Monday, March 29, 2010

Revelation On The Drunken Movement

-Andrew Strom.

Of course, we all know Jesus' parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Tares are plants that look just like wheat until Harvest time -when it turns out that they were counterfeit. Awhile ago I learnt some facts about Tares that truly shocked and surprised me.

When you look up the word "Tares" on Wikipedia, it comes back with the equivalent plant named "Darnel." This is exactly correct according to most Biblical authorities. The Tares are almost always
considered to be the weed Darnel - also known as "false wheat" which grows plentifully in the whole region around Israel. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

"It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears… It parasitizes wheat fields. The French word for darnel is "ivraie"…which expresses that weed's characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, and can cause death. This characteristic is also alluded to in the scientific name (Latin
temulentus = drunk)… The plant is mentioned in… the Parable of the Tares in the Gospel of Matthew."

So is this identification of Tares with "drunkenness" noted elsewhere? Yes - many Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias say exactly the same thing. In fact, the Faussett Bible Cyclopedia states that "when mixed with wheat flour [it] causes dizziness, intoxication, and paralysis" and says that bearded darnel is known as "the only deleterious grain" among all the grasses.

On the giant website "" we read: "It is recorded to have produced all the symptoms of drunkenness: a general trembling, followed by inability to walk, hindered speech and vomiting. For this reason the French call Darnel: 'Ivraie,' from Ivre (drunkenness)."

Out of all the weed-type grasses, Tares are seemingly the only ones that produce this deadly "drunken" effect. Isn't that amazing? In the parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matt 13, Jesus states that his "enemy" sows tares amongst the true wheat. Then He says:

"Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn" (Mt 13:30).

I guess I don't need to point out the possible parallels with today's "Drunkenness"/ River movement. What an alarming insight - if it does have relevance to what we have seen in those circles!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Poll: Is President Obama The AntiChrist?

*Where is the Pepto Bismol? I can hardly watch the news lately…I do not in anyway believe this man is the antichrist! The lack of respect demonstrated towards this President is reprehensible! Treating him in a respectful manner does not require people agreeing with his policies.


Belief that Obama is the Antichrist now widespread?
The Baltimore Sun

A quarter of Republicans believe President Barack Obama might be the Antichrist, according to a Harris Poll released Wednesday.

In a survey by the same organization a year ago, Obama edged out Jesus as the figure most often named a hero by Americans. Now 24 percent of Republicans, and 14 percent of Americans overall, believe he might be the adversary of the Christ, Harris Interative reports.

Other findings in the online poll of 2,230 people conducted from March 1 through 8:

Two thirds of Republicans -- 67 percent -- and 40 percent of Americans overall, believe that Obama is a socialist.

A majority of Republicans -- 57 percent -- and 32 percent overall believe that Obama is a Muslim.

45 percent of Republicans, and 25 percent overall, believe that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president."

38 percent of Republicans, and 20 percent overall, say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did."

"The very large numbers of people who believe all these things of President Obama help to explain the size and strength of the Tea Party Movement," Harris Interactive says in a release.

The organization is drawing criticism for the manner in which it selected its sample and the way it framed the questions. ABC News polling director Gary Langer has posted a critique on his blog, followed by a lively discussion in the comments section.

Former Rudy Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon, whose polemic Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America inspired the poll, writes at the Daily Beast that the results "clearly [show] that education is a barrier to extremism:"

Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It's a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: "Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."

The full results of the poll, which will be released in greater detail tomorrow, are even more frightening: including news that high percentages of Republicans—and Americans overall—believe that President Obama is "racist," "anti-American" "wants the terrorists to win" and "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government." The "Hatriot" belief that Obama is a "domestic enemy" as set forth in the Constitution is also widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come. It's the same claim made by Marine Lance Corporal Kody Brittingham in his letter of intent to assassinate the President Obama.

More findings and methodology from Harris Interactive follows, after the jump.

