Category Archives: Think Holy

For the media, it's un-Holy Week

Most regular church-goers have heard their less scrupulously observant fellows called “Christmas and Easter Christians.” Well, they also have their counterparts in the mainstream media: “Christmas and Easter Anti-Christians.” How else to explain the spate of skeptical, negative stories that inevitably accompany the two most important Christian holy days?

This Holy Week has been typical. Newsweek proclaimed “The Decline and Fall of Christian America” on its cover. The Washington Post/Newsweek “On Faith” blog featured a post that belittled the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Discovery Channel aired a documentary that painted Jesus as little more than an opportunistic politician who caught a bad break in a trial.
These are just the most notable recent instances of secular media’s disdain for traditional Christians and the tenets of their faith. Anti-Christianism is the last acceptable prejudice. The assault on Christian beliefs and morality is ongoing. Take for example the howls of outrage when the Pope reiterated Catholic teaching on abstinence.
But because Easter is so central to understanding Jesus and His purpose, and to Christians’ own understanding of the world, the secular attack escalates during Holy Week. It takes on more existential dimensions, questioning Christianity’s relevance in the modern world, the meaning of Christ’s lessons and ultimately, His divinity.
Depending on your point of view, Jesus was either a charismatic populist crusader, a doctrinaire Marxist, or a “do your own thing” feel-good guru. Anything but the Son of God. If that’s what you think of Him, it’s easy to see why you would question His relevance.
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Knox Attacks the Apostle Paul and the Pope

Harry Knox, a professed gay Christian who is director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group, was named to President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Monday. The advisory council gives federal grants to faith-based organizations.

Attacks on Paul:

In a debate with the Rev. Gino Jennings recorded Nov. 28, 2004 at the First Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Philadelphia, the two men sparred over various biblical verses references homosexual behavior.

This included the Book of Romans, in which St. Paul wrote, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

After reading the scripture, Jennings asked, “Do you believe that? That if a man lie with a man or a woman with a woman it is against nature?”

“I do not believe it,” answered Knox, who at the time was the program director for the group Freedom to Marry.

Jennings responded, “So this is a lie?”

Knox affirmed, “That is not true.”

“Paul did not have any idea of the kind of love that I feel for a partner when I am partnered. He didn’t know what that was about,” Knox said. “The straight man, the heterosexual man who got the privilege of writing the book, the educated, rich, heterosexual man, Paul, who got to write the book, didn’t think it was natural because for him it must not have been.”

Jennings later responded that Paul was not the sole author of the writings. “So you are saying Paul was just closed-minded. I totally disagree because the book says this, the book tells us that all scripture, all of the scripture, not some of it, but all scripture are given by the inspiration of God,” said Jennings.

Attacks on the Pope:

Knox told the San Francisco-based gay newspaper the Bay Area Reporter, “The Knights of Columbus do a great deal of good in the name of Jesus Christ, but in this particular case, they were foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression.” In the newspaper, he included among the “discredited leaders” Catholic bishops and Pope Benedict XVI, as “A pope who literally today said condoms don’t help in control of AIDS.”

In a brief interview Monday with CNSNews.com, Knox stood by his comments on the pope.

“The pope needs to start telling the truth about condom use,” Knox told CNSNews.com. “We are eager to help him do that. Until he is willing to do that and able, he’s doing a great deal more harm than good–not just in Africa but around the world. It is endangering people’s lives.”

The pope’s comments were mischaracterized by Knox, said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.

“When Pope Benedict XVI recently said that condoms are not the answer to HIV/AIDS, he was simply voicing common sense: the promiscuous distribution of condoms has coincided with a precipitous increase in HIV/AIDS,” Donohue said in a statement Tuesday. “But to gay activists like Knox, the pope is a liar. Indeed, he instructed the pope to ‘start telling the truth about condom use,’ holding the Holy Father accountable for ‘endangering people’s lives.’ He never explained how calls for abstinence could possibly jeopardize anyone’s life.”

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Gingrich tight-lipped on Catholic conversion

onenewsnow.com

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is providing few details about his recent decision to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Newt GingrichGingrich previously had identified as a Baptist, but two Saturdays ago in Washington, DC, the former House Speaker was officially confirmed into the Catholic Church.

