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Archive for the ‘Christian Persecution’ Category

Remember The Saints This Memorial Day!

Posted by Job on May 30, 2011

Memorial Day is an observation set aside to remember those who have served our country, chiefly in military service. However, Memorial Day – and every day for that matter – Christians should remember those who have ran the race before us, ‘specially those who earned distinction in Holy Spirit co-authored scripture. A list of such distinguished believers is found in Hebrews 11. This list is a sampling of those who despite their failings and flaws lived and served by faith, and received the reward of the faithful. Let us not forget that without faith it is impossible to please God, and that God is pleased with and rewards the faithful. In addition, we should also remember Jesus Christ, who is the chief example of faith, that being One who was from God, the only begotten Son of God, and is God. Jesus Christ had faith that upon going to the cross to die for the sins of His bride, the church, He would not remain dead and in the grave, but rather would be resurrected, glorified, and receive the bride as His eternal reward. Because of this faith, God the Father not only raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, but gave Him a Name that is above every other Name. At this Name, every knee shall bow and tongue shall confess that He is Lord, and this will be to the glory of God the Father. One day, all things will be placed under God the Son, and God the Son will be given His bride, who will be perfected and conformed into His image. And at this time, the Son will be placed under the Father, so that through the Son, all things will be under the Father! Hallelujah! Praise and glory be to God, who alone is worthy!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Regarding the faithful, we desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Those who died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. The faithful choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. The faithful esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world: for we have respect unto the recompence of our reward. By faith the redeemed sinners perished not with them that believed not, but we receive God’s gospel with peace and reap the rewards with joy.

The bride of Christ through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. Others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. Yet today in diverse places many are being (or as if they are being) stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword (not least guns): they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, tortured, raped, burned alive inside homes and churches, of whom the world was not worthy!!!

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

And the question that must be asked: can the same thing be said about you? Are you in the faith? Are you certain that you are? If you say that you are in the faith, are you faithful? If so, what is the evidence of your faith? What are your works? Faith without works is dead. But works will not save you. Instead, works in the absence of faith will convict you on judgment day all the more. If you have true faith, you will produce works. But works not done through faith in the Name of Jesus Christ and Him crucified will be rejected by a holy and righteous God, for be not deceived, the only way to God the Father is through God the Son, and it is only those who are born of God the Spirit that are with, in and of God the Son. The word of God, the Bible, bears witness of these truths. So, if you say that you are in the faith, Memorial Day could not be a better day to examine yourself to see if it is so.

If you are not in the faith, Memorial Day is your day, your time, to remedy that sad, sad situation. Yes, it is a sad thing if you are not in the faith. Those who are not in Jesus Christ are not experiencing abundant life, the so many great blessings, life everlasting, peace without understanding, forgiveness of sins, spiritual riches that will last for eternity. Who could despise so great a salvation? Furthermore, those who are not with Jesus Christ are against Him. Despite whatever religion or good morals, ethics or works you might possess, all men have sinned, and thus all men who are not with Jesus Christ are sinners. If your life ends without you being reconciled with Jesus Christ, on judgment day you will be counted as a sinner, at war with a God who is loving, but also holy and righteous and for these reasons is bound by His nature to combat all sin and overcome it. If you are a sinner, dear friend, this means you, and by the power, glory, majesty and awesome wonder of God that is continually displayed through His creation, it is self-evident that it is a fearful thing indeed to fall into the Hands of a God who is at war with you because of your sin condition!

So I entreat and implore you right now, end your state of enmity with God! Surrender now! And cast yourself on His Son, on the cross that His Son was sacrificed for sins! Turn away from your sins and beg, plead for forgiveness! Do not fear or fret, because Jesus Christ has promised that whoever comes to Him in sincerity, fear, humility, trembling and penitence, HE WILL NOT TURN AWAY! For it is not God’s will that ANY should perish, and Jesus Christ CAME NOT TO JUDGE BUT TO SAVE! Now be not deceived, when He comes again it will be to judge sin, but when He came the first time, it was to save men from the judgment of sin! So seek the safety, the shelter, the refuge of the only One who can give it to you. That One is Jesus Christ.

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Posted in Bible, Christian Persecution, Christianity, faith, Jesus Christ, persecution, religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Why Does The Media Focus Only On Harold Camping?

Posted by Job on May 26, 2011

Yes, Harold Camping has been exposed as a false prophet, deceiving many as concerning the timing of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Again. Yes, his deception has caused lots of problems and unnecessary harm, especially for his followers. Again. The question is this: what is the big deal? Why has Camping been the subject of such media attention for months when there are so many pressing stories to cover i.e. wars, famines, diseases, natural disasters, economic failures, political intrigues etc. on a global scale? Clearly the media has an agenda, but what is it?

First off, for the sake of sound doctrine, let it be known that the return of Jesus Christ will not occur until A) the gospel has been taken to all nations and B) a great apostasy, a great falling away from the true faith, occurs. As the great commission is a primary duty of the church, it logical to conclude that the falling away will occur shortly after the great commission is fulfilled, or when the great commission’s fulfillment and with it the time of the Gentiles draws to a close. Anyone who extricates themselves from rapture watching and religious right (or religious left) politics long enough to pay attention to the global missions movements knows that barring a fantastic miracle we are at least 100 years from fulfilling the great commission (the 10/40 window alone is an amazing challenge) and – despite the claims of Camping otherwise – far from there being a great falling away, there are more Christians – or definitely appreciable numbers of Christians in more places – today than at any time in history. So, if we can learn anything from this Camping episode, it is that we should heed the words given by angels and recorded by the physician Luke at the direction of God the Holy Spirit “why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” That was an exhortation to cease waiting for eternity and to get on with the business of living for eternity by loving Jesus Christ and walking in His ways.

With that out of the way, let it further be said that the error of Camping does not undermine the authority of the Bible, Jesus Christ or His church but rather confirms it. How? Because the Bible repeatedly warns against false teachers, including those who would lead people into error concerning His second coming. Jesus Christ said that “false prophets shall deceive many” in Matthew 24:5, and that many will be offended by the true faith in Matthew 24:10. Such false teachings were present even while the New Testament was being written, as the apostle Peter referenced them in 2 Peter 3:4, the apostle John did the same in 1 John 2:18, and the apostle Paul did the same in 2 Thessalonians 2.  Further, Jesus Christ predicted such specifically in Matthew 24:4-5! The New Testament makes it clear that we identify false teachers when they teach things that are in contradiction to the Bible. This truth is what drove William Tyndale to martyrdom, when he stated “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!” in response to being told that common people didn’t need to be knowledgeable concerning the Bible’s contents, because it was better to obey the pope than the Bible anyway. So, in rejecting Jesus Christ when He stated that none knows the timing of His return save God the Father (Matthew 24:36), and in rejecting Jesus Christ when He stated that the great commission will be fulfilled before He returns (Matthew 24:14) and in rejecting the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of Paul concerning the falling away first in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, this Camping teaches against things concerning God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and by his doing so and attracting so many followers he verifies the pages of the New Testament when it said that such a thing would happen. So, Camping did not harm the authenticity or integrity of the Bible by being wrong, but rather verified the Bible’s truth! Instead, Camping’s being RIGHT would have been an occasion to challenge the veracity of the Bible, for were Jesus Christ to return before we reach the many tribes in the 10/40 window or while there are tens of millions of believers risking persecution to worship in Africa and Asia, what would be said of those Bible texts?

