Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: May 2011
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 

Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lawsuit by raped girl against Planned Parenthood comes to a close

The Alliance Defense Fund announced that a lawsuit in which Planned Parenthood was found to have violated an Ohio informed consent law has been “resolved and dismissed.”

Planned Parenthood is not exactly the most responsible organization. Yet performing an abortion on a 14-year-old girl who was raped by a 22-year-old soccer coach - and failing to report the rape to aither the girl's parents or the authorities - is still pretty low, even by Planned Parenthood's standards.

Please pray to end the genocide of abortion.

Today's verse

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2 (KJV)

Monday, May 30, 2011

End of an era

The world's last typewriter factory (located in Mumbai, India) is closing.

Malaria rates rising in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions

Human factors may be causing an increase in malaria rates in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.

Is it fair?

At Glosses From An Old Manse Mark Henderson has interesting post concerning the unintendend consequences resulting from the practice of "fair trade".

Today's verse

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

John 15:13 (KJV)

Many blessing to everyone this Memorial Day. Remember those who gave their lives so that you can be free.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The high priests have failed us!

Well, this is certainly new! The Italian seismologists who failed to predict the 2009 quake are being charged with manslaughter by the Italian government.

In Western society there has been an unwelcome development in the past few decades. It seems that when anything bad happens, such as a natural disaster, then someone is obviously guilty and must be held legally responsible. Often this takes on a politically partisan tone: President X or Governor Y should have done something (no one can say precisely what) to have prevented a particular catastrophe. This is a favorite game of the secular media.

The charges against the Italian scientists are ridiculous. Given the present state of the science, it is impossible to predict earthquakes with any reasonable degree of accuracy.

At the same time, I feel that scientific organizations protesting the prosecution such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are partially to blame for these developments.

The AAAS has been one of the loudest voices pushing the idea of scientism. Science, we are told, can explain everything we see in the natural world, and that those who argue that reality is more than what we see in the natural world are dangerous religious fanatics. The AAAS has also pressed hard the reactionary notion of "settled science" in an effort to avoid debating critics of flawed theories such as natural evolution and climate change.

Here is the problem when you push the notion of science as Supreme Lord: you risk turning scientists into high priests of a religious faith. And when the high priests fail, the unwashed heathen tend to get a bit angry.

It is true that Christianity has been used to advance such evils as the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials. But science's hands are not free of blood, either. A rejection of Christianity can lead to horrors such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The fact that scientists in those countries either ended up in concentration camps or the terrified bootlickers of the authorities does not alter the fact that scientists were among the chief early sponsors of these monstrosities.

For that reason, don't be surprised if cases like the one involving the Italian seismologists become more common. Having used the secular media and government power to try to squelch ideas and opinions that differ from their own, the AAAS should not be shocked when the same sword is used on them.

You are ugly! Science says so....

There has been a major blow-up in the secular media over a post in Psychology Today. Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, is under fire for writing that black women are seen as less attractive that other women.

In an interesting rebuttal that also appeared in Psychology Today, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman and Jelte Wicherts claim to have refuted Dr. Kanazawa's statistical analysis. Unfortunately, they also write this disturbing statement:

It is our view though that such research should be held to a higher standard than other research topics both in scientific rigor and presentation (see here for a similar argument). This should be so especially for topics that could potentially cause harm and suffering to individuals within a particular group. Science doesn't operate in a vacuum. Rigorous science collection and responsible science reporting is essential not just for the progress of science but also for the betterment of society (isn't that the point of psychology?).

There are some obvious questions in response to this statement: (1) Should all groups (what Dr. Kaufman means by a "group" is not clear) be protected, or just certain ones? (2) Who decides what constitutes "harm and suffering to individuals within a particular group"?

It is also interesting that Dr. Kaufman admits that Dr. Kanazawa might have reached a valid conclusion, even though he takes issue with the analysis used to reach it. This leads to a third question: (3) what is the highest priority of science - the betterment of society, or a fearless pursuit of the truth? The fact is that these two values can and sometimes do collide.

I am a mathematician, a white American who is married to a beautiful black African woman, so I find the idea that "attractiveness" is a quantity that can be measured objectively a bit of a crackpot notion. Beauty, as Dr. Kaufman notes, is mostly in the eye of the beholder. The images in the secular media of what constitutes female beauty come from a relatively tiny minority that happen to work in Hollywood and the fashion industry. Fashions change from year to year, and the images we see likewise vary. Trying to measure something as ephemeral as "attractiveness" is like trying to measure starlight by pouring it into a measuring cup.

