Category: islam

Extremists

Here is a thought process/challenge for today:

Look at any belief, political view, religion or practice and take it out to the extreme and see where it goes.  You may not like the results.  The scripture that I am using below says to avoid extremes and I agree. But this is a challenge to see what the ultimate line of belief or practice is.

Here are a couple examples to start with:

Islam – I am certainly not an expert on Islam (and correct me if I’m wrong) but I believe the ultimate belief is Sharia Law.

Christianity – Give everything to the Lord and lay down your life.  Love your enemy.  Turn the other cheek.  Total forgiveness.

Love/Hate – Pretty obvious…

Some practical political issues:

Guns – Freedom to bear arms anytime, anywhere with no background checks or regulation.

Abortion – The right to have one up to the time of birth.  A fetus has no rights.

Alcohol/drugs – The ultimate extreme result I guess would be death.

Ok.  You get the idea.  Look at any issue and take it to the extreme.  We often look to the “seed” of thought – where did this begin.  I’m encouraging you to look to the “fruit” of the extreme.  Is it positive or negative.  Does it bear life or death?

Once you get to the extreme, is it something that you want to practice?  What steps need to be taken to bring it back to acceptable society levels?  Can we have restrictions without losing our freedom to choose this thought?

Guns – Do we really want to live in the wild west with everyone carrying guns?  Do we want to bring back holsters and walk around ready to shoot?  Do we want everyone to have a gun?  What regulations are acceptable to balance the issue?

Alcohol/drugs – We have tried numerous adjustments.  Some have worked and some have failed.  It has been a continuing process that gets tweaked often.  Age limits.  Prohibition.  Driving restrictions/penalties.  Legalization.  Why can’t we come to an understanding of this process with some of the other issues today?  Trial and error and adjusting laws instead of total freedom or shut down?

Religion – Where are your extreme beliefs leading you?  Are you going to kill non believers or love them?  Are you going to reach down and help the needy or kick them while they are down?

This is an interesting challenge for many issues.  I hope you take time to look at your own life.

Ecclesiastes 7:18   Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
syria
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Would you wear a hijab?

Wheaton College suspends Christian professor who wore a hijab

Wheaton college suspends professor wearing hijab to support Muslims — for her explanation, not the act.

A tenured Wheaton College professor who, as part of her Christian Advent devotion, donned a traditional headscarf to show solidarity with Muslims has been placed on administrative leave.

Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the private evangelical Christian college in Chicago’s west suburbs, announced last week that she would wear the veil to show support for Muslims who have been under greater scrutiny since mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she posted on Facebook.

But it was that explanation of her gesture that concerned some evangelical Christians, who read her statement as a conflation of Christian and Muslim theology.

“While Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, we believe there are fundamental differences between the two faiths, including what they teach about God’s revelation to humanity, the nature of God, the path to salvation and the life of prayer,” Wheaton College said in a statement.

Hawkins, 43, planned to wear the hijab everywhere she went until Christmas, including on her flight home to Oklahoma, where voters in 2010 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning Shariah, or Islamic law.

She said in a Tribune interview that it’s “a time of real vitriolic rhetoric by fellow Christians sometimes and people who aren’t Christian who conflate all Muslims with terrorist — and that saddens me — so this is a way of saying if all women wear the hijab we cannot discriminate. If all women were in solidarity, who is the real Muslim? How is TSA going to decide who they really suspect?”

While Hawkins did not need to seek approval from Wheaton, she did seek advice from the Council on American Islamic Relations, to make sure she did not offend Muslims.

Renner Larson, communications director for CAIR’s Chicago chapter, said he was intrigued by her decision.

“There’s a lot of misconception about why women wear hijab and this idea that women are forced to wear it,” said Larson, who is not Muslim. “For a lot of people it’s a very powerful choice, especially in the United States it can be a hard, uncomfortable choice. So often women wearing hijab are the targets of attack and hatred because more than anyone else they are so immediately recognizable as Muslim.”

Wheaton administrators did not denounce Hawkins’ gesture but said more conversation should have taken place before it was announced.

“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion and theological clarity,” the college said in a statement. “As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college’s evangelical Statement of Faith.”

Last week, a coalition of student leaders at Wheaton drafted an open letter calling on evangelical Christian leaders to condemn recent remarks by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. that students armed with guns can “end those Muslims.”