So, make no mistake, there is nothing special about Camping. Was not just over ten years ago when there were tons of false prophets claiming based on Bible codes and numerology that Jesus Christ was going to return in 2000? (Never mind that the Bible doesn’t follow our modern calendars, and that Bede almost certainly incorrectly calculated the date of the birth of Jesus Christ that we use for “B.C.” and “A.D.” anyway). Or about 25 years ago Jesus Christ was going to return because it was 40 years after of the establishment of the modern state of Israel? (Never mind that Jesus Christ spoke “this generation” to the Jews of His own time concerning the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., and if the Bible actually does speak of the restoration of the political nation of Israel, it does not link this event to any timetable concerning Christ’s return.) So why all the fuss and the furor? It has to serve some sort of media agenda.

Consider this: how come when the subject in view is Usama bin Laden or some other Muslim terrorist, the media is quick to say “he isn’t a real Muslim” or “he doesn’t represent mainstream Islam that is practiced by hundreds of millions of peaceful followers”, but the media is quick to depict Camping as being in or near the mainstream of evangelical and fundamental Christians? In truth, as Camping rejects the Holy Trinity, he shouldn’t be classified as Christian at all. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims and Jews all reject the Holy Trinity, a core foundational doctrine of Christianity that sets it apart from other religions that are either polytheistic or present a false teaching on God’s Unity. But while the media does its best to present Islam and increasingly Mormonism as moderate and mainstream, it uses Camping to create a wild eyed, dangerous fanatical face for Bible-believing Christianity.

Another thing: it isn’t as if Camping is the only false prophet or source of wrong information. Far from it. It is just that when so many others get things wrong and are exposed for their false, anti-Biblical thinking, nothing is ever said about it. Instead, the media, the academy, the elites simply move on. (Or they carry on as if the error was never made.) Consider liberal Christianity, such as the critical “scholars.” Barely a year goes by when an archaeological find of a Biblical site or a scientific breakthrough that confirms Biblical truth or discovery of early manuscripts verifying the existence of historical persons, places and the integrity of Biblical texts that the critical scholars challenged, yet the critical scholars are still accepted as scholars, and their methods – which would never be used in any other field because of their ascientific nature – accepted as reliable.

But that is just the Bible, right? Wrong. Take psychology. The theories of giants in that field like Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey have long been discredited. Yet they are still revered as having made great contributions to science, modern thought and human progress, and furthermore their discredited theories are still being taught as fact in our schools and universities. But psychology, save when it is based on experimentation and observation and does not deal with brain’s biology and chemistry, is a “soft science”, right? Sure, except that the theories in the hard sciences like physics and biology turn up erroneous also. Our schools still teach the long-discredited false leads in evolution theory, i.e. the “evolutionary timeline tree chart” that has long been abandoned as unworkable, and fossils allegedly showing primates evolving into humans that were actually either diseased humans or other animals as fact. You would be surprised to know how many of the things that were taught in science class has been quietly abandoned, how much more needs to be pushed from the classroom, and would be if the media held that community to the same scrutiny that it does evangelical and fundamental Christianity.

But that is just arcane science that has little relevance to our daily lives, so what harm does it do? Fine, except that the realm of false prophets also exists in government and policy. Many fantastic, dire predictions have been made and influenced the direction of governments and leaders to who knows what ends. Example? Global warming. Except that they couldn’t call it “global warming” anymore when many places in the world started experiencing prolonged unseasonably cold weather! So, the cause of the cold weather was attributed to greenhouse gas emissions also and “global warming” became “climate change.” I remember a specific prediction from the global warming prophets that had a lot of people frightened: after Hurricane Katrina and other large, powerful destructive hurricanes in 2005, the global warming community (the “climate change” moniker had not yet been instituted) claimed that the increase in the power and severity of the storms were caused by global warming, and that we could expect worse storms – and more of them – thereafter. They predicted that the hurricane season of 2006 was going to be one of the worst in history! All their models said so! What happened? We haven’t had anything approaching Katrina since.

Another example: peak oil. The experts a few decades back claimed that we had maxed out our oil production, that we had exploited the main reserves, that oil production was heading for an inevitable decline, and that we needed to alter our lifestyles and change our way of life to conserve what oil was left or face a global energy crisis. A few years after those dire predictions, some of the largest oil reserves in history were discovered, as well as technological breakthroughs for accessing oil, and possible new sources of oil, such as from shale and sand. (Do not mistake me for an oil company and fossil fuels advocate, quite the contrary I am fully supportive of alternative energy, and believe that a lot of great technology in that area is not being exploited.) And there was also the “overpopulation crisis.” It was promoted by folks who believed that if the world’s population reached 4 billion, it would become unsustainable, and the result would be mass famines and starvation, diseases, wars and environmental degradation. The only solution was immediate global population control programs! Well, now the world population is 6.75 billion and counting.

There is more. Remember when mad cow disease was going to ravage our food supply? Oprah Winfrey said “I’ll never eat a hamburger again!” (Of course, these folks OPPOSE abstinence from fornication as a defense against sexually transmitted disease as the Bible commands, but constantly promotes abstinence from eating the animals that God gave us dominion over and called lawful to eat.) Remember when bird flu was going to kill thousands, or tens of thousands? What about swine flu? Brought to you by the same false prophets who told you to run out and buy cellophane and masking tape to protect yourself from a nuclear terrorist attack after September 11th.

The prophets told us in the 1980s that AIDS was going to wipe out a significant portion of the U.S. population with little or no regard for lifestyle, and needless to say they were wrong, as AIDS rates only increased among homosexuals, the promiscuous and drug users while declining for everyone else. The lead false prophet was surgeon general C. Everett Koop, who used this false information to promote sex education and condom giveaways in schools starting in 3rd grade. Speaking of sex education, the false prophets told us that it would drastically reduce the venereal disease and teen/out of wedlock pregnancy rates, and it did neither. Instead, both shot through the roof, and further there are now new venereal diseases that even condom manufacturers acknowledge their products are useless against (not that you will ever hear that in any public school sex education program).