Even so, I am not really in sympathy with Dr. Kaufman's concerns. He may be on solid ground with his analysis of Dr. Kanazawa's work, but it seems Dr. Kanazawa's real sin was in offending the wrong people. Let me ask a hypothetical question: what if Dr. Kanazawa had performed a similar analysis using similar data and concluded that Christian women were seen as less attractive than other women? Or Republican women? Or traditional women (meaning stay-at-home mothers)? Would Dr. Kaufman and others attempt to debunk that research with the same vigor they are showing now?

If one takes the writings of Richard Dawkins seriously, then religious belivers in general - and Christians in particular - are perhaps the most evil people in history. If there has been any backlash against Dr. Dawkins from the scientific community for his many popular bestsellers advancing such claims, then I have missed it.

Let Dawkins be Dawkins - and let Kanazawa be Kanazawa. If Dr. Kanazawa gets fired for this article don't pretend that political pressure had nothing to do with it. If you sow the wind (in pushing edgy topics in science) do not complain when you reap the whirlwind.

Today's verse

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:16-21 (KJV)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Lately there has been very little in the news about Asia Bibi. But rest assured God has not forgotten her.

God forgets no one.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3 (KJV)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Today's verse

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28 (KJV)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kiswahili for Windows

Windows 7 is now available in Kiswahili.

Today's verse

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Luke 4:1-13 (KJV)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Put not your trust in the princes of this world

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is one of the prime reasons why it is risky to invest too much hope in political leaders - or take too seriously what their cheerleaders in the secular media say.

It is worth recalling the events that took place in Tucson, Arizona this past January. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and many others were shot by Jared Loughner. Six died, while 14 others were injured.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Sherrif Dupnik claimed that Loughner was motivated by right-wing hate, and charged that Arizona had become a "Mecca for prejudice and bigotry". The secular media echoed Sheriff Dupnik's speculations, and tried to pass them off as proven facts. Sarah Palin, FOX News, the Tea Party - anyone whose political views annoyed the secular media were painted as culprits in the shooting.

But it turned out that Loughner was motivated by the weird voices in his head - and not by any coherent political philosophy of either the left or the right. Yet rather than admit their error, the secular media mostly dropped the story. Sheriff Dupnik vanished from news accounts so quickly you would think he had entered the Federal witness protection program.

Sheriff Dupnik is still on the job. Unfortunately. Now he is engaged in an ever-evolving explanation of how his SWAT team mowed down U.S. Marine Jose Guereña, who was an Iraq War veteran. There are conflicting reports about the botched raid (allegedly about Guereña being a drug dealer), but the SWAT team admitted that they fired first, and not Guereña. They also admit that after Guereña was shot they kept medical attention from him for more than an hour, possibly costing his life.

Guereña's house was entered by the SWAT team because he was suspected of dealing drugs. No word yet on whether any drugs were actually found in Guereña's house, or whether there is any other evidence to back up the original justification for the raid.

It would be tempting to give Sheriff Dupnik and his supporters in the secular media a taste of their own medicine and suggest that racial prejudice played a role in Guereña's death. Tempting, but wrong. Absent any proof I believe people should resist making these charges.

But the strange, twisted turns that Sheriff Dupnik's career has taken over the past five months should remind everyone (no matter their politics) that the ends do not justify the means. Rather than wait for proof, Sheriff Dupnik and the secular media tried to exploit the shootings in January for political gain. They had no proof that the shooter Jared Loughner was the product of a political system that had lost all civility. Yet Dupnik and the secular media tried in a cold-blooded manner to exploit the tragedy for political gain. Even after their narrative was proven wrong they continued to make false charges against those they disagreed with. And now that Dupnik may be in serious hot water over Guereña's death many of his cheerleaders in the secular media have clammed up rather than report the news. For them, the ends still justify the means.

In a strange yet fitting coda to this story Jared Loughner has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial. No word on whether Dupnik and the secular media will ever admit they screwed up.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3 (KJV))

Today's verse

He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Proverbs 14:21 (KJV)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Doomsday for fun and profit

I have written about Harold Camping and his now-discredited prediction that the world was going to end on May 21. At the time I wrote my first post, I was more interested in the fact that both Camping and the ELCA were pushing crackpot theological ideas. I still stand by that original post.

But in one important aspect I completely missed the boat. I should have (but did not) anticipate the secular media's feeding frenzy and the efforts by many secular journalists to smear all Christians as primitive, superstitious barbarians. That was a major error on my part.

