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Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Keep praying for Asia Bibi

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

This story comes through openheaven.org. You may be aware of this Christian Pakistani woman who was accused of blasphemy, a capital crime under Islam, on phony charges and has been held  in jail interminably. Just a tiny crack has appeared in the case.

The news has been so dark lately that it is easy to wonder what one little case like this can do, even if we do win. But it is essential that we fight the battle when and where we can. That’s the only way we’ll ever make progress. Let’s do it not only for Asia Bibi, but for the many who don’t have even the slim chance she does.

Here’s a site with the latest news, and where you can join in writing a letter of encouragement to Asia: http://incontext.webs.com/asiabibi.htm.

And here’s one where you can engage in activism: http://campaigns.csi-usa.org/index.php?id=FreeAsia.

Story follows.

Pakistan: Asia Bibi’s accuser is said to have admitted that his charges are phony

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) — The case of Asia Bibi, the Pakistan Christian mother-of-five who was sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy, has taken an extraordinary turn.

According to a story monitored by the ASSIST News Service, Qari Salam, who accused Bibi of blasphemy charges, which resulted in a jail sentence and possible hanging, is reported to have “ostensibly” regreted filing a blasphemy charge against the impoverished Christian woman.

“The source of his guilt – realization that the case was not based on facts but on hyped religious emotions and personal bias of some village women, including his wife,” said the story posted at: http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/islam/T72AF1K9C8RL3C6TG

Bibi has been languishing in Sheikhupura jail since a sessions court gave her a death sentence for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Support from London

Qari, according to some of his close friends, was now thinking of not pursuing the case anymore and expressed his desire to some of his friends, only to find himself in a difficult situation when activists of an Islamic religious organization “convinced” him not to change his mind.

“We will chase her through hell . don’t worry about the money, hiring best lawyers,” Salam told The Express Tribune, quoting the son of Khatm-e-Nabuwat’s London chapter’s leader.

The leader’s son flew in to Nankana from London after hearing that Salam might not go to Lahore High Court (LHC) when the review petition against Asia’s conviction is taken up.

Source: (ANS) www.assistnews.net

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A most illiberal decree

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

The latest depredation of the Obama administration involves a health care regulation that will force all medical insurance plans to provide full coverage for drugs and procedures which can take the life of an already-conceived human being. This is exactly what we warned the nation about during the great healthcare debate a year and a half ago, and when Bart Stupak and other “pro-life Democrats” made their idiotic deal with the devil. Now it is coming to pass, though predictably, it is slipping through incrementally.

Funny how the implementation date for the new regulation has been pushed back one year, from August of ’12 to August of ’13. That just so happens to delay the issue until after the coming presidential election. Funny.

If Obama gets his way, there will be no refuge from the complete control of health care by the government. And that means control by humanists. The conscience of Christians will not be respected, as we plainly see. If you want to stay in business or keep your job, you will comply.

It’s hard to know what to say. If the problem were merely Obama, it would be easy to fix. But as the Psalms ask, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? It was the people who placed Obama in the highest office in the land. It was the media which hypnotized them, it was the government schools which dumbed them down. It was Big Labor which appealed to their selfishness. But ultimately it was the people who fell for the load of malarkey.

It’s easy to get discouraged by the state of the nation. I’ve never seen it so depraved and profane. All the warnings the moralists gave us were true, and the consequences of our decisions have come upon us. Unless somehow we can pull a rabbit out of the political hat, we are going to see the nation pull further and further away from us.

That’s why it is essential that each one of us does not run out of lamp oil. You will recall that according to the parable of the ten virgins, five wise virgins went back and got oil for their lamps, just in case the expected bridegroom was delayed. But five foolish virgins instead slept. When the bridegroom arrived, the wise virgins had enough oil, but the foolish did not.

If our faith rests on the good graces of the United States of America, we’re going to be in trouble. While that may have worked well for several hundred years, it doesn’t seem to be so any longer. We need to dig down deeper than that.

The political realm is a valid place to fight the good fight, and I hope more people do. But the spiritual realm is really where the action is. If you look at the much-quoted 2Chron 7.14:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

You see that the verse refers not to the electorate, but to the people of God. It all hinges on us, and on our faithfulness. We are the ones who need to humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord’s face, and yes, to turn from our wicked ways.

Simply put, the church needs to be the church as Jesus intended it to be. Each one of us needs to seek the Lord’s will for our lives, and conform ourselves to His wonderful character. If this happens as a grassroots movement, it becomes a revival. And as it gains steam the church gains the power to bear witness to the truth and love of God. We gain the power to love the unlovely – those who have fallen to the schemes of satan and this world. This is a powerful, life-changing dynamic. I found in my own life that it was when Jesus stuck by me when all others had left, when even He should have left according to my own calculations, that He won my heart forever. And it can be the same for the hurting people today, if the church will reach out to them in their difficulties.

