Archive for July, 2011

On the Norway Massacres

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011


By Bill Muehlenberg

The first and most obvious thing to say about the tragedy which just recently took place in Norway is that it never should have happened, it was horrendous, and we must pray for this nation and all those so heavily and deeply grieving right now.

In one sense that is enough to be said. Indeed, we should perhaps pray more and say less during such situations. But already – even at these early stages – a fair amount is being written about all this, and some people have been asking me for my thoughts on this event.

So let me offer a few preliminary thoughts, bearing in mind that more light and information about this act of evil will be forthcoming in days to come. As far as a general Christian apologetic on all this (why does God allow evil?), I won’t – and can’t – presume to solve that issue here.

Indeed, for at least four thousand years (if we date the events of the Book of Job to around 2000 BC or thereabouts), this issue has been bubbling around. What we can briefly say is one human being, by his own free will, detonated the bombs and pulled the triggers.

So the short answer is this character is responsible. If we want God to step in and intervene every time some act of evil is about to occur, not only would every single one of us be continuously interfered with from above (the very thought of which would be anathema to our atheist buddies), but this would be the end of free will.

‘So what?’ some might ask. Quite simply, if there is no free will, there is no evil, but there is no good either. Love and goodness are nonsensical apart from the notion of free will. So the price we have to pay to live in a pain-free world means we will also have to live in a love-free world.

But that is not a discussion I wish to take further here. The immediate cause of this tragedy is not God, but a crazed loner, Anders Behring Breivik. Why he did it and what led up to it is still being investigated. But as to why evil like this happens, the answer is short but sure: because there are evil people in the world.

Another point worth raising about this is how the MSM is already telling us that he was a right-winger and a Christian fundamentalist. It remains to be seen just who exactly he is and what his specific beliefs are. But a few things can be said about this.

First, if in any way he is claiming to be a Christian, he clearly is nothing of the sort. The entire New Testament makes it clear that the deliberate killing of the innocent is not only morally wrong, but can never be the hallmark of biblical Christianity.

We cannot kill the innocent in the name of Christ. We cannot say that biblical Christianity mandates that we commit murder. So whatever claims this guy may be making about his actions, he has absolutely no justification for them from the New Testament.

But of concern already at this early stage is how the MSM is rubbing in this issue of his supposed conservatism and Christianity. The truth is, when similar massacres take place, say at the hands of someone clearly aligned with Islam, the MSM will often downplay this connection.

Often the media will not even mention the religion of the person doing such atrocities, if it is Islam and the like. But here the religious angle is being trumpeted far and wide, because he is supposedly a Christian. Even a non-Christian like Andrew Bolt can see the glaring hypocrisy here (see link below).

He documents cases of the MSM going quiet on religion when a Muslim massacre takes place. This is just another example of our biased secular left MSM which will use any tragedy to score cheap political points in its war against Christianity and conservatism.

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Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The Petertide ordination photographs now appearing in the church press and on the internet are disturbingly similar to the pictures of a celebrity wedding, with a bit of the Glastonbury Festival thrown in.

In view of the colourful clerical shirts and elaborately-tailored vestments on display and the whooping expressions on the faces of the ordination candidates, it is sobering to reflect on the Lord Jesus Christ’s words to Peter as recorded in John 21:

Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go (John 21v17b-18 – RSV).

John then tells us that Jesus said this in order to show by what death Peter was to glorify God.

The possibility of martyrdom is on the tin of Christian discipleship in the New Testament, and its possibility is intensified in the case of those called to pastoral leadership.

A violent death at the hands of God-hating humanity is not a prospect any sane disciple of Christ would wish on themselves (Jesus recognises that by pointing out that Peter will be taken where he does not wish to go). But according to the New Testament the disciple of Christ should be mentally ready for it.

Indeed, such spiritual preparedness surely helps those disciples set apart for the pastoral calling to keep themselves from prancing about like participants at a celebrity fashion shoot.

Posted by Julian Mann at 02:55 7 comments

Canadian Lutheran Church splinters as it votes to allow same-sex ‘marriages

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

by John-Henry Westen, LifeSite News

The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) gave an emotional homily Sunday concluding the July 14-17 ELCIC National Convention which approved both performance of same-sex ‘marriages’ in Lutheran churches and ordination of practicing homosexual clergy. “We have made some very difficult and gut-wrenching choices for the future of our church and its ministry,” said Bishop Susan C. Johnson, as she struggled to hold back tears. “Some of us will be leaving this convention elated, and some will, and have already, left despondent.”

The vote to permit conducting and blessing homosexual ‘marriages’ passed by a vote of 192 to 132. The vote to permit practicing homosexuals to be ordained as clergy passed 205 to 114.
While the ELCIC is the largest Lutheran body in Canada, the measure has split the group and been condemned by another Lutheran group in the nation. Leaders of Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) issued a statement noting that the ELCIC is the only Lutheran church body in Canada “that has approved such a departure from accepted Christian teaching.”