But wait, there’s more. The prophets told us that abandoning classical education for new education reforms (often based on Freudian or Marxist theories) would lead to markedly improved results and a transformation of society. They were totally wrong, American academic achievement has fallen off the map, and no one talks about it. The prophets told us that divorce and illegitimacy were GOOD for women, children and even most men, but education, poverty, drug use and incarceration rates say otherwise. The prophets claimed that we could eliminate racism through education. How is that working out? They claimed that we could eliminate poverty through government action, and now not only is poverty still a reality (as Jesus Christ said it would in Mark 14:7, not a favorite text among liberal theologians!) but unprecedented numbers of people in America and worldwide are reliant on government assistance of some kind. The false prophets also claimed that the triumph of Soviet communism was inevitable, and the best course of action was resignation, acceptance and learning from and becoming more like them, only to have the Soviet Union collapse and many remaining Marxist regimes like China and Viet Nam adopt more capitalistic economies. Those who predicted that the war on drugs and the war on terror (especially Afghanistan and Iraq) could be effectively and quickly won? Whatever happened to them?

The sociologists who said that eliminating censorship laws and allowing the free trafficking of pornography would make us more progressive and improve relations between the sexes? They have been nowhere to be found as rapists, child molesters and other sex criminals have proliferated, multiplying like rats. The social theorists who claimed that putting criminals in jail wouldn’t lower crime rates because the root causes were economic? Wrong, and verified when crime rates still remained lower despite two severe recessions and deep cuts in social services. (Well, street crime is lower anyway. White collar crime, the rich in their vain attempt to sate their lust for greed, remains through the roof. But the Bible said that this would happen concerning the wealthy also … see the book of James, which is not a favorite among political conservatives or those who teach the false prosperity gospel.) And another example: remember Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s claim that we had to immediately adopt a stimulus package to keep unemployment from hitting 8%? Unemployment has been at or near 10% for over two years! Anti-Christ? Probably not. False prophet? Definitely.

So, on one hand you have ONE Harold Camping, who again due to his rejection of the Holy Trinity and of many Bible texts (he forbids his followers from fellowshipping in local churches in violation of Hebrews 10:25) should not be considered a Christian is a false prophet. On the other hand, you have MANY worldly prophets who due to their embrace of ungodly, anti-Biblical ideas, doctrines, philosophies and imaginations that exalt themselves against God (2 Corinthians 10:5) that are utterly, totally and completely wrong all the time. Now both groups of false prophets are wrong for the same reason: their rejection of Biblical revelation as true, infallible, inerrant, and the final authority in all matters, and not merely things necessary for salvation. But the media and the elites shine the light on Camping to defame and discredit Christians who actually do adhere to the Bible while doing their best to cover up the fact that they so wrong so often on so many issues to the great harm of so many is appalling. It is hypocrisy at best, and a conspiratorial cover-up at worst. If anything, talking about Camping gives them an excuse to keep from having to address the huge mess that these folks have made of the economies, governments and societies of the world. Further, it allows them to transfer the blame from their failed policies – and the rejection of Jesus Christ and the Bible which reveals Him ideology that motivate them – to Christians, as if Christians are undermining their efforts.

Christians, for instance, are blamed for illegitimacy by opposing sex education. Christians are blamed for AIDS by opposing homosexuality. Christians are blamed for poor educational performance for opposing evolution. Christians are blamed for global warming for opposing climate change legislation. Christians are blamed for the wars and tension in the Middle East for supporting Israel and not a Palestinian state (by the way, I reject Zionism, and “Christian” Zionism is especially repugnant to what the Bible actually says, and John Hagee and not a few other false prophets follow this flawed school of interpretation). Christians are called misogynist for adhering to what the Bible says about the roles concerning men and women in the church, in marriages and homes and in society, and for opposing the murder of abortion. Christians are blamed for “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Mormonism” for refusing to deny that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and accused of undermining cultures with our missionary work. And the list goes on and on.

And it is only going to increase. As more and more ideas based on a rejection of the Bible and even of general revelation (see Romans 1:18-32) causes still more decline and failure, anger will increase against Christians. As the world continues to reap the fruit of the sin and wickedness that it sows, it will increasingly see Christians as scapegoats. Instead of repenting of their sins and acknowledging those as the true source of the misery and calamity, the blame will be on Christians for failing to get with the program.

This will climax in first sporadic but then general and organized attempts to silence Christians and remove us from their midst, in the hopes of keeping us from hindering their “progress.” This is far-fetched, you say? Not in the least, because it has already happened. An example is not merely the brutal repression and murder of Christians on a massive scale in the Soviet Union, China, Germany, Sudan and other totalitarian (whether Marxist, Muslim or fascist) regimes in the last century, but the experience of the church in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire’s wealth, power and culture were declining due to the decadence and incompetence of its ruling classes, and from Nero to Decius, they saw Christians as a scapegoat.

The legitimate Christians refused to join in their state religion (an odd mix of paganism and patriotism not dissimilar from what goes on in our country today, including in not a few churches) so the Roman “gods” were angry. The Christians refused to join in their public activities (regrettably this is not a mark of contemporary Christianity!) so they were called “divisive” and were accused of undermining the common culture (in addition to not being patriotic!) that was allegedly needed to have a cohesive, strong empire. And Christians preached and taught against the immorality, wickedness and depravity of the people, the rulers and the times. They preached against the rampant adultery, homosexuality, violence and child molestation. They preached against the wanton excesses of the upper classes (again, not a mark of contemporary evangelical Christianity, unless the upper classes in view are Hollywood, government bureaucrats and other liberal elites). And they preached against paganism, not only by the people but the official state religion (again, the evangelical Christian preacher who even speaks of the freemasonry and occult that was vital to this nation’s founding and has been influential in it ever since is rare).

Then, the persecution began as sporadic and localized, but climaxed in a brutal, sustained attempt to completely rid the Roman Empire of Christianity. And despite the estimated ten million Christians that were killed by the Roman Empire (something that you will never see mentioned in history books or depicted in movies, as they are more wont to depict Christians as murderous crusaders and the like) and the carnage of the past hundred years, that is only a shadow of the real bloodbath to come. You see, unlike Harold Camping, I do not adhere to a rapture belief. Instead, I believe the Bible when it says that when the anti-Christ comes, it will be given to him to make war against the saints, and to overcome them. I believe the Bible when it says that the time of tribulation, of great sorrows, will be of such severity that it will be cut short so that the saints, the elect, will survive it. And I believe that the saints that were mentioned in Revelation and Matthew 24 that will see that horrible time are not Jews, or those converted by Jews during the great tribulation, but Christians.

