Saturday, January 14, 2017

How Black and White Christians Do Discipleship Differently; German Judges Say Torching of Synagogue isn't Hate...more

Abortionist Quits After a Dream: “These Children are the Ones You Killed With Your Abortions”  Nightmares and dreams about children plagued Stojan Adasevic for years while he worked as an abortionist for communist Serbia.

In 26 years, Stojan aborted approximately 48,000 unborn children, including his own relatives. According to his communist country, however, he only was removing blobs of tissue.

The National Catholic Register reports Stojan had a conversion experience, partially as a result of his dreams, and he now is one of the strongest advocates for unborn babies’ lives in Eastern Europe...

Episcopalians Uneasy about Cathedral Inauguration Role The Washington National Cathedral is once again at the center of controversy, but this time it isn’t for political pronouncements from the pulpit. The Episcopal cathedral is garnering criticism from some Episcopalians – including within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington – for hosting a regular interfaith prayer service as part of festivities marking the U.S. Presidential Inauguration, and for agreeing to send its boys choir to perform at the Inauguration itself...

German Judges Say Torching of Synagogue isn't Hate, Suspends Sentences Oh my. German judges have declared that fire-bombing a synagogue by three German Palestinians wasn't anti-Semitism but was simply an attempt to "bring attention to the Gaza conflict" and a “criticism of Israel’s policies.”

The arson occurred in 2014. The following year the three were found quilty of arson and given...community service.

So yeah, firebombing a synagogue is pretty much the equivalent of not paying parking tickets in Germany now...

California Inmate Receives Gender Reassignment at Taxpayer Expense California inmate Shiloh Quine became the first inmate in the United States to receive taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery. The 57-year-old is serving life in prison for kidnapping, robbing, and shooting Shahid Ali Baig, a 33-year-old father of three, in Los Angeles in 1980.

The state of California agreed to pay for the surgery in a settlement reached with Quine in August 2015. Joyce Hayhoe, a spokesperson for the official who oversees prison medical care in California, said the procedure, medication, and counseling could cost as much as $100,000. The attorneys at the Transgender Law Center, which represents Quine, dispute that figure...

How Black and White Christians Do Discipleship Differently  ...When it comes to spiritual formation and discipleship, African American Christians are in it together.
 
Black believers are more likely to position their growth in Christ in the context of community and fellowship, while white Christians take a more individualized approach, according to a study released this week from Barna Research.
 
The survey found that twice as many black Christians as whites were currently being mentored or discipled by a fellow believer (38% vs. 19%). Over a quarter of black Christians also served as mentors themselves, compared to 17 percent of white Christians...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Designer babies: an ethical horror waiting to happen?; Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel...more

Designer babies: an ethical horror waiting to happen?
...Most countries have not yet legislated on genetic modification in human reproduction, but of those that have, all have banned it. The idea of using Crispr-Cas9 for human reproduction is largely rejected in principle by the medical research community. A team of scientists warned in Nature less than two years ago that genetic manipulation of the germ line (sperm and egg cells) by methods like Crispr-Cas9, even if focused initially on improving health, “could start us down a path towards non-therapeutic genetic enhancement”.

Besides, there seems to be little need for gene editing in reproduction. It would be a difficult, expensive and uncertain way to achieve what can mostly be achieved already in other ways, particularly by just selecting an embryo that has or lacks the gene in question. “Almost everything you can accomplish by gene editing, you can accomplish by embryo selection,” says bioethicist Henry Greely of Stanford University in California.

Because of unknown health risks and widespread public distrust of gene editing, bioethicist Ronald Green of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire says he does not foresee widespread use of Crispr-Cas9 in the next two decades, even for the prevention of genetic disease, let alone for designer babies. However, Green does see gene editing appearing on the menu eventually, and perhaps not just for medical therapies. “It is unavoidably in our future,” he says, “and I believe that it will become one of the central foci of our social debates later in this century and in the century beyond.” He warns that this might be accompanied by “serious errors and health problems as unknown genetic side effects in ‘edited’ children and populations begin to manifest themselves”...

Europe in deep freeze, over 60 dead as new Arctic blast arrives More than 60 people have died in Europe since the beginning of the month when cold Arctic airmass started descending south, toward the Mediterranean. The most vulnerable, and many of the victims, are homeless and migrants. The temperatures are expected to somewhat ease up over the next couple of days in parts of the region, but the weather is expected to further deteriorate by the end of the week. There are fears thousands of people could die before the winter ends...