A new book, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America by John Avlon describes the large numbers of Americans who hold extreme views of President Obama. This Harris Poll seeks to measure how many people are involved. It finds that 40% of adults believe he is a socialist. More than 30% think he wants to take away Americans' right to own guns and that he is a Muslim. More than 25% believe he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a world government, has done many things that are unconstitutional, that he resents America's heritage, and that he does what Wall Street tells him to do.

More than 20% believe he was not born in the United States, that he is "the domestic enemy the U.S. Constitution speaks of," that he is racist and anti-American, and that he "wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers." Fully 20% think he is "doing many of the things that Hitler did," while 14% believe "he may be the anti-Christ" and 13% think "he wants the terrorists to win."

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Web Domain In Tact!

Hey, good news! A representative from Tucows contacted me concerning the website issue I recently posted about, and the difficulties appear to be now resolved. I could not in good conscience leave the post I wrote up after they took steps to help me get the site back. Currently, the website is up and running again! Hopefully this is the end of the "website woes" chapter.

*Update. The situation is still in the process of being resolved...I am hoping to be proved wrong by my initial post, but...It will be evident soon, if the transfer of the site is not completed. I suspected after "conversing" with the representative, others simply did not do their duties when I sought their help. If it does not go through, I will let you all know, as it will prove something was wrong afterall.

Update #2: Ok, the domain transferred, and the site survived. I still need to do some work on it, as I have rather neglected it..but thankfully, it made it through.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preachers Who Don't Believe In God??

I found this article interesting; it concerns preachers in churches who no longer believe in God, or who have lost their faith in Him! Willingly or unwillingly, such preachers have become blank shot ammunition for atheists. This was published on the Washington Post.

Preachers Who Don't Believe: The Scandal Of Apostate Pastors

Q:What should pastors do if they no longer hold the defining beliefs of their denomination? Do clergy have a moral obligation not to challenge the sincere faith of their parishioners? If this requires them to dissemble from the pulpit, doesn't this create systematic hypocrisy at the center of religion? What would you want your pastor to do with his or her personal doubts or loss of faith?

Are there clergy who don't believe in God? That is the question posed by a new report that is certain to receive considerable attention -- and rightly so. Few church members are likely to be disinterested in whether their pastor believes in God.

The study was conducted by the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, under the direction of Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola. Dennett, of course, is one of the primary figures in the "New Atheism" -- the newly aggressive and influential atheist movement that has gained a considerable hearing among the intellectual elites and the media.

Dennett is a cognitive scientist whose book, "Breaking the Spell," suggests that belief in God must have at one point served an important evolutionary purpose, granting an evolutionary advantage to those who had some belief in an afterlife as compared to humans without such a belief. The reality of death, Dennett surmises, might well have been the precipitating factor. In order to make life meaningful in the face of death (and thus encourage reproduction), Dennett suggests that primitive humans invented the idea of God and the afterlife. Now, he argues, we have no more need of such primitive beliefs.

Interestingly, Dennett also proposes a new interpretation of theological liberalism. Noting that many modern people claim to be Christians while holding to virtually no specific theological content, Dennett suggests that their mode of faith should not be described as "belief," but rather as "believing in belief."

Given Dennett's own atheistic agenda, we can rightly assume that he would be thrilled to see Christian ministers and believers abandon the faith. Indeed, the New Atheists have made this a stated aim. Thus, this new research report, "Preachers Who Are Not Believers," should be read within that framework. Nevertheless, it must be read. This report demands the attention of anyone concerned with the integrity of the Christian church and the Christian faith.

Dennett and LaScola undertook their project with the goal of looking for unbelieving pastors and ministers who continue to serve their churches in "secret disbelief." Their "small and self-selected" sample of ministers represents a microcosm of the theological collapse at the heart of many churches and denominations.

In their report, Dennett and LaScola present case studies of five unbelieving ministers, three from liberal denominations ("the liberals") and two from conservative denominations ("the literals").