And that is what it is all about. That is why turning an obscure preacher with questionable doctrine into an international news story lasting several cycles was done. It is why Westboro Baptist Church, a cult that has existed for decades, is only now becoming international news. It is why Terry Jones, an obscure leader of a small congregation, became an international pariah for burning a Koran when not only Muslims but the United States military routinely burns Bibles!

It is why terrorists attacks committed by atheists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph are attributed to Christians. It is why violence against abortion clinics and doctors is an issue oft raised against Christians despite the fact that less than 5 such incidents have occurred in over 20 years, and only 1 in the past 10. The Hutaree militia drew headlines and a massive sting operation from the federal government as a Christian terrorism threat to rival that posed by Al Qaeda, and it turned out to be just a bunch of guys spinning yarns over the Internet.  Yet, the Marxist “liberation theology” types, not a few of whom were trained Soviet infiltrators, fanned the flames for any number of bloody murderous third world Marxist coups with their organizing and “preaching”, and the truth about their activities – and the level of support that they received from their ideological and religious fellow travelers in the U.S. – has never been documented by the media, Hollywood or our schools. Neither has the true history of our own “civil rights movement” – how it duped the black church and many well meaning white Americans into supporting Marxist subversive tactics, and how that movement was also organized by and rife with Soviet agents and sympathizers – been told, and nor can you expect them to spill the beans on their own false prophets.

The agitation propaganda against Christians will continue in the future just as it did in the Roman Empire. Christians should be heedful of the times, which means that we must be aware of what is going on, aware of where it is headed, and aware of whose agenda it is serving. That is why Christians should end these “battles” over “being represented in Hollywood” and the “culture wars” and “religious right politics” (and religious left politics) in favor of opening our eyes to the true state of affairs. Instead, we should study our Bibles, study about the early church during its time of persecution before Christianity was co-opted by the Roman Empire so that by learning about the church’s past, we can learn about the future – our future. Of course, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ will win in the end and vindicate and save His church. But make no mistake: just as Jesus Christ suffered Gethsemane and His passion before His resurrection and glorification, the church, being less than its Master Jesus Christ, must also suffer many things. Christians must be prepared so that we might stand during the time to come, and endure to the end. This is a battle that will be won not by guns, money or governments but by faith in the God who is fighting on our side and prevail.

It must be asked: which side are you on? The side of God, or of the wicked? Though Camping was wrong, his error only proved the Bible to be correct. The Bible makes it clear that the wicked perish and that Jesus Christ and those who believe in Him will triumph. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, make no mistake, you will be counted among the wicked, because no matter how good you perceive yourself to be, before a holy and perfect God you are a sinner. I urge you, repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

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Rush Limbaugh’s Not Being Allowed To Buy An NFL Team May Be A Bad Sign For American Christians

Posted by Job on October 15, 2009

First, please do not mistake me for being a Rush Limbaugh supporter of any sort. (For the record: I was once a regular listener to his show back when I was an ardent religious right neoconservative Republican, but since then my religious views have changed, resulting in my political views changing – to apolitical –  as well). Also, it is significant that by his own words Rush Limbaugh cannot be considered to be a Christian of any sort, which makes it particularly distressing that so many of my politically conservative Christian brothers and sisters vigorously endorse and allow themselves to be influenced by Limbaugh’s views and count him among their ranks, even to the point of considering him to be a great articulator and defender of the faith and equating an attack on him and his views to being an attack on Christianity. (Such people really need to pay serious attention to the history of Christianity, allow me to recommend The Reformers And Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin, a book that would shatter the basis for most religious right – and religious left – delusions.)

Yet the rejection of Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team should still cause Bible-believing Christians some concern. Make no mistake: the opposition to Limbaugh is largely due to his opposition to ideas and things that Christians also consider sinful: abortion, homosexuality, feminism etc. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Limbaugh’s racial views. Let me point something out: the NFL has a long history of racism. It is the only major sports league that has an explicit affirmative action program (the despised Rooney rule) because it is the only one that needs it! Limbaugh would have been far more likely to make the NFL less racist than more racist. Also, there is a huge double standard. You would have had a difficult time finding a bigger racist in modern professional sports – or in big business – than Ted Turner. Yet neither the media or civil rights groups said a peep about Ted Turner’s longtime ownership of the Atlanta Braves or the Atlanta Hawks (or for that matter CNN or the Turner Networks). By contrast, the media pressured Major League Baseball into forcing Marge Schott to sell her team!

The difference: Ted Turner openly mocks Christianity. So Turner’s racism is not only never commented on by the media, but it is artfully concealed. Instead, the media talks glowingly of Turner’s “philanthropy”, which JUST HAPPENS to include support for PLANNED PARENTHOOD and U.N. POPULATION CONTROL EFFORTS. Check out this quote where Turner claims that global warming could cause us to become cannibals, and it could turn civilized countries into places like SOMALIA and SUDAN, examples which JUST HAPPEN to be black African nations. Oh yes, this supporter of Darwinian evolution Ted Turner also claims that the world has too many people. Which people would those be, Mr. prominent supporter of “The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life“? But can any of you recall the last time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or any of the other types denouncing Limbaugh’s attempt to own an NFL team saying a thing about Turner’s racism EVER?

Now do not mistake this for being just another “liberal media hypocrisy double standard” screed that you can find in any right wing organ like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, National Review (or sadly far too many evangelical Christian outlets). That the world is evil and hypocritical is to be expected, and that is precisely one of the reasons why Jesus Christ called the church out of the world and commanded us to be separate from it. Instead, my angle is this: the treatment of Limbaugh is still more evidence that this country is becoming ever more hostile to Bible-believing Christians. Don’t be deceived into thinking that it is because of our political views, our “moral values” or what have you. For instance Hollywood gave the rabidly homophobic rapper Eminem award after award and also raved over the allegedly “pro-life” movie Juno (which was actually a very cleverly concealed feminist hatchet job on males and fatherhood). As the movie “The Time Changer” excellently made the case for, it isn’t conservative political views or good family values that Satan – and by extension the world that Satan rules – hates, it is Jesus Christ. That’s why the very same people who attack Christians for opposing abortion and gay rights RARELY IF EVER do the same regarding shari’a law Muslims!

