Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: July 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)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today's verse

Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

Exodus 22:22 (KJV)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

The US House of Representatives has voted to create a US envoy to protect the rights of religious minorities in the Middle East and South Asia.

Key quote from the article:

"In Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries where the United States has invested its treasure and the lives of countless brave American soldiers, persecution of Christians runs rampant," said Representative Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia who sponsored the bill.

He pointed to the case in Pakistan of Aasia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad, and the assassination this year of two politicians who defended her.

Personally, I am skeptical of this move. What, exactly, will this envoy be able to do that the US State Department is not already capable of doing? To me, a far more serious problem is the near absolute lack of concern by the secular media for the plight of Christians in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Pakistan. Often, the secular media describes the imprisonment, torture and murder of Christians by Muslims as "sectarian strife", as if Christians are somehow at equal fault.

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.

The poor you shall always have ... to use for political gain

I thought that mixing Christianity and politics was an unmitigated evil. Or so the secular media has always claimed. Apparently if your politics are acceptable to secular progressives, then mix away.

Jim Wallis believes that the trillions the US has already spent on so-called anti-poverty programs has not been enough. He is demanding more, as if the colossal failure of the modern welfare state never happened.

Like any other US citizen, Wallis is free to petition the government to enact policies he supports, although in the past he has shown undisguised hostility towards those whose politics disagrees with his. But he is not entitled to his own facts. For decades Wallis and other progressives have exploited the poor for political gain. When will they be held accountable for putting their greed over the needs of their brothers and sisters? When will they be required to explain why so much money only made the problem of poverty worse while poisoning the political debate in the process?

Wallis' attitude, I am sad to say, is a major sickness in Christianity today. The ELCA and other politically-minded denominations are quite willing to regard the poor as a kind of political cash cow to be invoked and used at will. On the issue of poverty these denominations take a harsh, uncompromising stance that allows no debate and tolerates no criticism. They also mix politics and religion to a degree they would immediately condemn if the so-called Religious Right tried it.

The irony is that if Wallis and other progressives stopped pushing failed government programs that only make poverty worse, if they merely sat on the sidelines and did absolutely nothing, it would be a far greater contribution to fighting poverty than they are presently making.

Today's verse

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (KJV)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reading list

Post Captain, by Patrick O'Brian.

Today's verse

How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me

Psalm 13 (KJV)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Keep your law(suits) off my prayers

"Keep Your Laws Off My Body" is used as a rallying cry for pro-abortion forces and secular progressives. My response is: keep your hands off the body of your baby, and we will call it even.

But the secular progressives are persistent if nothing else. Recently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry in an effort to keep him from recognizing a national day of prayer event or participating in it. However, a federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit.

Key quote from the article:

"I wonder if we had a Muslim governor what would happen if the whole state was called to a Muslim prayer," said Kay Staley, one of five Texas residents named as plaintiffs in the suit. "I think the governor needs to keep his religion out of his official duties."

Oh? First of all, attending an event like The Response (Aug. 6 at Houston's Reliant Stadium) is not a mixing of religion and state, much as Ms. Staley would like to pretend otherwise. Like other Americans, Governor Perry has First Amendment rights - and that includes the right to freedom of worship. If we took Ms. Staley's views seriously, then anytime an elected official attended church - or (Darwin forbid!) prayed silently - he or she would be guilty of trying to establish a Christianist theocracy. Does Ms. Staley really want to go down that road?

Finally, Ms. Staley's statement sounds rather ... Islamophobic. Talk about Christians being intolerant of other religious faiths! If religious pluralism is so offensive to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, they should consider moving to a country more receptive to their seek-and-destroy attitude towards religious faith - like North Korea, perhaps.

The struggle against Christophobia continues....

Today's verse

And he 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)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today's verse

I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

Psalm 41:4 (KJV)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Mission News Network reports on a worldwide petition drive on behalf of Asia Bibi. The petition itself can be found at A Call for Mercy.

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

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

1 Peter 3:8-11 (KJV)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's verse

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

Psalm 86:1-6 (KJV)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bullies big and small

Yesterday, my son and wife went to McDonalds. At some McDonalds restaurants play equipment can be found. My son loves to play there, and to play with the other kids he meets.

But yesterday was a bad day for him. No - he was not physically hurt while playing. Instead, he was taunted by a little girl. The details are not clear, but he was deeply upset by what she said to him.

My son has reached the age where he realizes he is different from other kids. His autism interferes with both his communication and social skills, and that is what contributed to yesterday's incident. I now realize that I would gladly suffer the loss of one of my limbs - or even my life - if he could be spared the teasing that will only grow worse as he gets older. But that is a trade no parent can ever hope to make.

Teasing and taunting are not limited to children such as my little boy's tormentor, who was simply being a thoughtless brat and will probably outgrow it someday. Our culture not only allows attacks on Christians that it would never tolerate for (pick one or more of the following) Muslims, women, blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals, it rewards them. Fame and fortune await those who can make the cruelest and ugliest taunts aimed at Christians.

Jesus warned us that the world would hate us because it hated Him. Too many American Christians fail to realize that the relative tolerance they have enjoyed for most of America's history is actually a miracle, and that most Christians worldwide today live under the threat of some sort of oppression. This has been true throughout most of history. I believe that the present ugly smears and demonizing of Christians that characterize so much of American popular culture will someday give rise to actual repression. Are you prepared?