Wes, a Methodist, lost his confidence in the Bible while attending a liberal Christian college and seminary. "I went to college thinking Adam and Eve were real people," he explained. Now, he no longer believes that God exists. In his rendering, God is a word that "can be used very expressively in some of my more meditative modes" and "a kind of poetry that is written by human beings."

His church members do not know that he is an atheist, but he explains that they are somewhat liberal themselves. His ministerial colleagues are even more liberal: "They've been de-mythologized, I'll say that. They don't believe Jesus rose from the dead literally. They don't believe Jesus was born of a virgin. They don't believe all those things that would cause a big stir in their churches."

Rick, a campus minister for the United Church of Christ, perhaps the most liberal Protestant denomination, was an agnostic in college and seems to have lost all belief by the time he graduated from seminary. He chose ordination in the UCC because it required "no forced doctrine." Even as he graduated from seminary, he knew, "I'm not going to make it in a conventional church." He knew he could not go into a church and teach his own theological views, based on Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann. He did not believe in the doctrinal content of the Christian faith from the beginning of his ministry. "I did not believe the traditional things even then."

He does not believe "all this creedal stuff" about the incarnation of Christ or the need for salvation, but he remained in the ministry because, "These are my people, this is the context in which I work, these are the people that I know." In the pulpit, his mode is to talk as if he does believe, because "as long as ... you are talking about God and Jesus and the Bible, that's what they want to hear. You're just phrasing it in a way that makes sense to [them] ... but language is ambiguous and can be heard in different ways."

He doesn't like to call himself an atheist, but: "If not believing in a supernatural, theistic god is what distinguishes an atheist, then I am one too."

Darryl is a Presbyterian who sees himself as a "progressive-minded" pastor who wants to see his kind of non-doctrinal Christianity "given validity in some way." He acknowledges that he is more a pantheist than a theist, and thinks that many of the more educated members of his church hold to the same liberal beliefs as his own. And those beliefs (or unbeliefs) are stated clearly: "I reject the virgin birth. I reject substitutionary atonement. I reject the divinity of Jesus. I reject heaven and hell in the traditional sense, and I am not alone."

Amazingly, Darryl is candid about the fact that he remains in the ministry largely for financial reasons. It is how he provides for his family. If he openly espoused his beliefs, "I may be burning bridges in terms of my ability to earn a living this way."

Adam ministers in the Church of Christ, a conservative denomination. After years in the ministry, he began to lose all theological confidence. After reading a series of books, he became convinced that the atheists have better arguments than believers. He has moved fully into an atheist mode, yet he continues to lead his church in worship. How? "Here's how I'm handling my job on Sunday mornings: I see it as play acting. I see myself as taking on the role of a believer in a worship service, and performing."

This "atheistic agnostic" stays in the ministry because he likes the people and, "I need the job still." If he had an alternative source of income, he would take it. He feels hypocritical, but no longer believes that hypocrisy is wrong.

Jack is identified as a Southern Baptist minister who has primarily served as a worship leader. He was attracted to Christianity as a religion of love, but his pursuit of Christianity "brought me to the point of not believing in God." As he explains, "I didn't plan to become an atheist. I didn't even want to become an atheist. It's just I had no choice. If I'm being honest with myself."

He is clearly not being honest with his church members. He rejects all belief in God and all Christian truth claims out of hand. He is a determined atheist. Once again, this unbelieving minister admits that he stays in the ministry because of finances. Amazingly, this minister even names his price: "If someone said, 'Here's $200,000,' I'd be turning my notice in this week, saying, 'A month from now is my last Sunday.' Because then I can pay off everything."

Early in their report, Dennett and LaScola point to a problem of definition. Many churches and denominations have adopted such fluid and doctrineless identities that determining who is a believer and who is an unbeliever has become difficult. Their statement deserves a close reading:

The ambiguity about who is a believer and who is an unbeliever follows inexorably from the pluralism that has been assiduously fostered by many religious leaders for a century and more: God is many different things to different people, and since we can't know if one of these conceptions is the right one, we should honor them all. This counsel of tolerance creates a gentle fog that shrouds the question of belief in God in so much indeterminacy that if asked whether they believed in God, many people could sincerely say that they don't know what they are being asked.