So take up the cause of Rush Limbaugh? I would really dissuade any Bible-believing Christian from doing so. But realize that the media firestorm that resulted from Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team is still more evidence that this nation is becoming ever more hostile to Christians and recognizing it as a sign of the times? That is what you should do. Ironically, Limbaugh is one of the major purveyors of the “America is a Christian nation” nonsense that is actually a false doctrine and form of the religion, one that takes a religion based on faith in the revelation of God’s Son Jesus Christ and turns it into merely a political/cultural belief system. Because of that, many of Limbaugh’s Christian followers are convinced that American Christians will not – or should not – ever face the marginalization and persecution that Christians in other nations do because America and its church are a special covenant nation with a special standing before God. This line of thinking is why so many of the rapture-based movies like “Left Behind” and “The Omega Code” depict America as leading the fight against the anti-Christ, at times with the American president leading the way. However, the truth is that America is part of Babylon, the worldwide political, economic and religious system that exalts itself against God, just like any other nation. If anything, America is a leader in it. America is where the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve are. Freemason and occult emblems are all over our national symbols. And if America didn’t invent violent and occultic movies, pornography, and similar content in heavy metal and rap music, we certainly lead the world in exporting it, and incidentally the same is true with the dissemination of false religious cults (Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, oneness pentecostalism) and religious syncretism, especially with New Age. And yes, America does have an ambassador to the Vatican, and 6 of our 9 Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholics, including at least one Opus Dei member.

So, the prophecies in Revelation apply to America just like everyplace else. America will turn against and persecute its Christians just like every other nation, and America will be judged by God for its treatment of Christians (do not believe John Hagee and other dispensationalists who claim that judgment will be based on the nation’s treatment of Israel, the martyrs that will be avenged in Revelation 6:10 are Christian martyrs, not Jewish ones) just like other nations. And speaking of dispensationalism, in addition to their erroneous claims concerning America and Israel in the last days, the Bible (including Revelation 6) states that the church will have to endure this time as opposed to being “raptured out of it.” So, this Limbaugh episode is more evidence that Christians should be preparing themselves for what is coming in America as opposed to continuing to delude ourselves.

Incidentally, if you are not a Christian, please know that all of the things that are going on in this country and our world, all of the massive problems, were foretold long ago in the Bible. There is no excuse for continuing to disbelieve the Bible and continuing to rebel against Jesus Christ. Please end your rebellion in Jesus Christ today. The video below provides information designed to help you do so.Vodpod videos no longer available.

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A Question For Premillennial Dispensational Rapture Believers: Explain The Fifth Seal In Revelation!

Posted by Job on September 25, 2009

Revelation 6:9-11 reads

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

The Word of God for the elect people of God. Glory be to God.

For my premillennial dispensational brethren who believe in a pretribulation (or prewrath) rapture that spares the church from the time of sorrow, please explain this text. Who are those slain for the Word of God? Are they Christians? And when will these Christians be slain for their testimony? Does it refer to those believers slain in times past, whether in the Old Testament or at the time that Revelation was written? Or does it refer to believers slain during the great tribulation? (If so, how can any Christian stand under persecution, even martyrdom, without being emboldened by the Holy Spirit, which according to premillennial dispensational doctrine has to be taken from the earth along with the church? Please recall the difference between Peter and the apostles before the Comforter – cowering and fearful and running from their lives – and afterwards – bold and brave witnesses even unto death. As a matter of fact Peter himself went from being the worst – the one who denied Christ three times – to being the boldest. And how can anyone even be saved during the great tribulation without the work of the Holy Spirit? Recall: the Holy Spirit was indeed present during the time of the Old Testament saints. Indeed, the Bible states that the earth’s very existence cannot so much as even be sustained without the Spirit of God.) Or does it refer to believers slain during all ages, from the first (Abel) until the last before the return of Jesus Christ?

To interpret this passage with scripture, let us go to another one in Revelation that touches the martyrdom of the saints, which is Revelation 18:24. Please recall that this chapter refers to the fall of Babylon,  which since the Tower of Babel incident and particularly since the destruction of the temple in 586 has been used to symbolize people and systems that rebel against and oppose God and persecute His elect covenant people, and that Revelation extends this symbolism with personification, describing all that opposes God as a harlot (prostitute), which in this verse is called “her”:  And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. Now as much as I love my King James Version, allow me to quibble with their translation of “kai” to “and” in the phrase “and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Many times, “kai” is just used for emphasis, as an amplifier of degree or a focus of attention. This text should probably read:

“And in her [Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints, indeed all [prophets and saints] that were slain upon the earth.”

However, if you go with the King James Version, which granted carries much more weight and authority than my own, and all which follow its tradition on that text, then “and of all that were slain upon the earth” simply means that in Babylon was the blood of every person that has been murdered, all innocent blood that has been shed. This means that the prior clause “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints” means that “the prophets and saints” (a  New Testament idiom which refers to old covenant and new covenant believers) which means that the blood of Stephen and all other Christian martyrs ever since is contained in Babylon. So with reference to the elect the meaning is the same: the blood of everyone killed because of their faith in God is in Babylon.

So, if we interpret Revelation 6:9-11 with Revelation 18:24, when the fifth seal was opened the martyred souls viewed under the altar should very likely be interpreted to include every Christian martyr since Stephen. This would support the idea of a church that has always been under continuous tribulation. Such an interpretation would be consistent with, indeed fulfill the words of Jesus Christ in John 15:18-20.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

The Word of God for the people of God. Glory be to God.

Now one can hardly claim that those words were only aimed at the apostles. Those words are for all Christians for all time. So what basis is there for believing that there will be a rapture to save the church from a persecution that A) Jesus Christ said that we would face and B) Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to withstand? Now this is not an endorsement of the historicist, preterist or amillennial position that there will be no seven year literal great tribulation. Instead, it is to say that if there will be such a seven year literal great tribulation, the church will be present for it just as it has been present for all other tribulations, the “lesser” tribulations.

Now the prewrath (and mid-wrath) rapture adherent does have Revelation 3:10, which reads “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”, in his favor. However, that could be fulfilled in a number of ways, including 1) a place of refuge (which ironically rapture believers commonly propose will exist for those who will saved during the great tribulation … again these people will have to be saved despite the absence of a church to preach the gospel or a Holy Spirit to perform regeneration) or 2) death. Do not let the “death” option astonish you, but instead study the scriptures, especially the Old Testament but also in the New Testament. It is a consistent theme that death is a way of being preserved, saved, spared from times of great evil … to be absent from the troubles of this world and present with God! Perhaps the best example of this is the death of Abijah, son of the wicked king Jeroboam, who died according to God’s will so that he would not be corrupted by Jeroboam and also not share in their judgment in 1 Kings 14. A New Testament example: at the time that he wrote Philippians 1:20-26, Paul viewed death as being removed from the extremely trying circumstances that he was living and exchanging it for a better fate. In that passage Paul stated “to die is gain”, but it appears that the rapture adherents have transformed it into “to be raptured is gain.”