Gingrich, whose third wife Calista is a Catholic, recently criticized the University of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak at its commencement, saying Obama’s “policies are so anti-Catholic values.” In an interview with OneNewsNow, Gingrich was reluctant to explain why he “swam the Tiber.”

“I haven’t talked about this much in public, and I’m not going to for at least six months or a year, but I will say that I found myself deeply comforted, and a deep sense of belonging and of finding a peace in my soul in a way that I just found very, very powerful,” he explains.

Other high-profile Catholic converts from the political realm include Sam Brownback, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

4 Ways to Bless Israel

I’m getting delerious from a lack of sleep, but I wanted to follow up with a quick summary of how we as Christians can bless Israel and supporting verses.

  1. Know Them
  • Deut 32:10, Zek 2:8. Isaih 62:3, 1Pet 2:9

2.  Pursue Them

  • Rom1:16, Rom 11:11

3.  Invest In Them

  • Rom 15:27

4.  Defend Them

  • Psalm 122:6
  • Isaiah 62:8

Bless Israel

My roommate picks up the latest book I am reading on Israel shakes his head in disapproval and sets it back down not without giving one last flippant roll of his eyes.   In the church service, a member vocally gives protest to an offering taken for an Israeli ministry.  Christian writers and bloggers give negative report against Israel’s people, the Jewish nation.  A few months ago, I began to pray for a greater revelation on my role in standing for Israel.  I had read the verses, but did not understand the full implications.  I wanted to know God’s heart for Israel.  What did he require of me and my understanding?  I had begun to fall victim to news reports.  Some of you may remember when I posted about Israel bombing and using white phosphorous gas.   I wrote this post with the question in my heart.  God brought to my mind the verse in Hosea, “a people without knowledge will come to ruin.”  So, I began to seek out the truth of God’s heart regarding Israel.

Sometimes God’s response when I call on him about truth on an issue is delayed or very gradual.  With the matter of Israel, it has come in intense waves.  The emotions of God have many times overcome me.  I have stayed up for nights and hours at a time praying for Israel along with Jesus, Yeshua, the great intercessor.  I pray that if you are a Christian and are in doubt of the importance of our part in loving, supporting, and reaching out to Israel, ask God.  He will answer you with an intensity that you may not be ready for.  In fact, if you need any help, send me an email and I will give you all of the resources and insight that God has blessed me with on this matter.

Romans 11:11  Because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

We have been grafted in because God’s first fruits, the people of Israel, rejected Jesus.  Because of their rejection, you and I (if you are not a Jew) were able to be adopted into the family of God.  Now if we are the adopted children of God, then the Jews are the natural born children.   This is the ‘first-born’, in God’s order they were first.  He doess not love them most, but He loved them first.  The Jewish people are more familiar with God, his ways, his processes. They are a nation that speaks the language of God.

I don’t know how many opportunities you have had to hear the Hebrew language spoken, but it is a beautiful and amazing language.  One word paints a picture in your mind.  Take the word:  Shalom.  It carries with it so much meaning.  Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken.  It’s a wholeness and well-being in the sense of everything working together smoothly, particularly in the sense of being at one with God.  When I hear God speak to me, of course He speaks English, but He speaks in this way.   He may say only three words, but those words are pregnant with the meaning of a hundred words.  I do believe that the Hebrew language is the closest to the language of God.

I remember one night I was driving home from taking my long-distance boyfriend back to the airport so that he could fly home to California.  Doubts had began to stir within me regarding the future of our relationship, and I began to pray.  God began to speak three words over my heart “He Will Come”.  Those words resonated and echoed in my spirit.  He will come.  Three simple words.  But those words stirred up a lack of faith and patience.  It reminded me of dreams that God had given me of a husband with longer hair, and my boyfriend with his crew cut represented the opposite of this promised man.  Those words reminded me of God’s faithfulness and his promises.  Three words that changed my life and my thinking forever.  It is the language of God ever piercing, permeating to our souls. When I hear Hebrew spoken, I feel the presence of God.  I’m hearing the language of my saviour, Jesus …Yeshua Hamashia.