With Obama’s Approval, Russia Selling 130 Tons of Uranium to Iran ...The announcement of the new shipment is seen as one more last-minute jab from the Obama White House at incoming President Trump, who probably would have vetoed the shipment, even though, according to US diplomats speaking to the Associated Press and Fox News, the amount of uranium is within what’s allowable under the 2015 deal. Republican lawmakers have almost uniformly opposed that nuclear deal, arguing it awarded Iran too many concessions. The same lawmakers – which included the current Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (NY) – also argued the deal does not provide reliable verifications of Iran’s compliance.

Last month the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that at current production levels Iran is going to exceed its cap on low-enriched uranium. Also, just a few days before the IAEA sounded the alarm, President Hassan Rouhani ordered Iran’s nuclear agency to develop nuclear engines that would use uranium enriched to 20 percent – a clear violation of the 2015 deal allowing Iran to enrich only to 3.67 percent...

Thousands of Muslims reportedly turning to Christ in Middle East ...Voice Of the Martyrs Canada, which supports Christian radio broadcasts in the region, told BosNewsLife that despite the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq and Syria due to terrorism, persecution, and war, scores of Muslims are making the decision to embrace Christianity. 

"There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ," VOMC revealed. "We are in regular contact with our FM stations in Iraq and have talked with many people who have family in the Middle East."

"Some of our Middle Eastern broadcasters have shared testimonies [about many turning to Christ] with us, which they hear directly from listeners when visiting there ..."...

The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
The findings and trends noted by Open Doors are stark:
  • Approximately 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme persecution.
  • North Korea remains the most dangerous place to be a Christian (for 14 straight years).
  • Islamic extremism remains the global dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 out of the 50 countries on the 2017 list.
  • Ethnic nationalism is fast becoming a major driver of persecution. “While this took an anti-establishment form in the West, in Asia it took an anti-minorities form, fueled by dramatic religious nationalism and government insecurity. It is common—and easy—for tottering governments to gain quick support by scapegoating Christians.”
  • The total number of persecution incidents in the top 50 most dangerous countries increased, revealing the persecution of Christians worldwide as a rising trend.
  • The most violent: Pakistan, which rose to No. 4 on the list for a level of violence “exceeding even northern Nigeria.”
  • The killings of Christians in Nigeria saw an increase of more than 62 percent.
  • The killings of Christians were more geographically dispersed than in most time periods studied. “Hitting closer to home, 23 Christian leaders in Mexico and four in Colombia were killed specifically for their faith,” said Open Doors of the “rare” event.
  • The worst increase: Mali, which moved up the most places on the list from No. 44 to No. 32.
  • Asia is a new center of concern, with persecution rising sharply in Bangladesh, Laos, and Bhutan, and Sri Lanka joining the list for the first time.​
Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel ...The 5,000 departures in 2016 add to the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures seen by AFP.

"The aliyah (the act of moving to Israel) of French Jews has been significant over the last decade," Benhaim told AFP.

The French Jewish community is the biggest in Europe and is thought to number around 500,000 people...

As Venezuelans Go Hungry, The Military Is Trafficking In Food ...In Venezuela, food has become so scarce it's now being sold on the black market. One person tells the Associated Press, "it's a better business than drugs."

And the food traffickers are the very people sworn to protect Venezuela: the nation's military.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave the military complete control of the food supply last summer, after people began protesting in the streets over food rationing. Shortages had become so bad that people were even ransacking grocers — though many were largely empty...


Colorado 2016 from DAVID on Vimeo.

Go to the vimeo site for enlarged version-stunning!

Koran Verse Denying Jesus Was Son of God Sung in Scottish Cathedral

by Nick Hallett
11 Jan 2017

A passage from the Koran that denies one of the central tenets of the Christian faith was sung aloud at a cathedral service in Scotland.

The passage from Surah 19, which specifically denies that Jesus was the Son of God and says He should not be worshipped, was sung during a Eucharist service at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow to mark the feast of the Epiphany.

A video of the recital was posted on YouTube showing a girl singing the passage in a typical Islamic style. It narrates the Islamic account of the birth of Jesus, which includes the claim that Mary was “ashamed” after giving birth, and the infant Christ miraculously spoke from the cradle – something not found in Christian scripture.

She then concludes by singing verse 35, which states in translation: “It befitteth not the Majesty of Allah that He should take unto Himself a son,” and then verse 36, which has the infant Jesus saying: “And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the right path.”

