ divorce filing tell a different story.

According to documents related to the divorce proceeding obtained by RNS, Chris Hogan admitted in March 2019 that he had committed adultery with multiple women during his marriage, including affairs with a former Ramsey co-worker and one of his wife’s relatives that lasted more than a year.

He admitted lying to his employer about the affair with the co-worker and about his relationships with “one or more women.” Hogan also admitted having oral sex, “sensual touching” and “sensual kissing” with one or more women during his marriage.

Melissa Hogan said she provided a statement to RNS because she disputed Ramsey’s retelling of her interactions with company leaders.

“Dalam sambutannya pada rapat staf Mei 2019, Dave Ramsey juga secara terbuka salah mengartikan tindakan saya selama proses berikutnya sebagai melibatkan kemarahan, hiperbola, dan drama,” katanya. “Faktanya adalah bahwa saya berulang kali menyatakan kepada mereka dukungan dan perhatian saya untuk suami saya, pernikahan saya, kesaksian kami sebagai orang percaya, dan kebenaran.”

Dia menambahkan: “Trauma yang saya alami dari interaksi saya dengan kepemimpinan Ramsey Solutions’ sangat signifikan, mengingat citra publik mereka dan komunikasi mereka yang saling bertentangan dan mengendalikan dengan saya.”

Chris Hogan tidak menanggapi permintaan komentar.

Pada rapat staf Mei 2019, Ramsey memberi tahu karyawannya,“Jika Anda mengkhawatirkan integritas kami dalam kepemimpinan dan apakah kami menutupi (Hogan) karena dia adalah merek besar, jawabannya adalah tidak. No.”

Namun, bagi suami Fritz, penanganan perusahaan terhadap situasi Hogan adalah yang terakhir, kata istrinya kepada RNS. Selama bertahun-tahun, para pemimpin perusahaan telah memecat anggota tim karena melanggar kode etik, bahkan untuk pelanggaran ringan. Sekarang, kata Fritz, aturan itu sepertinya tidak berlaku.

Suami Fritz dan sejumlah rekannya akhirnya mundur karena situasi tersebut. “Tuhan telah menggunakan organisasi ini untuk melakukan beberapa hal indah dan membawa harapan bagi banyak orang,” Fritz mengatakan dalam posting blog yang sekarang telah dihapus setelah suaminya pergi. “Hati kami hancur melihat beberapa kebusukan di balik tirai dan tampaknya sudah mencapai puncak.”

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Tonton videonya: Քրիս Մարաշլյան - Բինգյոլ Armenian music (Januari 2022).