So, the idea that there must be a rapture in order for Christians to be spared martyrdom seems to be inconsistent with Biblical revelation. It is also an idea that only makes sense for Christians living in the west. Practically everywhere else in the world, Christians face persecution: marginalization, poverty, disease, imprisonment, death. There are two doctrinal systems that have the effect of promoting the idea western Christians should have no part in what Christians in Indonesia, China, Iran, Palestine (and Israel!), India and Mexico (where Roman Catholic/pagan syncretists are persecuting Protestants) by simple right of geography of birth: pretribulation rapture and covenant theology. Pretribulation rapture teaches that Christians not currently under persecution now will never have to face it, because persecution will only come to “the good parts of the world” (i.e. “Christian nations” or “western nations” or “non-socialist nations” … you know, what Glenn Beck was referring to) when the anti-Christ (which 8% of New Jersey residents regard Obama to be) takes over it.

Now ask yourselves … why is it that Christians can be persecuted in some places (including Israel … and read this too!) now without the anti-Christ, but it requires the anti-Christ to happen in others (especially America)? Or that the saints in other places (and times, including in the west … remember the 30 Years War and the Anabaptists?) are not spared persecution, but only the modern American saints are? Only the idea that contemporary western (especially American and possibly British!) Christians are somehow better than Christians living in other times and places, and this fact would be due to America having some special status before God as a unique elect covenant nation, giving us special status within the Body of Christ. Of course, the Bible makes it clear in the Roman and Corinthian epistles that there is no special group or people with a special status, special favor, or special standing before God in the Body of Christ, but instead that we are one Body. Further, the Bible makes it clear that those who are accounted greater according to rank or authority (not standing or value) demonstrate this through being servant roles that cause us to A) serve those who are of lesser rank and authority and B) endure even greater persecution than those who are of lesser rank and authority. So, even if America did have some special standing before God, instead of our being wealthy decadent privileged Laodiceans, we would be poor, oppressed and serving everybody else! If you deny this, read the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ!

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Keep in mind, the version in Luke reads “Blessed are the POOR!”)
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Word of God for the people of God. Glory be to God.

Now earlier I mentioned the covenant theologians, from whom the modern concept of the “Christian nation” originated. Covenant theologians believe – or at least believed – that people in “Christian nations” would or should be spared persecution only because in a church-state Christians would control the government, economy, military, police, and religion in a theocracy after the manner of Old Testament Israel. That is why such extreme theonomists and reconstructionists as Gary North and Rousas John (R. J.) Rushdoony deny that the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount apply to Christians, instead stating that it only applied to Jews living in that time. (Curiously, hyperdispensationalists believe the same.) While I believe the covenant theology position to be in error, this statement is aimed primarily at premillennnial dispensationalists.

So if America were this special, Christian nation, it would be marked by our poverty and service, not by our decadent delusions of religious nobility which makes us believe that we are somehow exempt from the sufferings of Christians living in Belarus or Namibia, or for that matter the Christians of the early church. After all, when Paul wrote his statement insisting that those in the Body of Christ were equals, the statements were direct AGAINST two groups of people: the Jewish Christians in the Roman church and the wealthy Christians in the Corinthian church. The Jewish Christians regarded themselves to be superior to the Gentile Christians because of nationality, and the wealthy Corinthian Christians regarded themselves as superior to the poorer believers because of their riches. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to tell both groups that they were wrong. So, then, how can we justify believing that a rapture will come and rescue us from the type of persecutions and deaths at the hands of Muslims that are going on all over the Middle East, Asia and Africa right now, such as the two million Christians that were killed in Sudan, many of whom were tortured, raped, doused with gasoline and set on fire, had their limbs chopped off, or were sold as slaves because they refused to renounce Christianity?

Ironically, the world, including the media, the activists, and the government of our own “Christian nation”, did their level best to ignore this genocide, choosing instead to focus on Muslims murdering other Muslims in Darfur. And let us not forget that the term for which the word genocide was originally invented and applied to, that of the Armenians by the Turks, is still not recognized as such by the U.N. or by the government of our “Christian nation.” It is still more ironic when you consider that the Armenian genocide happened in the same general area that the letters in Revelation were sent, in the Turkey region. That persecution kicked off what was the bloodiest period of Christian persecution in history, the 20th century, that saw 45.5 million Christians killed!

So if there were any geographical or political entity within the Body of Christ that had special status, it would be those Christians because of their poverty and persecution who would come first, not us . It is those to whom the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ were addressed, and premillennial dispensationalism completely rejects that truth for the belief that the rapture will save Christians not yet under persecution from ever having to experience it because the saints who have it easier are the ones who fulfill Revelation 3:10! Never mind that the rich church that was not facing persecution was Laodicea, and the church that Revelation 3:10 was addressed to was Philadelphia. Why was the promise of Revelation 3:10 given to the Philadelphians? It is in Revelation 3:8, which reads “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” The Philadelphia Christians were being persecuted, and similar to the Sudanese Christians, they refused to yield to the persecution by denying Jesus Christ. In other words, they refused to do the same as the apostle Peter did THREE TIMES before he was empowered by the Holy Spirit, yet dispensationalism teaches that this Holy Spirit will be taken away, and those converted during the great tribulation will have to face the greatest time of sorrows ever without it, and will yet somehow stand? How? Why? Because of their free will? Or because of their inherently good human nature untainted by original sin? Followers of Reformed/Calvinist believers in the rapture like John MacArthur and Albert Pendarvis (the latter’s bookstore sells the Scofield Reference Bible) have to answer these questions! In any event, those who claim that Revelation 3:10 refers to Christians being raptured to escape persecution have to deal with the fact that the text was in reference to a Philadelphia church that was enduring it!

Make no mistake. I believe in a bodily literal return of Jesus Christ which I believe will occur after a literal great tribulation which will include a literal and personal anti-Christ. However, I also believe that the church will endure this tribulation, and that we need to be preparing ourselves and those who will follow us in the faith for it in a manner that is consistent with scripture as opposed to believing that we – or our WESTERN descendants – will have an experience of escaping it that will be unique to Christians living in other times and places. At the very least, someone must explain why western Christians alone should enjoy this pleasure!

The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christian persecution America, Christian Zionism, Christianity, Christians United For Israel, church hypocrisy, church state, church worldliness, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Iran Arrests 32 Christians In Crackdown

Posted by Job on August 13, 2009

BosNewsLife – Christian News Agency » Blog Archive » NEWS ALERT: Iran Detains 32 Christians

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christianity, Iran, Islam, Muslim | Leave a Comment »

God Called Her Worthy: Iranian Christian Women Maryam Rustampoor And Marzieh Amirizadeh Refuse To Deny Faith Before Court

Posted by Job on August 13, 2009

Please pray for these women that God’s will be done and that He will be glorified.