In other words, some theologians and denominations have embraced a theology so fluid and indeterminate that even an atheist cannot tell the believers and unbelievers apart.

"Preachers Who Are Not Believers" is a stunning and revealing report that lays bare a level of heresy, apostasy, and hypocrisy that staggers the mind. In 1739, Gilbert Tennett preached his famous sermon, "On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry." In that sermon, Tennett described unbelieving pastors as a curse upon the church. They prey upon the faith and the faithful. "These caterpillars labor to devour every green thing."

If they will not remove themselves from the ministry, they must be removed. If they lack the integrity to resign their pulpits, the churches must muster the integrity to eject them. If they will not "out" themselves, it is the duty of faithful Christians to "out" them. The caterpillars are hard at work. Will it take a report from an atheist to awaken the church to the danger?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Science And Creationism Merge

At evolution exhibit, creationists are unswayed

WASHINGTON (AFP) – They plan to become doctors, researchers and professors, but these students from Liberty University, an evangelical school, also believe God created the Earth in a week, some 6,000 years ago.

Each year, a group of biology students at the Christian university based in Lynchburg, Virginia, travels to the Natural History Museum in Washington to learn about a theory they dismiss as incorrect -- Darwin's theory of evolution.

The young "creationists" examined a model of the Morganucodon rat, believed to be the first and common ancestor of mammals that appeared some 210 million years ago.

Lauren Dunn, 19, a second-year biology student, was unimpressed.

"210 million years, that's arbitrary. They put that time to make up for what they don't know," she said.

Nathan Hubbard, a 20-year-old from Michigan and a first-year biology major who plans to become a doctor, regarded the model with suspicion.

"There is no scientific, biological genetic way that this, this rat, could become you," he said, seemingly scandalized by the proposition.

Liberty University is the most prominent evangelical university in the United States, with some 12,000 students who adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding moral conduct.

Its biology curriculum includes a course on "Young Earth Creationism", which juxtaposes Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species" with the Book of Genesis.

"In order to be the best creationist, you have to be the best evolutionist you can be," said Marcus Ross, who teaches paleontology and says of Adam and Eve: "I feel they were real people, they were the first people."

David DeWitt, a Liberty University biology professor, opens his classes with a prayer, asking God to help him teach his students.

"I pray that you help me to teach effectively and help the students to learn and defend their faith," he says.

Strongly-expressed faith is not unusual in the United States, a country where 80 percent of the population claim to believe in God and ascribe to established religions.

Polls taken in the last two years found that between 44 and 46 percent of Americans believe that the Earth was created in a week, somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Creationism, an increasingly popular theory in the United States and elsewhere in the world, rejects Darwin's theory that all living species evolved over the course of billions of years via the process of natural selection.

The school of thought has adherents among Jehovah's Witnesses and some fundamentalist Muslims, but in the United States it has won most converts in the evangelical Christian community.

Former president George W. Bush, a born-again Christian, is among those who say evolutionary theory does not fully explain the Earth's creation, though the ex-president also noted he is not a "literalist" when it comes to the Bible.

Creationist belief has implications for the way people understand a variety of fields, including biology, paleontology and astronomy, but also impacts questions about climate change and educational debates.

At the Smithsonian Institute, among crowds of weekend visitors, the Liberty University students visited the evolution exhibition,.

But Darwin's explanation for why giraffes have long necks -- that they evolved over time so they could reach higher foliage -- and displays of fossil evidence failed to sway them.

"Creationism and evolutionism have different ways of explaining the evidence. The creationist way recognizes the importance of Biblical records," said Ross.

He teaches his students that dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago during the Biblical flood that Noah survived by building an ark.

He says carbon-dating techniques that have been used to suggest the Earth is in fact billions of years old are simply not reliable.

He doesn't reject one prominent theory that dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive asteroid that collided into Earth, but suggests the collision coincided with the Biblical flood.