I recommend that you read the apostle, Paul’s word to Christians regarding the nation of Israel in Romans 11:11-32.  I pray that God will cause you to join with His love for Israel and the Jewish people.  For if you are against Israel, then you stand against God. For God said in Genesis 12:3 , 

I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God’s words are forever and Amen.  He does not change nor does his covenant. He is the same today as He was yesterday and His words concerning Israel stand firm today. Do not fall into the deception that is prevailing today in the world to stand against Israel.  We must stand for her and bless her.

Protecting Marriage: Proposition 8

As Prop0sition 8’s oral arguments before the California Supreme court come to a close, we begin the 90 day waiting period.  Please include this topic in your prayers.  Here is a quote that struck me today, and I wanted to share it with you…

“My graduate studies are in historical theology and the history of the church.  On rare occasions, there come ‘tipping points,’ times which, when viewed later, proved to be the ‘hinges’ of history.  All historians recognize them a half century later.  But the key is for discerning persons to recognize them as they are happening, and then respond appropriately.

“We are at one of those moments.  This is THE major change point of the last few decades.  While the abortion issue is a foundational issue, the marriage definition issue is a survival issue.  No single social issue has threatened to forever muzzle Bible believing Christians like this contest.

“If we lose on this one, the culture loses.  One person has astutely observed that ’we cannot win the culture war merely on Prop 8, but we can lose it on Prop 8.’

“It is imperative that all pastors and Christian leaders view this for what it is: an irretrievable moment, with profound and lasting consequences.  We must vigorously support Prop 8, as if our ministries and our lives depend on it.  Ultimately, they will.”

-Dr. Jim Garlow
Senior Pastor
Skyline Wesleyan Church
La Mesa, CA
Leader, CA Pastors Rapid Response Team

source

Conversations with Canadians

canadian flag

I spoke to my second Canadian citizen tonight. So I asked her about how she feels about their health care program. I asked her specifically what was the longest that she had to wait. She said that she had a horror story- that one time she had to wait in the emergency room for six hours. A ha! I thought Maybe all the rumors were true. Then she went on to explain that a three-car pile up had happened and all the victims were brought to that hospital. She had only had the flu. So, she had to wait until all of the victims with life-threatening injuries were treated. She did comment that the demand was rising because so many people were coming into their country mainly for their health care. So, nurses are in high need right now. I asked her if she had to pay high taxes because of the universal health care. Her response?

“Oh No. Not at all. Not like you all do.” She commented on how excited she was for us since we had elected Obama. “I wish that we could have someone like that to run our country. I’ve felt so sorry for you all. I know a woman there whose husband is serving his 3rd term. She told me the other day that she doesn’t know how many bullets he can dodge. I just don’t understand why you are over there.”

Most of us don’t understand either I told her. We are looking forward to change and peace.

Have We All Gone Crazy?

Have Christians lost their mind with this election? For one, Christian leadership has become WAY too entrenched into party politics. I have been a witness to pastors telling their congregations to stay tuned to FoxNews – not your local news channel of choice but FoxNews specifically. Surely, everyone on the planet (or at least in this country) knows the admittedly biased network’s conservative conveyance of the news. Christians were even spreading slanderous rumors regarding Senator Obama.

In churches all over the country, I have watched as they preach the message of “Vote the Bible” which apparently now ONLY means vote pro-life. What happened to the sermon on the mount values that Jesus spoke to the multitudes? Are Christians not allowed to vote based on these Christian core values? I don’t understand why Christian leaders are teaching their church members to vote according to the sanctity of life at birth disregarding the quality of life beyond birth. And if you believe any differently, you are voting against God’s word. Where in the bible does it teach you that the pro-life law is more important than all other aspects?

Now many, would say that it is the church’s responsibility not the government to give to the poor, and I would not disagree with this. But then, you have to also say that it is the responsibility of the church to teach women that it is wrong to abort a child. It is our responsibility to create and support groups that would help these women.

Across this country and internet, Christians are being hateful to one another. In political-religious boards, they are tossing around words like blasphemy, heresy, and hypocrite. I think every Christian believer knows how much it hurts to have someone tell you that you do not love the God that you have sacrificed for and served for yours, the God who you have been intimate with and established a relationship. Christians are being divided in a time when we need to be brought together in support for our new president.

Praying Hands

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