An interesting post by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal captures perfectly my thoughts about this entire affair. Taranto writes:

To reject traditional religion is not, as the American Atheists might have it, to transform oneself into a perfectly rational being. Nonbelievers are no less susceptible to doomsday cults than believers are; Harold Camping is merely the Christian Al Gore. But because secular doomsday cultism has a scientific gloss, journalists ... treat it as if it were real science.

Exactly. For as long as I can remember, the secular media has preached Doomsday in one form or another. In the 1970s and 80s, the secular media solemnly informed us that nuclear war was inevitable, unless we agreed to all of the demands of the Soviet Union. Critics who suggested otherwise were demonized as bloodthirsty warmongers who wanted to slaughter all of humanity in order to feed their irrational Cold War paranoia.

Another favorite scare tactic of the secular media is imminent environmental catastrophe. It was the fashion of many newspapers, magazines, and TV shows to warn about runaway global cooling in the 1970s. Later, this suddenly (and without explanation) morphed into global warming, which suddenly morphed again into the one-size-fits-all threat of climate change. Even though the evidence for any of these was laughably thin, dissent was harshly punished by the secular media.

There are two things I find interesting about the secular media's taste for Doomsday predictions (of the secular variety). The first is that salvation - purely secular salvation - is available. If we just get rid of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, free enterprise and embrace the authoritarian worldview of the secular media and others who fancy themselves our moral and intellectual superiors, then the human race will achieve Paradise (and without that pesky Jesus to contend with).

The second is the fact that when it comes to predictions about the end of the world, the secular media's accuracy is identical to Harold Camping's: zero percent. Not a single doomsday prophecy the secular media has made (on nuclear war, the environment, or a score of other hot-button political issues) has come true. Not one.

The Psalmist writes, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." That also goes for the princes' press agents and their scare tactics.

Reading list

Stalking the Riemann hypothesis, by Dan Rockmore.

Today's verse

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Psalm 146:3-4 (KJV)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Doug Bandow writes about the history behind Pakistan's blasphemy laws, and how they are used to terrorize Christians like Asia Bibi.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Interview with Patricia Heaton

Patricia Heaton tells the Christian Post what it is like to be a Christian in Hollywood.

Drought and famine in the Moshi region

This story really hits close to home. My wife was born and grew up in the Moshi region, and many of her family still live there.

Please pray for the people of the Moshi region in northern Tanzania.

Today's verse

Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Psalm 143:9-10 (KJV)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

A video message from Asia Bibi's daughters.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today's verse

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:42-51 (KJV)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Today's verse

[Jesus] entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Mark 3:1-5 (KJV)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today's verse

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Dr. Nazir Bhatti, Chief of the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), called for the repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. He pointed out that Christians and Muslims (as well as other religious minorities) have been the victims of these laws, which is being used by radical Muslims to enforce their ideology.

Dr. Bhatti also was concerned by the delays in Asia Bibi's appeal. For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Martyr: Dune James Rike

Dune James Rike, the wife of Pastor James Musa Rike, was murdered by Muslim extremists in Kurum, Nigeria.

Please pray for the family of Dune James Rike, and for Christians being persecuted in Nigeria.

Reading list

The genesis of science, by James Hannam.

Today's verse

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

Matthew 18:1-5 (KJV)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today's verse

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision

Psalm 2:1-4 (KJV)

Monday, May 16, 2011

NALC nominates four to be bishop

The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) has nominated four candidates for NALC bishop. They are the Rev. John F. Bradosky, the Rev. James T. Lehmann, the Rev. Paul A. Schultz, and the Rev. Jacob Larry Yoder.

My wife and I are now members of a congregation belonging to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Nevertheless, all Christians will be affected by success or failure of the NALC in fighting the growing secular political activism and false teachings of the so-called mainline churches.

Please pray for the NALC and the four candidates for bishop.

Today's verse

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Exodus 20:2-17 (KJV)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Telecommunications in the Tanzanian medical system

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) has introduced a system where Tanzanian health workers can use cell phone technology to diagnose patints in remote rural locations.

Please pray for all who work in the Tanzanian health system.

Witness to the faith: Emil Hagamu

Emil Hagamu left his job as a teacher in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to begin an organization that seeks to combat the genocide of abortion by educating Tanzanians.

Please pray for Emil Hagamu and all who work to end abortion.

Update on Asia Bibi

Not even children are safe from Pakistan's infamous blasphemy laws. With the recent killing of Osama bin Laden, the plight of Christians in Pakistan like Asia Bibi has grown even more desperate as radical Muslims vent their rage.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

Hapo mwanzo Mungu aliumba mbingu na dunia. Sasa Dunia ilikuwa haina umbo tena ilikuwa tupu, giza lilikuwa juu ya uso wa vilindi vya maji, naye Roho wa Mungu alikuwa ametanda juu ya maji. Mungu akasema, “Iwepo nuru’’ nayo nuru ikawepo.