Though Ross acknowledges that the United States is among the most welcoming environments in the world for creationists, he said it can be difficult to convince people to take him and his beliefs seriously.

"The attitude is when you are a creationist you are ignorant of the facts," he said.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Westboro--Free Speech?

The Westboro group is a tool of the enemy. This is another thing which gives Christianity a bad name. They are worried about free speech? What about the right of people to have a decent burial without protesters bobbing theirs heads to hateful and vile words? Hateful, hurtful, and inconsiderate. If they were truly concerned about repentance, they should first take a look at themselves. Hating people and acting hateful to people will never win anyone.

From ReligionNewsBlog

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on free speech by Westboro ‘Baptist Church’ hategroup

The US Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether vitriolic anti-gay protestors who picket the funerals of US soldiers are protected by free speech laws.

The emotionally-charged case was brought by the family of US Marine Matthew Snyder, who was killed in combat in Iraq in 2006.

His family organized a private Christian funeral for him in Maryland that attracted members of the radical Westboro Church led by Baptist preacher Fred Phelps.

Phelps and his congregation regularly demonstrate at military funerals, carrying inflammatory signs to draw attention to their anti-gay message...

The court said it would consider an appeal from the father of a slain Marine who hopes to reinstate a $5 million verdict against the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., successfully sued the church in a Maryland federal court in 2007 arguing its funeral protest was an invasion of privacy that caused his family emotional distress.

But last fall an appeals court reversed the $5 million verdict, ruling the church’s protests were protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will hear Snyder’s appeal this fall.

“It’s freedom of speech to some,” said Snyder, whose son Matthew was killed in Iraq. “To me it’s not what my son fought for. They’re kicking people in the face when they’re already down on the ground. All I was trying to do was bury my son.”

Westboro, an unaffiliated church with fewer than 100 members, went from local curiosity to national notoriety after it began protesting military funerals. Church members believe the deaths of military personnel — as well as tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina and the 2006 Amish school shooting — are God’s punishment for the tolerance of homosexuality.

It’s a theology summed up on their hand-painted protest signs: Thank God for 9/11; America is Doomed; and Thank God for Dead Troops.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World Vision Attacked In Pakistan

Gunmen in Pakistan singled out, shot, aid workers
Reuters, By Michael Georgy

OGHI, Pakistan, March 10 (Reuters) - The gunmen who attacked the office of a U.S.-based, Christian aid agency in Pakistan on Wednesday singled out staff members before killing six of them, survivors said.

About 10 suspected Islamist militants stormed the office of the World Vision agency in Oghi village in Mansehra district, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Islamabad, at about 9 a.m. (0400 GMT).

A driver who was outside the building shouted a warning that people were trying to get in just before the masked gunmen stormed the office.

Labourer Sayid Shehzed was upstairs in the office doing some work. One of the gunmen spotted him and told him to come down or he would be shot, Shehzed said.

"I thought for sure this was the end. I thought I wouldn't live," Shehzed told Reuters at the scene of the attack.

The gunmen rounded everyone up and made them sit on the floor. They then demanded mobile telephones, identification and money, he said.

The gunmen, who were speaking Urdu, then told everyone to put their hands up, Shehzed said.

The driver who had earlier shouted the warning didn't put his hands up all the way so one of the gunmen shot him in the forehead, Shehzed said.

They then killed another man sitting next to the driver as the others began to pray, he said.

Shehzed, who had identified himself as a labourer, was then separated from the group and put in a separate room.

"They kicked me in the stomach then brought the other labourers in. They then went back and started shooting everyone," he said.

All six dead were Pakistani staff at World Vision, the agency said. Police said two of the dead were women.


Another survivor, who was said he was not a World Vision staff member, also said the gunmen had singled out aid workers.

"They told me to move aside and 'let us do what we have to do'," said the second survivor, who declined to be identified.

As they left, the gunmen set off a bomb which largely destroyed the office, knocking down walls and bring down parts of the ceiling.