On 21 July: Newton urged Wilberforce to keep going

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

July 21st, 2011 Posted in Slavery |

From The Christian Institute

On this day in history the famous clergyman and hymn writer John Newton wrote to Christian MP and anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce urging him not to give up his campaign against slavery.
Newton, a close friend and mentor of the campaigner, had previously persuaded a young Wilberforce to serve God in public life.
Eleven years later, at the start of 1796, Wilberforce put forward a Bill in Parliament aiming to abolish the slave trade
Despite previous disappointments he was convinced that on this occasion he could win the support of the majority of Parliament and put an end to slavery in the British Empire.

Read here


Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Christians at risk as Islamists plan major terrorist campaign in Nigeria

July 21st, 2011 Posted in Nigeria, Persecuted church |

Churches have been targeted in anti-Christian violence in recent monthsFrom Barnabas Fund

Islamist militant group Boko Haram are stepping up attacks in Northern Nigeria, with churches and Christians among their main targets, ahead of plans to mark the anniversary of their founder’s death at the end of the month in a “big way”.
The threat comes amid a spate of deadly bomb blasts on churches, police bases, markets, and bars as well as the assassination of Christians, politicians, security personnel and Muslim critics. Boko Haram, which is also known as “the Nigerian Taliban”, is fighting to establish an Islamic state in the North.
Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, where Boko Haram was formed in 2002, has been worst hit by the violence, which is spreading to other Northern states. The group has carried out at least 20 deadly attacks in Maiduguri since the beginning of the year, forcing the state university to close on 11 July and thousands of people to flee.

The Activists’ Game Plan against Religion, Life and the Family

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

By Patrick F Fagan and William L Saunders, Family Research Council

The UN, the Courts and Transnationalist Ideology

In “How U.N. Conventions on Women’s and Children’s Rights Undermine Family, Religion, and Sovereignty”2, we considered difficulties inherent in two United Nations conventions: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“CEDAW”) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”). In particular, we called attention to the fact that the committees entrusted to review implementation reports by state parties are acting far beyond their actual powers in what can only be described as an “ideological” manner. Here we intend to show that the activism of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women are part of an effort, both abroad and at home, to undermine the family, life and religion. CEDAW and CRC are simply two pieces used by cultural Marxists in the international clash of civilizations. The difference between cultural Marxists and traditional society is in how sexuality and reproduction are structured, and how both are linked to, or decoupled from, a sense of creation, or of the Creator. There is no reconciling these views. They clash.

Historical and Ideological Background
Influential intellectual roots of anti-family and anti-religious efforts can be found in the writings of Karl Marx’s collaborator, the German philosopher Friedrich Engels.3 Engels, in his vision of state ownership as the means of production and the ultimate triumph of the proletariat, was keenly aware that two institutions would stand in the way of his communist vision: the family and organized religion. He understood that in order for the international communist vision to come to fruition, the natural primacy of family and religion in society must be undermined.

Swazi bishop cleared of misconduct

Monday, July 18th, 2011

George Cpmger in CofE Newspaper
14th July, 2011

The Bishop of Swaziland has been cleared of charges of financial misconduct. However, the Rt Rev Meshack Mabuza told members of the diocesan synod gathered on 9 July at the Thokoza Anglican Centre in Mbabne that he was standing down as bishop.

In 2010 the Rev Bhekubuhle Mbatha, vicar of St Augustine’s church in Mpaka filed charges against the bishop alleging misconduct. While the allegations were never made public, the Times of Swaziland reported that a “team of investigators” sent by the Archbishop of Cape Town were reviewing charges of “mismanagement of moneys” sent by the Dioceses of Brechin and Iowa.

Last week’s announcement clears the Bishop of the misconduct charges. The Bishop has declined to say, however, why he was stepping down.

The financial misconduct charges were only part of the Bishop’s worries. On the evening of 21 February, traffic officers from the Lobamba police station stopped the Bishop while he was driving along the Manzini-Mbabane freeway. The Bishop failed a breathalyzer test and arrested him for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Bishop Mabuza’s hearing was held in camera the following morning before the Mbabane Magistrate’s Court. While the outcome of the proceedings is not known, under Swazi law a first drink-driving arrest is most often punished by a fine and an admonishment.

The Bishop’s drink-driving arrest followed a February 2010 Swazi media storm centring round Anglicans and alcohol. Local newspapers had a field day when the bar bill for the Southern African House of Bishops meeting, which was held in Swaziland, was given to the press.

Asked to comment on the propriety of imbibing bishops, Bishop Mabuza told the Times of Swaziland the church does not require its clergy to be teetotalers but took a dim view of public intoxication. “To us, it is not a crime when you take alcohol, but getting drunk is a vice,” the Bishop explained.