Gene Green, a professor of the New Testament at Wheaton, said what motivated Hawkins is the same concern many faculty members at the school share about the unfair scrutiny facing the Muslim community.

“Dr. Hawkins and others want to follow the example of Jesus, who went to those who were discriminated against,” he said. “He ate with people whom others rejected. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, and the Muslims are our neighbors.”

Larson, who attends a Unitarian Universalist church, said he was dismayed to hear that some view Hawkins’ gesture as compromising Christianity.

“It’s disappointing that showing solidarity means that you are somehow sacrificing your own identity,” he said. “I do what I do not to be closer to Islam but because it makes me closer to my identity as an American who believes in American ideals.”

At St. Martin Episcopal Church in Chicago on Sunday, Hawkins was embraced for her act of solidarity. During the service, other parishioners shared their own stories of how they were reaching out to their Muslim neighbors. Hawkins said she expected the embrace from the welcoming Austin neighborhood church. She didn’t expect the backlash from her own evangelical brothers and sisters.

“I do care about my Christian brothers and sisters, and I didn’t set out to offend them,” she said. “My position has been held for centuries.”

mbrachear@tribpub.com

Twitter @tribseeker

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Polygamy

Society has successfully rewritten the definition of marriage.   The sacred nuptials have been changed from one man and one woman to include one man and one man and one woman and one woman.  Although American society has approved this, many churches and other cultures have not.

Whether we approve of the change or not, we need to admit that the train has left the station and we need to deal with it.  The question now is what other cars were attached to the train.  Is polygamy the next car to hook on?

Society is currently shouting “No!” but why?  Once society rewrites a moral code (based on popular opinion) what is stopping it from changing another?  There is no moral basis for the change to include homosexual marriage other than “acceptance of lifestyle preference”.   When the numbers stand up for “acceptance” with multiple partners what will society say then?  “No, we accept this change but not that one.”  In other words – you can’t have it both ways.  If a moral law is going to change without a solid reason then any moral law can be changed in the same way.

There are plenty of arguments for polygamy from both men and women.  Society is still closing its eyes to them but what if . . . ?  What pressure will be needed?  What popular Hollywood types will be needed to push it?  What liberal politician will need to be elected?

Remember that the train has left the station and I believe there may be room for more cars.  Who will society turn to stop it?

Matthew 19:4-6 (NIV)

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

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World War 3

There is talk that we are entering WW3 with the Russians getting involved in Syria.  Some even say that it has already started.

Very few of us were not around to remember the build up to WW2 and no one is old enough to remember the beginning of WW1.   We have only read about the political climate and what happened during those years.

A world war reminds me of becoming a man – one day I knew I was a man but I’m not sure when the transition happened.  One day we have a civil war in Syria.  One day we are battling ISIS.  One day the Russians are involved.  One day the French are involved.  One day Turkey shoots down a Russian plane.  One day we are in WW3.

A world war is defined as: A war involving many large nations in all different parts of the world. The name is commonly given to the wars of 1914–18 and 1939–45, although only the second of these was truly global.

We live in dangerous times.  There is so much tension with little compromise on any of the issues.  Should we live in fear or faith?  Should we have hope or are we being naive?

Where do you put your trust?

Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

108

 

Could President Obama be Right?

If you want a controversial post – here you go.

President Obama and his administration will not say “Islamic Terrorists”.  Their view is that they are simply “terrorists”.  They are not acting out true Islam and they are not reflecting the values and virtues of the religion.  Calling the terrorists “Islamic” is staining the entire religion and millions of loving followers.

I’m not going to go into the foundation of Islam – there are better sites than this to study what Islam is all about.  I’m also not going to argue definitions or goals of the terrorists and the hatred to the West.  I will not defend our President because I disagree with him.

But . . . I am going to bring up a very controversial point.  The following is the beginning of a website for a “Christian” Church in America.

“Established in 1955 by Pastor Fred Phelps, the ————- of Topeka, Kansas still exists today as an Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church. We adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], sodomy), and insist that the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace be taught and expounded publicly to all men. These doctrines of grace were well summed up by John Calvin in his 5 points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Although these doctrines are almost universally hated today, they were once loved and believed, as you can see in many confessions of faith.. Even though the Arminian lies that “God loves everyone” and “Jesus died for everyone” are being taught from nearly every pulpit in this generation, this hasn’t always been the case. If you are in a church that supposedly believes the Bible, and you are hearing these lies, then your church doesn’t teach what the Bible teaches. If you care about your never-dying soul, you will carefully read every word of this web site, along with the entire Bible.”