Wrecked office equipment including a photocopy machine and chunks of concrete and bricks blanketed the floor.

A wooden box containing applications for leave lay among the debris next to a battered set of filing cabinets.

Pools of congealed blood could be seen under over-turned pink office furniture.

Outside the front of the office, located in a rural district near forested Himalayan foothills, a white office utility vehicle was badly damaged with its windscreen smashed.

The area was hard hit by a big earthquake in October 2005 which killed 73,000 people. Aid groups flooded into the region to help about 3 million survivors left homeless.

The area has been generally peaceful although there have been occasional incidents of violence. In 2008, gunmen attacked an office of the Plan International aid agency in Mansehra town, killing four Pakistani staff.

Aid workers in the conservative, rural corner of North West Frontier Province have met some hostility, often in connection with the presence of women members of staff and projects aimed at women.

World Vision said it had not received any threats before the attack. Seven members of staff were wounded, the group said.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Religious Violence Sparks In Nigeria

Hundreds slaughtered in Nigeria religious violence

By AHMED SAKA and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press Writers Ahmed Saka And Jon Gambrell, Associated Press Writers – Mon Mar 8, 9:22 am ET

JOS, Nigeria – Rioters armed with machetes slaughtered more than 200 people including a 4-day-old infant, residents said, less than two months after sectarian violence in the volatile region left more than 300 dead.

One aid worker said Monday it was difficult to tell how many people had been killed because some bodies were charred beyond recognition.

The violence in three mostly Christian villages Sunday appeared to be reprisal attacks following the January unrest in Jos when most of the victims were Muslims, said Red Cross spokesman Robin Waubo. State officials did not comment on what may have prompted the latest attacks.

Plateau State spokesman Gregory Yenlong said officials would conduct mass burials for the victims on Monday.

The bodies of the dead lined dusty streets in three villages south of the regional capital of Jos, local journalists and a civil rights group said Sunday. They said at least 200 bodies had been counted by Sunday afternoon.

The bodies of children tangled with each other in a local morgue, including a diaper-clad toddler. Another young victim appeared to have been scalped, while others had severed hands and feet. One female victim in the morgue appeared to have been stripped below the waist, but later covered by a strip of black cloth.

Mark Lipdo, a program coordinator for the Stefanos Foundation, a Christian aid group, confirmed 93 dead in Dogo Nahawa village alone.

"These are the ones we know, but there are corpses charred beyond recognition," he said.

The youngest was just 3 months old, Lipdo said. Residents there also said the dead included a 4-day-old infant.

The killings represent the latest religious violence in an area once known as Nigeria's top tourist destination, adding to the tally of thousands already killed in the last decade in the name of religious and political ambitions.

Rioting in September 2001 killed more than 1,000 people and Muslim-Christian battles killed up to 700 people in 2004. More than 300 residents died during a similar uprising in 2008.

Jos lies in Nigeria's "middle belt," where dozens of ethnic groups mingle in a band of fertile and hotly contested land separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south.

Muslims have complained about being denied jobs and other benefits in Jos by the Christian-dominated government. However, many Muslims also operate shops and businesses in a nearby town where the tourist trade has dried up and the surrounding tin mines have been abandoned, stoking fears for Christians about retaliation from Muslim neighbors.

Jos has been under a dusk-til-dawn curfew enforced by the military since January's religious-based violence. It was not clear how the attackers managed to elude the military curfew early Sunday.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan said security agencies would be stationed along Plateau state's borders to keep outsiders from coming in with more weapons and fighters.

"(We will) undertake strategic initiatives to confront and defeat these roving bands of killers," he said in a statement. "While it is too early to state categorically what is responsible for this renewed wave of violence, we want to inform Nigerians that the security services are on top of the situation."

On Monday, an Associated Press reporter saw nearly 100 soldiers in tan military fatigues and bulletproof vests standing near armored cars at an entrance into Jos. The street was mostly deserted but soldiers appeared tense, holding Kalashnikov rifles at their hips and pointing them at passing cars.