Iranian Women Converts Tell Court, ‘We Will Not Deny Our Faith’ | Christianpost.com
In a show of unshakable faith in Jesus Christ, two Iranian women accused of being Christians appeared in Tehran court Sunday, they confessed that they “love Jesus,” and will “not recant their faith”; they said they have “no regrets”.

Maryam Rustampoor, 27 and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were first arrested on 5 March for leaving Islam. They were confined in a solitary confinement in an infamous Evin prison, deprived of medical attention, often blindfolded for interrogations for several hours during their 5-month ordeal in the prison.

Elam Ministries, a ministry that specializes in serving the growing church in Iran reported Monday that Maryam and Marzieh when they appeared before the court on Sunday 9 August that “though great pressure was put on them, both women declared that they would not deny their faith.”

The chief interrogator had recommended a verdict of ‘apostasy’. However, when they arrived, no verdict was actually given, the report said.

“Instead, the court session focussed on the deputy prosecutor, Mr Haddad, questioning Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and telling them that they had to recant in both verbal and written form,” it stated.

“It clear that in the eyes of the court, Maryam and Marzieh’s only crime is that they have converted to Christianity.”

The apostasy in Iran under Sharia Law is death.

Mr. Haddad, asked the two women if they were Christians. “We love Jesus,” they replied. He repeated his question and they said, “Yes, we are Christians.”

Mr. Haddad then said, “You were Muslims and now you have become Christians.”

“We were born in Muslim families, but we were not Muslims,” was their reply.

Mr. Haddad’s questioning continued and he asked them if they regretted becoming Christians, to which they replied, “We have no regrets.”

Then he stated emphatically, “You should renounce your faith verbally and in written form.” They stood firm and replied, “We will not deny our faith.”

During one tense moment in the questioning, Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit. Mr. Haddad told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.”

Marzieh asked him in return, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?”

Mr. Haddad then replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.”

Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”

Mr. Haddad told the women to return to prison and think about the options they were given and come back to him when they are ready (to comply). Maryam and Marzieh said, “We have already done our thinking.”

At the end of the session, Mr. Haddad told them that a judge will give them his verdict, though it is not clear who will be the judge in their case now. He also allowed Maryam and Marzieh to have a lawyer represent them in the case for the first time since their arrest, the report said.

While the trial was going on Voice of the Martyrs asked Christians to pray for the courageous duo.

Both women are back in Evin prison on the same day. Elim Ministries reported that during their five-month ordeal, both have been unwell and have lost much weight.

“Marzieh is in pain due to an on-going problem with her spine, as well as an infected tooth and intense headaches.She desperately needs medical attention. Two months ago the prison officials told her the prison had proper medical equipment and that they will attend to her, but so far no proper treatment has been given.”

“Despite the concentrated effort of officials to pressure them into recanting their faith, Maryam and Marzieh love Jesus and they are determined to stand firm to the very end no matter whatever happens.”

“They have demonstrated their love for Jesus and would offer their lives for Him if they were called to do so,” the report said. After today’s court session they said, “If we come out of prison we want to do so with honor.”

“Maryam and Marzieh’s case is a clear and harsh violation of human rights and religious liberty by Iran’s authorities. They deserve the support of all those who respect human rights and to be released without charges so they can pursue a life of freedom..

International Christian Concern (ICC) in a statement from Washington D.C yesterday has asked Iranian officials to free the Christian duo.

“We ask Iranian officials to free Maryam and Marzieh. Iran must respect their right to follow the religion of their choice. In this century, it’s unconscionable for any country to force its citizens to adhere to any particular religion,” said Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for African and Middle.

ICC statement yesterday also request Christians to pray for the health of these persecuted Christians that God will continue to give them strength and courage.

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christianity, Iran, Islam, Muslim | Leave a Comment »

Seven Christians – Including Child – Burned Alive In Pakistan Over False Charges Of Koran Desecration

Posted by Job on August 1, 2009

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – 7 Christians burnt alive in Gojra riots

* Rangers called in after mob torches Christian homes
* Punjab law minister says preliminary investigation shows no desecration of holy Quran

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: The government deployed the Rangers to the town of Gojra on Saturday after at least seven Christians, including three women, were burnt alive and dozens injured following the second incident of violence against Christians in Punjab in one month.

The latest riots, which started almost a week ago following allegations that a copy of the holy Quran was defiled, escalated on Saturday as locals shouting slogans against Christians took to the streets in Christian Town, a Christian-only locality. Following the escalation, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, on directions of President Asif Ali Zardari, ordered the Punjab Rangers to reach Gojra and help the civil administration maintain law and order. Eyewitnesses said a protesting mob turned violent when armed men from Jhang reached the spot and started attacking Christian houses. Locals claimed the attackers were members of a banned organisation, adding they carried sophisticated weaponry. Emboldened by the attackers, the mob started throwing acid and petrol bombs on the houses, forcing the people to come out. A local resident said dozens were feared dead, adding the exact number could not be confirmed as several bodies were buried under debris.

Claiming the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba group was involved in the rioting, Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti told the Associated Press he had directed police to ensure protection for the Christian community but they had ignored his instructions.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said authorities had investigated the allegation of a Holy Quran being defiled “and our initial reports say that there has not been any incident of desecration”. He said the situation had calmed down on Friday, but extremists had entered the city on Saturday and pushed people toward armed clashes. Faisalabad Commissioner Tahir Hussain told local TV channels that representatives of the two communities would meet on Saturday in an effort to calm the situation.

Another link: Muslims Kill Christians Over Koran Claims
Another link:  Pakistan Christians die in unrest

Posted in abomination, Christian Persecution, Christianity, Islam, murder, Muslim, Pakistan | 1 Comment »

North Korea Executes Christian Woman Ri Hyon-ok for Distributing Bibles And Imprisons Her Family

Posted by Job on July 25, 2009

North Korea Executes Christian Woman for Distributing Bibles | Christianpost.com

North Korea has publicly executed a Christian woman accused of distributing Bibles and “spying” for foreign countries, South Korean activists said Friday.

  • (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
    North Korea’s flag and letters are projected by anti-North Korean activists during a press conference denouncing North Korea’s policy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 24, 2009. North Korea publicly executed a Christian woman last month for allegedly distributing the Bible, which is banned in the communist nation, South Korean activists said Friday.

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A mother of three, Ri Hyon-ok, 33, was accused of spying for South Korea and the United States and organizing dissidents, The Associated Press reported. She was executed in the northwestern city of Ryongchon bordering China on June 16, according to a report from the Investigative Commission on Crimes against Humanity published Friday.

Her husband, children and parents were sent to a political prison the day after her execution, the report states.

The report’s claims could not be verified.

But it follows testimonies by North Korean defectors and reports from human rights groups that have increasingly exposed the religious persecution and rights abuses in the communist country.