You may or not agree with the points listed but it sounds genuine at this point – at least that it is Biblically based.  The believe in the sovereignty of God, sin, grace, Jesus and the entire Bible.

Except – this is a hate group!  Yes, a hate group claiming to be Christians.  If you haven’t figured it out, they are Westboro Baptist Church.  Check out their website: http://www.godhatesfags.com/wbcinfo/aboutwbc.html – Yes, their website is titled “God Hates Fags”.  Not exactly Love, Grace and Forgiveness!

So. . . let’s take this group a step further beyond just being a hate group and imagine that they become terrorists and blow people up and shoot people in schools for now reason other than they hate (everybody).  Are they now Christian Terrorists?  Would they be Christian Terrorists just like Islamic Terrorists?  Is it a fair assessment of Christianity to link these Terrorists to a peaceful religion just because they claim to be Christians?

You decide.  You comment.  Keep it civil – this IS a Christian blog!

Acts 21

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?”

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

Muslims converting to Christianity

The following is an excerpt from a friend who ministers to Muslims in Europe.  I deleted personal information for his safety.

We are safe. Now, that is. We live 500 miles from Paris. No guarantees.

First the misinformation. ISIS is Islamic, a fact denied by only certain ignorant leaders. Hillary and Sanders said it is not Islamic, but Jihadist. News flash. Jihadism is Islamic. We have no means of stopping ISIS short of surrender or war. But Muslims make the best Christian converts I’ve ever seen, excluding ISIS indoctrinated Muslims. That’s why we are here. The huge refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and in Jordan are experiencing conversion revivals to Christ, due to the repugnant nature of ISIS and their horrific methods of handling human flesh. The French went to Raqqa and bombed over 20 key ISIS sites. Their coordinates were given by the USA, who themselves were instructed not to bomb these sites. News flash. The French lost 130 people. The USA lost 3,000 on 9/11 and we wilt with no proactive will to confront. Francois Hollande said, “We are at war.” Holland, a socialist, knows the truth.

Second, our view from the eye of the storm. Where in the world do you have former Muslims, now followers of Jesus, just overhear you talk about Jesus in a restaurant and come rushing up to you and ask, “Are you Christians too?” This happened to me again just Friday night before the attack by 6 hours. Never has my faith been so lifted, my purpose so charged, as a meeting with former Muslims who will never return to the blasé life of tepid careless Christian living. I can call a former Muslim 50 miles away for some help or need, or a visit, and they come, no long looking at a calendar for an open date. I could no more leave ministry to Muslims than lose my right arm, because they are our right arm. We are in a human laboratory of love and support to pump our faith in Jesus every day, upon each and every SMS, text message, from our converts or other’s converts. Heaven is here on earth. And we are basking in the glory of heaven in advance of the resurrection. How about that?

But what about non-converted Muslims, some 10% of the French population? Many are tortured (wives beaten and treated to acid in the face), all fear Allah as the Godzilla who punishes people with great delight, all think that demonic attacks are sent to them from Allah every day. Is there any surprise that some become psychotic and radicalize into ISIS? We are talking to Muslims every week. Last week, during my sharing, the Muslim turned to my wife  and said of me, “If everyone had the love and passion of your husband, we would have no wars in this world.” I’m embarrassed to say this, but this happens all the time. We are sort of a walking light in a jail house of prisoners whom Jesus urges us to visit in Mt. 25:36 and so visit Jesus Himself.

Who will stop us from ministering to Muslims? Who will separate us and this ministry from the Love of God in Christ Jesus, not life or death, angels or demons, present or future powers, no heights nor depths, nothing else and no one else in all creation? Rom. 8:38. Forgive me, but this is not hubris, but we are unstoppable. In Christ Jesus. Join with us in any way you can.

flower pavement

Who is your enemy?

VIDEO: Fans boo, chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ during moment of silence for Paris attacks before Turkey-Greece game
BY DANIEL POPPER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, November 17, 2015,
If you were under the impression the whole world stands behind Paris, think again.