More than 600 people had fled to a makeshift camp that still held victims from January's violence, said Red Cross official Adamu Abubakar. He expected more to come, putting an even bigger strain on the already limited humanitarian aid for those fleeing the violence.

In Dogo Nahawa, three miles (five kilometers) south of Jos, those who survived claimed their attackers shouted at them in Hausa and Fulani — two local languages used by Muslims.

Yenlong, the state government spokesman, also said police were seeking to arrest Saleh Bayari, the regional leader of the Fulanis, because Bayari's comments incited the attack. He offered no other details.

But the chairman of the local Fulani organization denied that his people were involved in the attack.

Nigerian military units began surrounding the affected villages Sunday afternoon, Waubo, the Red Cross spokesman, said. He said the agency did not know how many people may have died in the fighting but workers have been sent to local morgues and hospitals to check.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Correction Of Ministries

*Great message from Andrew Strom.

-by Andrew Strom.

Some Christians claim that any correction or questioning of ministries should always be done PRIVATELY - and only to the leaders concerned - never in public. (It is important to note that many such approaches have indeed been made to Prophetic/ Apostolic leaders over the years. They have basically been ignored). But either way, I am afraid I cannot agree that public deception is only to be opposed behind closed doors. It seems to me that false teaching would thrive in such an environment. In Scripture we see clearly that there are occasions when private correction is appropriate, and other occasions when a more public airing is necessary. There is the quiet "Matthew 18" approach, and then there are others. After all, shouldn't we have the love and care of the precious sheep uppermost in our minds? Are we just supposed to say nothing and let the "leaven" spread and spread?

We must not forget that in the New Testament the elders were commanded to correct severely (Titus 1:13) and to rebuke for sin publicly (1 Tim 5:20), though in 2 Tim 2:24-26 they were instructed to correct with 'meekness'. Remember, the apostle Paul rebuked Peter publicly in Galatians 2 for his hypocrisy, Jesus rebuked Peter openly in Matthew, and He even whipped the sellers out of the temple publicly in Mark (for making God's house a 'den of thieves'). In extreme cases the apostle Paul actually wrote to everyone that he was turning people over to Satan for correction (see 1 Cor 5 and 1 Tim 1:20). The Bible is very clear that one of our major tasks is to "expose" the deeds of darkness (Eph 5:11). In 1 Cor 4:21 Paul asks the people, "Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love?" The same apostle used 'boldness' in 2 Cor 10:1 and said that he would not spare anyone in 2 Cor 13:1-2.

Many Christians insist on applying Matt 18:15-17 to every situation. But what about false teachers? The above passage in Matt 18 says that if my brother "sins against me" then I should go to him privately about it - then with one or two witnesses - and then to the whole church if he does not repent. This is a very important process for resolving issues where a brother has sinned against me personally. But what about FALSE TEACHING of a serious nature? What if it is spreading or starting to infect entire sections of the body of Christ? Is it still just a "private matter"?

My understanding is that in the New Testament we NEVER see Jesus or the apostles treating false teaching as a "Matt 18" scenario. We see them publicly rebuking and correcting - trying to arrest the 'cancer' before it spreads any further. This is an act of LOVE towards the body. It is trying to stop the damage before too many precious sheep are harmed. False teaching and false prophets are never treated "nicely" or "sweetly" in the New Testament! (By the way, I am not advocating today's "heresy hunters", whom I believe often go about things with entirely the wrong spirit. But I am just laying down a few biblical guidelines here).

This is certainly an important issue in these Last Days, when we are told that false prophets and false teachers will 'abound', and that the deception will become so great that "if possible it would deceive the very elect". It is vital that we get a grasp of what is at stake here. The false teachers and false prophets in Acts were rebuked very bluntly, and Paul even "named names" in some of his letters to the churches. So surely we cannot continue to claim that this is all a "Matt 18" situation? Surely it is more serious than
that - and requires a more drastic response?