I’m not happy watching this nation sink into the swamp. The humanism, the political correctness, and the immorality are literally killing us. I hope something can be done about it, and I will do whatever I can. But I have learned that my main focus must be the person of Jesus and the kingdom of God. Unless we see to that, there is no hope of saving the nation.

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The state of our presidential politics

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I tuned in for no more than one minute of the Republican presidential debate this Tuesday, before turning it off in disgust. The bickering and infighting had reached the level of a circular firing squad. Enough.

I’m going to make some rather plain statements here, for better or worse.

First, the infighting began many weeks ago when Bachmann’s main man, Ed Rollins, began a low-blow attack on Bachmann’s fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty. I predicted that if she did not disavow Rollins’ attack, she would pay a steep price. She didn’t,  kept up the negative campaigning, and has disqualified herself.

There is a time for going negative. It is not in the primary season, especially when defeating Obama is so important. Doing it now smacks of desperation and selfish ambition. This is a time for clear articulation of vision.

Perry’s entrance to the race was met with great anticipation. Unfortunately, he has been incoherent on principle and simply horrendous in debate. The electorate is not going to put another inarticulate Texan in office, period. He had a golden opportunity, but seems not to have prepared himself adequately.

For a while, Romney was the only one to be, in the words of Jake Tapper, running a general election campaign. He kept his eyes on the issues and on defeating Obama, and doing so increasingly made him look presidential. But now even his practiced unflappability has worn thin, and he is going on the attack. That one minute of the debate I tuned into on Tuesday happened to be an intense argument between him and Perry. It’s doubtful that either survived it in the eyes of independents looking in.

And then there is Herman Cain, the currently rising star. I like Cain. He’s generally on the right side of things, and has kept himself above the fray. I want someone in office who understands business. Unfortunately, however, Cain is not up to the demands of the presidency. He has made several statements that he quickly walked back on, to the point of either rank hypocrisy or incoherence, or both. He seems to approach things with a businessman’s practicality, which is good, but without much depth of principle, thinking or articulation, which is not. He would not survive a campaign against Obama.

That leaves one man standing. To my own surprise, and not terribly happily so, I am increasingly thinking that the one person who has held himself above the mud-wrestling, who has consistently projected an articulate positive vision, and who is capable of going head-to-head against Obama, is Newt Gingrich. I’m not happy about that because I am well aware of the political baggage he carries – regarding global warming, ethanol subsidies, blinking during the government shutdown crisis under Clinton, etc. – not to mention his personal baggage, which no doubt would hurt his chances as well. I believe Gingrich would cut Obama to ribbons in any debate format, but the format Gingrich is proposing – six unmoderated three-hour head-to-heads, with only a timekeeper – would be historic. In my view, this is a tremendous idea befitting the critical issues we face.

And so it comes down to imperfect choices. There is no guarantee that once in office, Gingrich wouldn’t compromise himself yet again, or flinch at a critical point in the face of battle. Yet he seems to be the only hope of restoring this nation at this point.

All this leads me to the scripture that warns us not to place our trust in princes, or in the sons of men. Ultimately, my trust is in the Lord alone – not man, not nations. I’ve seen that our politics, and all our institutions for that matter, are corrupt to the core. Our future, and the future of the whole world, is in the Lord’s very capable hands. Yet still, common sense dictates that, beyond praying, we should do what we can in the human realm to preserve the good that remains.

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The coming economic catastrophe

March 1, 2011 Leave a comment

This subject is a bit unusual for this blog, but it is important enough that we should spend time on it. I watch the national scene closely, and I believe that America is headed for a major economic catastrophe, unless somehow we radically switch course.

One of the main themes of the recent past election was the economy. The Taxed Enough Already movement, despite being bitterly derided by the Democratic party and their allies in public sector unions and the media, proved to be an authentic people’s movement that provided the electoral energy for the Republicans to win back an historic number of seats in Congress and to give a stinging rebuke to the Obama agenda.

Since then, our domestic headlines have mostly revolved around the worsening balance sheet of the federal and many state governments. The new congressional leadership is carrying the torch for balancing the budget by controlling out of control spending, such as earmarks and entitlements, and by reining in unfunded mandates, such as social security, medicare and Medicaid, all of which are rapidly driving us into insolvency. But vested interests, which are the ones who led the way to our current predicament, do not want their lucrative apple cart upset, and are resisting tooth and nail.