Mwanzo 1:1-3

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:1-3 (KJV)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Witness to the faith: Paola Rios

Please pray to end the genocide of abortion.

Has atheism fallen on hard times?

Recently, atheism has had to endure de-baptisms. Now Richard Dawkins, who might be considered by many to be the Pope of Atheism, is now refusing to debate the issue with William Lane Craig.

Some may think the professed atheist Dawkins has lost his nerve and is afraid to discuss an issue he appears to be losing on. Perhaps. But I will stick with my theory that Dawkins actually believes in God - and hates Him.

Dawkins views religious people the same way racist Southerners viewed blacks in the Jim Crow South. We can say a lot of things about that (none of them good), but we would never say that racists do not believe blacks exist. In fact, a pretty good case could be made that Dawkins is obsessed with God, to the point that he actually thinks that all of these bestsellers and TV appearances can somehow obliterate God.

As a lapsed atheist, I understand how atheism can seem as intellectually fearless and cool. But I lost my faith in atheism when I realized that atheism ducked too many important issues. Moreover, atheism had plenty of disdain for those who believed in God - but very little evidence to back up its claim that there is no God. Sporting an attitude like Dawkins' may wow them in the universities and the secular media, but it a poor substitute for thinking.

At any rate, atheism ain't what it used to be. The anti-believer Dawkins is proof of that.

Today's verse

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Psalm 95:1-6 (KJV)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back on-line

Blogger seems to have been down for quite a while. Which was just as well - this was finals week, and grades were due yesterday, so I had little chance to post anything anyway.

Today's verse

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 2:16-21 (KJV)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Police in the town of Chichawatni in Pakistan's Punjab Province have reportedly charged a mentally ill man with “injuring religious feelings.”

Is there anyone in Pakistan whom the authorities will not arrest in the name of Islam? This is the climate of hate that Asia Bibi and other victims of Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws have to deal with every day.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

7For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 (KJV)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Another of Osama bin Laden's victims

Some Americans may remember that before the events of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden was behind the bombing of the US Embassy in Tanzania in 1998. Here is the story of a Tanzanian woman whose husband was killed in that bombing.

Update on Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi, a mother of five children, spend Mother's Day in solitary confinement.

Her crime? Being a Christian.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Reading list

More than a theory, by Hugh Ross.

Today's verse

[The LORD] appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows its going down.
You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening.

Psalm 104:19-23 (NKJV)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"I'm too intelligent to be a bigot!"

Louis Bolce and Greald De Maio have written an interesting article about how media and academia can shape negative and even hostile attitudes about Christians.

As a mathematics instructor in a Texas community college I have see some of what the authors are talking about. Many professors who pride themselves on their supposed open-mindedness are deeply prejudiced against Christians - especially those they label as "fundamentalist". Comments about homosexuals, minorities, Muslims, and women that would never be condoned for an instant by college administrators and faculty are somehow not even minor offenses when directed against "fundies" (a word I hear tossed around in the same manner as the N-word).

What is alarming (to me, anyway) about this undisguised hostility towards "fundamentalist" Christians is the fact that many Christians - in an effort to avoid the wrath of our self-styled elites - will engage in similar attacks. Perhaps they believe that by doing so they will escape the wrath of these elites. They are wrong - for many of these elites all Christians (no matter how liberal their politics) are ignorant Bible-thumpin' Neanderthal barbarians who would never be tolerated in a decent society.

This bigotry is, of course, not a deadly issue. Christians in the USA may be subjected to all sorts of socially acceptable bigotry and (on occasion) may find their jobs threatened because of their Christian faith. But no one is in danger of losing their lives because of their faith.


My own view is that soon - perhaps in our lifetimes - open persecution against Christians will become official government policy. I am not saying this because I believe that we are living in the End Times and that the Great Tribulation is about to begin (I am skeptical of these and other trendy views in eschatology that try to read the Bible like some sort of secret code book). Perhaps Jesus is coming very soon, or perhaps He will not return for thousands of years. I do not know when He is returning, and the Bible is pretty clear when it warns us not to speculate on such things. Rather, I am simply observing that so much hatred and prejudice among intellectuals and the media against an increasingly unpopular minority is bound to lead to disaster. If Christians are constantly portrayed as sinister characters, sooner or later government will respond to public demand to do something about them.

Today's verse

I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Psalm 140:12-13 (KJV)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

The Christian Messenger asks people to pray for Asia Bibi today.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.

Today's verse

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Today's verse

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)