Of course, we must always be "speaking the truth in love" – and have the protection of Christ's precious sheep uppermost. But surely we must speak out if we see real danger to the Body?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pakistani Christian Persecuted By Family

*This is such a heart breaking story of persecution from family members against a Christian brother.

Pakistani Christian Beaten for Refusing to Convert to Islam

KALLUR KOT, Pakistan, February 22 (Compass Direct News) – The four older Muslim brothers of a 26-year-old Christian beat him unconscious here earlier this month because he refused their enticements to convert to Islam, the victim told Compass.

Riaz Masih, whose Christian parents died when he was a boy, said his continual refusal to convert infuriated his siblings and the Muslim cleric who raised them, Moulvi Peer Akram-Ullah. On Feb. 8, he said, his brothers ransacked his house in this Punjab Province town 233 kilometers (145 miles) southwest of Islamabad.

“They threatened that it was the breaking point now, and that I must convert right now or face death,” Masih said. “They said killing an infidel is not a sin, instead it’s righteousness in the sight of Allah almighty.”

Masih begged them to give him a few minutes to consider converting and then tried to escape, but they grabbed him and beat him with bamboo clubs, leaving him for dead, he said.

“They vented their fury and left me, thinking that I was dead, but God Almighty resuscitated me to impart His good news of life,” he said.

Masih told Compass that his brothers and Akram-Ullah have been trying to coerce him to convert to Islam since his brothers converted.

“They had been coercing me to embrace Islam since the time of their recantation of Christianity,” Masih said, “but for the last one month they began to escalate immense pressure on me to convert.”

He grew up with no chance to attend church services because of his siblings’ conversion to Islam, he said, adding that in any event there was no church where he grew up. He knew two Christian families, however, and he said his love for the Christian faith in which he was originally raised grew as he persistently refused to convert to Islam.

He said Akram-Ullah and his brothers offered him 1 million rupees (US$11,790), a spacious residence and a woman of his choice to marry in order to lure him to Islam, but he declined.

The Muslim cleric had converted Masih’s brothers and sisters in like manner, according to human rights organization Rays of Development (ROD), which has provided financial, medical and moral support to Masih. ROD began assisting Masih after a chapter of the Christian Welfare Organization (CWO) brought the injured Christian to ROD.

A spokesman for CWO who requested anonymity told Compass that Akram-Ullah had offered Masih’s brothers and sister a large plot of residential land, as well as 500,000 rupees (US$5,895) each, if they would recite the kalimah, the profession of faith for converting to Islam.

“He never accepted the Islamic cleric’s invitation to Islam, although his newly converted Muslim sister and four elder brothers escalated pressure on him to convert, as well, and live with them as a joint family,” the CWO spokesman said.

Adnan Saeed, an executive member of ROD, told Compass that when Masih’s parents, carpenter George Albert and his wife Stella Albert, passed away, Masih and his siblings were tenants of Akram-Ullah, who cared for them and inculcated them with Islamic ideology.

Saeed said that when they converted, Masih’s now 37-year-old sister, Kathryn Albert, adopted the Islamic name of Aysha Bibi; Masih’s brothers – Alliyas Masih, 35, Yaqoub Masih, 33, Nasir Masih, 31, and Gullfam Masih, 28 – adopted their new Islamic names of Muhammad Alliyas, Abdullah, Nasir Saeed and Gullfam Hassan respectively.

Masih’s family attempted to kill him, Saeed said. A ROD team visited Masih at an undisclosed location and, besides the support they have given him, they are searching for a way to provide him legal assistance as well, Saeed said.

Masih said that because of Islamist hostilities, it would be unsafe for him to go to a police station or even a hospital for treatment. A well-to-do Christian has given shelter to him at an undisclosed location.

In hiding, Masih said that his brothers and Akram-Ullah are still hunting for him.

“Since they have discovered that I was alive and hiding somewhere, they are on the hunt for me,” he said. “And if they found me, they would surely kill me.”