What does this have to do with “Following Christ”, you may ask. Consider this. Jesus very practically warned His followers to flee Jerusalem when they saw approaching armies. Those who kept His words in mind were able to escape slaughter or capture a few decades later, when the Roman general Titus besieged, and then leveled, the city.

Just a few years after the Resurrection, the prophet Agabus from Judea predicted that a huge famine would sweep the lands under Rome’s control. The church heeded his warning and took immediate steps to strengthen that part of the church that was under the most duress at the time, which was the church in Jerusalem itself, which, being at the epicenter of Judaism, was being persecuted and plundered (see Hebrews 10.32-36).

But even more important than any one relief effort was that in reaching out to the hurting saints an ongoing mentality was birthed, whereby the local church began to think globally of the wellbeing of her sister churches. The famine Agabus predicted came during the reign of Claudius, and we can well assume that the churches continued to aid each other during that time. This not only helped the family of believers, it was a tremendous witness to those on the outside that were hurting, as international relief efforts were unheard of back then. This undoubtedly became one reason the Romans would later say of the Christians during the persecutions, “how they love one another”.

Accordingly, I want Christians to be aware of what is going on, so that they can understand what’s driving the news, consider what may be coming, and:

  • take steps to protect themselves
  • pray so that the nation can perhaps avoid catastrophe or lessen its impact
  • position themselves to strengthen the Kingdom should the calamity strike and Christians be in need
  • position themselves to extend the Kingdom by ministering Christ’s love to outsiders in need.

So I’m going to embed a video here that I think says a lot. But before I do, let me issue some qualifiers.

  • I do not endorse everything this video says.
  • I believe there are some good politicians, who understand the real challenges our nation faces, and who are doing there best, against very powerful forces, including in their own party, to combat the problem.
  • I do not believe that both major political parties are the same.
  • I do not believe everything Ron Paul advocates. Specifically, I do not believe it is responsible, or even possible, for us to disengage from the world to the degree that he would like.
  • I know little about the group producing this video, the National Inflation Association, and therefore cannot endorse them. They seem to be a commercial outfit, but this video seems to be a clean educational effort. I have no connection to them, and neither do I benefit from this in any material way.

Most importantly, I believe that the solution to our problem is not primarily economic, it is spiritual. The video ends up calling us back to an economy rooted in quality interactions. Well and fine, but that is not going to happen unless we turn this nation around spiritually. I know that the two realms – the spiritual and the practical – very often must work together. But still I want to make clear that I am not advocating a strictly secular solution to a problem that is, at root, spiritual.

Regarding the spiritual, recall that great promise God has issued to us:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. -2Chr 7:14

The spiritual side must lead. Nonetheless, I will emphasize that I do agree with the lion’s share of the content shown here, and I believe it is critical information that every American, every citizen of the West, and every Christian should become familiar with.

This video asks for almost an hour of your time. I believe you will be benefited to give it a viewing.

Be blessed,

Paul

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Genocide on slow-burn

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I first fell in love with the Karen people of Burma decades ago, when I read Don Richardson’s amazing Eternity in Their Hearts. The Karen are a precious people that had never seen the white man, yet they began having dreams and visions that a white man would bring them news of the true God.

Through a set of miraculous circumstances (reminiscent of the time when Saul found his father’s lost donkeys at the word of the prophet Samuel), that is exactly what happened, as a missionary from the West came and revealed the nature of God’s infinite love to them.

The Karen responded enthusiastically, and they have formed a Christian enclave in the midst of southeast Asia for a century.
So it is sad to learn that, not only are they an oppressed minority, they are the target of a low-level genocide by the government of Myanmar.

This time it is not Islam that is the exterminator of Christian lives, but a totalitarian state. According to this Christian Post article, the Myanmar army is killing, raping, and stealing from the Karen at will, and forcing them to go unfed and plant only cash crops.

There are several factors at work, but one dominant one is that the ruling junta considers Christianity a threat to their control of the Burmese culture. They want to unify the nation under their rule using Buddhism as the spiritual cement. Christianity, and Christians, get in their way.

This nationalistic dynamic is a very common one, even in the Islamic nations. I would say that the use of religion for state purposes is the single most pervasive cause of persecution on the societal level.

I hurt for our brothers and sisters under this level of persecution. The devil has been turned loose, with nowhere left to run and with limited time to expend his wrath. He is targeting the saints viciously around the world.

We need to be in solidarity and intercession for our brothers, and as far as we are able we should be advocating on their behalf.

May the Lord grant them peace and security, and faithfulness in persecution, and may He make their witness effective and work good out of evil.

 

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