Thursday, 26 January 2012

Urgent Prayer Request

Received via e-mail.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani never practiced the Muslim faith and converted to Christianity at age 19, becoming a pastor later. But the courts say that since his mother and father were practicing Muslims, he must recant his Christian faith or die. So far, in three court appearances, he has refused to do so - risking execution at any moment. The Iranian Supreme Court often acts quickly in administering the death penalty.
According to a report, when asked by judges to "repent," Youcef replied: "Repent, What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?"

The judges replied: "To the religion of your ancestors - Islam." To which Yousef replied: "I cannot."

It's time for the body of Christ to act, to pray, to plead for the life of our Brother before Christ so that His servant may be spared.
This is what you are asked/called to do.

The Bible States , "If God is with us, who can stand against us."

Take Care

Friday, 20 January 2012

Philosophy vs Theology

I want to do a few posts based on my reading of the book, "Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy."

On his opinion of the difference between philosophy and theology:
For him, philosophy was man's search for truth apart from God. It was a type of... "religion," in which man himself tried to reach heaven or truth or God. But theology begins and ends with faith in Christ, who reveals himself to man; apart from such revelation there could be no such thing as truth. Thus the philosopher -- and the theologian who operates on a philosopher's assumptions -- chases his own tail and gazes at his own navel. He cannot break out of that cycle, but God, via revelation, can break in.
Take Care

Monday, 9 January 2012

Alpha Stories, Peace in the Midst of the Storm

I have asked my Alpha contacts to send me some, "Alpha Stories," some experiences various people have had connected with the Alpha course. Here is one, edited for length and, in the absence of permission to do otherwise, with names and locations deleted.
...I got to work last Friday with a dull ache in my jaw which soon spread to my chest and arms. ...I googled "heart attack" and found my symptoms and made the dicision to call 911.

What I remember about the experience is not so much the pain, but more the shock of giving up control of my body to the paramedics...

At the... hospital emergency room they treated me with nitroglycerin which did not work so they packed my into a second ambulance and away we went again to... (another) hospital. I looked out the rear windows at the sky and clouds passing by, I thought that it is in God's hands now. ...I felt a great peace of mind which I cannot explain except that it must have been the touch of the Holy Spirit. I never once even considered the possibility that I might not make it.
The writer goes on to say that the doctors found the problem and solved it by means of an angioplasty. He then concludes...
When I came to the Alpha course I was a bit of an illiterate Christian. sharing this course with all of you has really helped me find a relationship with Jesus. I am sure that his hand was guiding all of those wonderful people who helped me that day. I truly feel like a miracle has occurred in my life, the way things turned out, and I will thank God every day for His blessing upon me and those I love.
His story brought to my mind the following Scripture,
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43: 2-3a)
Take Care

Political Correctness - Nothing New

I heard, I believe on Michael Coren's show, that at a particular school 'holiday' concert, the tune (no words, mind you) of Silent Night was not allowed to be played on a flute because it was too overtly Christian and might offend some people. Is this going too far?

I am reading the book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet,Martyr, Spy. In a quote from page 175,
One Nazi leader sent the Gestapo a letter complaining that the melody to the hymn, "Jerusalem, Thou City High and Fair" was played at memorial services for the German war dead. There were no offensive words,... but even to evoke the memory of the words was unacceptable. The well known hymn... had been played at German memorial services for many years...
This is the precedent for the kind of liberal thinking that to mention anything even hinting of Christianity might offend someone, and it may be, I fear, the kind of society we could be heading for if these attitudes are carried through to their logical conclusion.

I know it somewhat of a cliche to evoke the spectre of Nazism, but, well, I'm not sayin' ya know. I'm just sayin'.

Take Care