The cathedral praised the reading in a Facebook post, calling it a “wonderful event."...the rest

Cathedral marks Epiphany with Koran reading -Anglican Ink

Qur’an in the Eucharist? The Provost of Glasgow Cathedral subverts Christian revelation...It’s hard to know what was in the mind of the Provost of Glasgow Cathedral when he arranged for this assault on Jesus and the apostles who authored the Gospels, during the proclamation of the Word in the Epiphany Eucharist at the place of the bishop’s seat, the heart of the Christian community...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Observations On Revival

Fiery sunset
January 9, 2017
by Sam Storms

Excerpt:
(1) Revival cannot be scheduled. Revival cannot be predicted, but neither can it be precluded. There simply are no natural laws that guarantee revival. True revival is a sovereign work of God (Zech. 4:6). In other words, revival is always a miracle. Revival is not "in our pocket." Once we fall into the trap of thinking that revival is at our beck-and-call, we will begin to develop earthly strategies that we are convinced will produce the desired end. We will become sinfully pragmatic in the business of religion, as we justify virtually any tactic or method just so long as it gets "results". But this is precisely what we must avoid at all costs.

(2) Someone has defined revival as "a copious effusion of the influence of divine grace," i.e., a bountiful outpouring of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. J. I. Packer defines revival as "a work of God by his Spirit through his word bringing the spiritually dead to living faith in Christ and renewing the inner life of Christians who have grown slack and sleepy" (Revival, 36). Or again, "Revival is God stirring the hearts of his people, visiting them . . . coming to dwell with them . . . returning to them . . . pouring out his Spirit on them . . . to quicken their consciences, show them their sins, and exalt his mercy . . . before their eyes" (Keep in Step with the Spirit, 256).

(3) True revival is a surprising work of God. This is because revival is a gracious work of God. No one deserves revival. One may never expect what one does not deserve. If God were not to send revival, no one could protest that an injustice had been done. That is why we must never demand revival, as if God were in our debt. God is not obligated to visit us with the refreshing waters of his presence. That he occasionally does is an expression of mercy. It is the compassion and loving kindness of God that accounts for revival. image

Full article here

More Observations on the Nature of True Revival

Added 1/12/17:
A Dozen Additional Thoughts on the Nature of Revival and How People Respond to It

Monday, January 09, 2017

Iran: U.S. Surrendered More Than $10 Billion; A Window Into a Depraved Culture...more

5 Things The Seeker Movement Got Right
Actually, these are more like five “right ideas” or five “right tracks” the “seeker sensitive” church growth movement started down before it veered hard into a fuller blown consumerism and became the attractional church. The yes, but's will be a reflex for many readers (as they are for me), and I have tried to anticipate them in my explanations, but for the most part, this really is a post about some good gifts the seeker church of yesteryear has given contemporary evangelicalism...

 Planned Parenthood Engaged in $12.8 Million in Waste, Abuse and Fraudulent Overbilling
Today Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) released the 5th annual report identifying waste, abuse, and potential fraud by Planned Parenthood affiliates and other abortion providers, particularly with respect to federal and state Title XIX-Medicaid reimbursements. “Profit. No Matter What: 2016 Report on Publicly Available Audits of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and State Family Planning Programs” summarizes 51 known external audits or other reviews of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ financial data and practices.

The report, authored by Catherine Glenn Foster, CLI Senior Fellow in Legal Policy, is available online here...   

Iran: U.S. Surrendered More Than $10 Billion in Gold, Cash, Assets The Obama administration has paid Iran more than $10 billion in gold, cash, and other assets since 2013, according to Iranian officials, who disclosed that the White House has been intentionally deflating the total amount paid to the Islamic Republic.

Senior Iranian officials late last week confirmed reports that the total amount of money paid to Iran over the past four years is in excess of $10 billion, a figure that runs counter to official estimates provided by the White House.

The latest disclosure by Iran, which comports with previous claims about the Obama administration obfuscating details about its cash transfers to Iran—including a $1.7 billion cash payment included in a ransom to free Americans—sheds further light on the White House’s back room dealings to bolster Iran’s economy and preserve the Iran nuclear agreement...

A Window Into a Depraved Culture-the Chicago torture video provides a close-up look at gang-centered criminal mayhem These anti-law enforcement claims reinforce existing anti-white animus in the inner city. The notion that the dominant or exclusive racism in America today is white anti-black racism is absurd. Though many urban residents harbor no racial animosity, the recurrent “Fuck Whitey” and “Kill the cops” themes in rap music are not accidental. (Sample: “Kill the White people; we gonna make them hurt; kill the White people; but buy my record first,” by Apache; “The White man is the devil… Drive-by shooting on this White genetic mutant,” by Menace Clan.) I have been warned by residents of one East Harlem housing project not to go to a neighboring project because “they really hate whites there.”...

#NotMyPresident
Our Christian responsibilities regarding the office of the President of the United States
I have noticed all over social media for some time the hashtag #NotMyPresident.

Both sides. Do your own search on Twitter. You’ll find those who reject President Obama and others who reject President-elect Trump. Democrats. Republicans. Libertarians. Independents. Men. Women. Old. Young.

As I was told as a child, “Cut it out!”...