Before a Turkey-Greece men’s soccer friendly in Istanbul on Tuesday, some Turkish supporters booed and chanted “Allahu Akbar” – an Islamic phrase meaning “God is great” – during a scheduled moment of silence for the Paris terrorist attack victims, according to an Ankara-based Reuters correspondent.

The shouting can be heard on video, which apparently also includes the chants of “Allahu Akbar” after the two-minute mark.

FULL COVERAGE: LATEST NEWS ON THE PARIS TERROR ATTACKS

Turkish players link arms during a moment of silence for the victims of last week’s Paris attacks.
OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS
Turkish players link arms during a moment of silence for the victims of last week’s Paris attacks.
Although Turkey has no official state religion, the majority of its citizens are Muslim.

For full article and video:  http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/soccer/video-soccer-fans-chant-allahu-akbar-paris-tribute-article-1.2438142

Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
soccer-friendly

Revenge – pt 4 in Guns and Church

Revenge and Vengeance

We are taught not to commit revenge.  Personal vengeance is illegal.  We are required to allow the proper authorities to bring justice.  If we strike out in revenge to kill someone accused of killing a loved one, we will likely be punished for murder ourselves.

But happens when a country is attacked?  If a people group/country kills citizens of another country, retribution is expected.  Quick, harsh and deliberate punishment is expected.  The latest reaction comes from France for the attacks on Paris.

Does retaliation bring peace?  Does it bring justice?  Is a government retaliating violence any different than an individual seeking revenge and vengeance?

What would have happened if the USA hadn’t invaded Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks?  Would we have experienced more peace or less?  Were our actions simply vengeance or were they righteous actions to protect our country from further attacks?

Are we killing enemies before they kill (as we attempted in Iraq) or are we killing out of revenge and vengeance?  If we are seeking vengeance, who is in authority to judge it?  Is government vengeance righteous or evil?  Is it helpful or hurtful?  Does it lead to peace or more violence?

Are we as Christians more at peace by defending ourselves and protecting others or are we more at peace by allowing God to be our defender?  Are we at peace when we live in fear?  Is fear motivating us to defend ourselves?  Can we stand and worship in God’s peace while preparing to protect ourselves with violence?

Romans 12:19

19 Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.”

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You’re following too close

car

You’re driving down the road and following the car in front of you too close.  The front driver stops suddenly and you can’t stop.  Bummer.  He stops to park and you stop in time but now you’re up against him and you can’t get around.  The truck you’re following loses part of the load and you don’t have time to swerve.  There is a big pot hole in the road but you can’t see it because you’re too close to the car in front.  These are all lessons that we learned when we learned to drive.  Unfortunately we don’t always remember and we face one of these scenarios.

The same thing happens spiritually.  We get attracted to a leader, a speaker, writer or mentor and we begin following too close.  We can’t see when he or she has taken a wrong turn and the signs are blocked because we were too close.  The leader makes a sudden stop and we crash or become disabled in a dead lane.

Following a leader can bear fruit in your life.  You can pick up lifestyle, knowledge and giftings but you can also pick up bad traits.  You may be drafting a truck to improve fuel efficiency but if it has snow on top of the trailer you’re going to get nailed when it flies off.

But trucks aren’t supposed to have snow on the roof.  Leaders aren’t supposed to have junk in their lives.  In a perfect world both of those statements are true.  Unfortunately, we’re not perfect.  None of us.  It doesn’t matter if you’re following Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer or your pastor.  All leaders fail – just don’t be so close that you crash.

There’s only One who is worthy of following.

1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (NIV)

11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[a]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Peace?

What you do. . .

Who you are . . .

Where you go . . .

What you watch . . .

What you listen to . . .

Who you associate with . . .

Where you go to church . . .

What you believe . . .

Where you work . . .

Who you want to be . . .

Does any of that give you peace?  Does any of that cause you turmoil and unrest?  Can you find peace and rest in WHO you are?  What do you need to change to find HIS peace?

Does protecting yourself or your family give you peace or anxiety?  Does saving money for a “rainy day” give you peace or more worry?  Does you church fellowship give you peace or frustration?

God has not called us to strive for peace.  He is peace.  Allow Him to wrap His arms around you!

Jude 1 (NIV)

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

hannahpraise