Today's verse

O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them

Psalm 89:8-9 (KJV)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today's verse

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Psalm 25:15-21 (KJV)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today's verse

The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel. And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

Hosea 1:1-9 (KJV)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Today's verse

And Ruth said [to Naomi], Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

Ruth 1:16-17 (KJV)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wither the dream?

At the City Journal, Heather Mac Donald has an excellent piece on how the state of California is keeping it multicultural programs alive at the expense of true academics. Since the 1960s public universities has begun abandoning true education for radical political indoctrination.

I cannot help but contrast multiculturalism's ugly assault on the human spirit with these timeless words from 1963:

In today's society, our self-anointed moral and intellectual betters would declare such a speech "racist". Being judged by the content of our character instead of the color of our skin is too much for them. Greedy for political power, convinced of their own infallibility, and willing to do anything to see their mad vision come true, multiculturalists are destroying the heart and soul of the education system.

It is in this predatory environment that my son will be educated in. Because he was born of a black African mother and a white American father, he will be pressured to choose sides thanks to the divide-and-conquer approach taken by multiculturalists. And because multiculturalists have gone largely unchallenged for so long I fear it is unlikely they will be toppled from their positions of privilege without a huge struggle. Above all else, the princes of this world lust for power.

If you have never prayed for students and teachers before, now would be an excellent time.

Today's verse

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD

Psalm 40:1-3 (KJV)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reading list

This child will be great, by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Today's verse

And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

John 2:13-17 (KJV)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Update on Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi's case remains on hold.

Key quote from the article:

According to reports, Bibi’s health is deteriorating after five months in isolation in Sheikhpura prison.

Ashiq Masih, Asia Bibi’s husband, visits her every week with their two daughters.

“Bibi is frail and can barely speaks,” he said.

“She asks me about the High Court hearing every time, and every time in disappointment I tell her that we are waiting (for) the court to take up the case. She has not lost hope and she has the faith that God will take her out of the jail.”

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.

When religions collide...

In this case, the two faiths on a collision course are Islam and multiculturalism. In Canada, the Toronto District School Board is drawing criticism for allowing an imam to conduct Friday prayer services for Muslim students.

According to superintendent Jim Spyropoulos, Muslims are required to pray on Friday so “we have the duty to accommodate.” Interesting. The article also goes on to quote trustee Gerri Gershon, who says, “We have people asking what accommodation we provide for Christian students, but the system is set up to accommodate Christian students; Christmas and Easter are already holidays.” Two whole holidays. Gee, that's mighty big of them. I wonder what would happen if some Christian students tried to pray on school property during class time and a Christian pastor came to the school to conduct religious services.

But while it is tempting to enjoy a bit of schadenfreude while watching secular progressives defend the necessity of having non-Christian religion taught in public schools during class time (in the holy name of multiculturalism), it would be wrong. Consider the sobering possibility that a similar situation will probably arise in the USA one day. Or perhaps it already has: given the fact that the secular media sees Islamophobes lurking under every bed, it is safe to say such a story would likely go unreported. Such a story would go against the official secular media Narrative of America-as-plaything-of-intolerant-Christian-bigots. As the great political philosopher Whoopi Goldberg might say, there is truth and then there is truth-truth, and the latter should never be allowed to interfere with the former.

Secular progressives with their multicultural fundamentalist beliefs cannot have it both ways. They cannot defend using public school property and class time to instruct students in Islam while shrieking "Christianist indoctrination!" at any perceived hint of Christianity in those same schools (example: consider the near berserk fury that greets any skepticism of evolution in biology classrooms). The Western educational system is a closed shop where ideas and opinions outside of the major universities are not allowed. Shouldn't these secular progressives practice the multiculturalism they supposedly believe in? Either shut down the instruction in Islam, or open up the schools to all forms of religious teaching.

Today's verse

A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Proverbs 22:1 (KJV)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today's verse

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A note about recent blogging

Blogger has been pretty cranky the past few days, which has prevented me from writing here on a daily basis. Hopefully things will improve soon.

Update on Asia Bibi

The persecution of Asia Bibi is part of a larger pattern of human rights abuse directed against Christians. Muslims who incur the wrath of the religious authorities in Pakistan are also targeted.

Now this article from Compass News Direct brings to light the horrible persecution of street sweepers in Pakistan. Please read the entire article.

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

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

James 4:7-10 (KJV)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Autism caused largely by environmental factors?

I seriously doubt it. But that is the conclusion reached by a study that was partially funded by Autism Speaks, an advocacy group for autistic children and their parents. (h/t: Instapundit)

Key quote in the article:

"I think they're really on shaky ground to say that," Dr. Paul Law, director of the Interactive Autism Network at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, told the Times.

"Their data is so similar to everybody else's, and yet they come up with another conclusion," added Robert Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at King's College London. "I don't know how this happened."

Even though we have an autistic son, I don't belong to groups like Autism Speaks. I am weary of the hidden agendas of these types of these groups. Let them do politicking on their own time. Include me out.

Today's verse

Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalm 33:8-9 (KJV)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Today's verse

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3 (KJV)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Today's verse

And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath

Luke 6:1-5 (KJV)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Power outages

This is not good. Tanzania's state-run power company TANESCO has announced daily 12-hour power cuts. These cutbacks will go on until further notice.

Update on Asia Bibi

Paul Bhatti, the brother of the slain Pakisani minister Shahbaz Bhatti, believes the investigation into his murder is finally moving forward. Shahbaz Bhatti opposed the blasphemy laws that Asia Bibi was convicted under.

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

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.

Matthew 18:1-4 (KJV)