Last month, the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) was warned through an anonymous fax apparently by the North Korean embassy for Finland that “something very bad will happen” to VOM workers if the organization continues its project in sharing the Gospel.

The warning was in response to VOM obtaining fax numbers inside North Korea and sending faxes containing Christian messages and Scripture passages.

North Korea has been ranked the worst persecutor of Christians for seven years in a row in the annual Open Doors Watch List 2009.

North Koreans are forced to worship a personality cult that includes Kim Jong-Il and his deceased father. Any other religion, especially Christianity, is banned.

If someone is found to be a Christian or possesses a Bible, they are sent to the gulags (government administered labor camps) or face public execution.

It is believed that tens of thousands of Christians are currently suffering in North Korean prison camps, according to Open Doors. The regime is suspected of detaining more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world.

There are a few churches in the capital, Pyongyang, but they are mainly for show. It is unclear if these churches are only open when foreigners visit or are used only by expatriates. Either way, the handful of churches are not for North Korean citizens, according to defectors.

The Investigative Commission on Crimes against Humanity, a coalition of 50 activist groups, is calling for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to be charged with crimes against humanity.

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christianity, church state, north korea, persecution | 2 Comments »

Christians Should Expect Persecution

Posted by Job on May 30, 2009

[livevideo id=C77B3D61555B496B8BECA31F2A4612D3] It is a popular pursuit for many pastors and teachers to discuss the great tribulation that will occur during the very last days, and to be on the lookout for evidence that this great tribulation is right around the corner. The truth is that there is a message that is far more useful and urgent, which is that Christians are called upon to experience persecution, rejection, scorn and other forms of tribulation right now in our daily Christian living, and that if we are not experiencing such persecution, then it is evidence that we are not walking in full obedience to Jesus Christ.

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Oakland Pastor Uses Unjust Jail Sentence As Opportunity For Evangelism

Posted by Job on April 30, 2009

Straight time ABORTION: A pro-life Oakland pastor chooses jail over a plea bargain—and leads prisoners to Christ | Lynn Vincent

For 19 days in March and April, Walter Hoye was locked in a cell with 29 other prisoners at the Santa Rita jail near Oakland, Calif. There were times when he wished he could have stayed longer.
When the metal door first clanged shut behind him on March 20, Hoye, 52, decided the space was really more of a cage than a cell. A metal grid penning in prisoners. Fifteen bunks lining two walls. Two toilets and a urinal for all 30 men, and a shower that inmates had gradually transformed into a pornographic shrine.
As Hoye made his way to an empty bunk, a few prisoners, mostly black and Latino, dogged his path. “You smuggle in any drugs, man?” one of them asked.
“No,” Hoye said quietly.

Then the veteran inmates left him alone, he told me, except for “one of the brothers who was kind enough to help me make up my bed.”
A few minutes later, another man walked over to Hoye’s bunk and jabbed his finger at a newspaper he was holding. “This you?” he said, eyeing Hoye skeptically.
Hoye peered at the Oakland Tribune headline: “Anti-abortion pastor chooses jail.”
“Yeah, that’s me,” he said.
In the next moment, the inmate was striding up and down the length of the cell, announcing, “Hey, he don’t have to be here! He turned down probation! He doing straight time for what he believed in!”
It was true: On Feb. 19, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing sentenced Walter Hoye, a Missionary Baptist minister, to 30 days in jail after Hoye refused a plea deal that included three years’ probation, a small fine, and an order that he stay at least 100 yards away from Family Planning Specialists, an Oakland abortion clinic.
Passionate about the sky-high abortion rate among African-Americans, Hoye began offering men and women assistance at the clinic in 2006. About one in three Oakland residents is black, compared with a statewide African-American population of 6 percent. And though blacks make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for one-third of all abortions performed in the United States. More than three in 10 black women abort their unborn children.
According to the 2006 census, deaths now exceed live births among African-Americans. “We’re no longer replacing ourselves,” Hoye said. “So we’re not using terms like holocaust and genocide just to elicit a response. It’s the truth.”
In response, once a week Hoye stood quietly outside Family Planning Specialists with a sign that said, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.” When people approached the clinic, Hoye would ask their permission to speak with them about abortion alternatives; he also offered them pamphlets describing available help.
In 2007, pro-abortion clinic “escorts” began to show up in groups, surrounding Hoye and impeding his movement. They blocked his sign with sheets of blank cardboard and shouted down his low-key offers of help. When that didn’t scare Hoye off, clinic managers lobbied the Oakland city council and in December 2007, the council instituted a “bubble-zone” ordinance applicable within a 100-foot radius of any Oakland abortion clinic. The law made it a crime to “approach within eight feet of any person seeking to enter” a “reproductive health care facility” in order to offer literature, display a sign, or engage in “oral protest, education, or counseling.”
“This law is horribly unconstitutional,” Hoye said. “It allows abortion clinics to decide which U.S. citizens are allowed to retain their constitutional right to free speech.”
Represented by Life Legal Defense Fund (LLDF), Hoye challenged the ordinance in court. The case is still pending, but in May 2008, Oakland public attorneys acting in cooperation with clinic managers charged Hoye with “unlawful approaches” to women, and “force, threat of force, or physical obstruction.”
What prosecutors did not know was that LLDF attorneys possessed four hours of uncut videotape documenting Hoye’s activities outside the clinic on the dates in question. At trial in January 2009, the tapes impeached the testimony of clinic director Jackie Barbic, who claimed that Hoye repeatedly broke the 8-foot rule and that she and a patient had to put up their hands to fend him off. Instead, the tapes showed Hoye standing still as Barbic approached him; then they showed Hoye walking away. No incident shown on the tape matched Barbic’s testimony, and even clinic escorts testified that Hoye was always cordial and never obstructed anyone’s path or used threats or force.
Inexplicably, the jury still found Hoye guilty. At sentencing, the prosecutor recommended the probation and the clinic stay-away order—or two years in jail. When Hoye refused the stay-away order, Judge Hing appeared “surprised,” Hoye said. “The judge was essentially asking me to stop trying to help men and women outside an abortion clinic, and I just would not voluntarily give up my First Amendment rights.”
In February, Hing levied a sentence of 30 days and Hoye reported to the Santa Rita jail a month later. After the newspaper-reading inmate touted the Tribune article to the other prisoners—many of them inner-city drug dealers whose highest aspiration was to stay out of prison, they clamored to know why a man would choose jail over freedom. From that moment on, Hoye found himself in constant demand.
“I would be holding court with about 30 guys, explaining why I did what I did,” he said. “I explained what an abortion actually does, that it takes an innocent human life. We held prayer vigils, we had Bible studies. I must have counseled and mentored guys all day and all night. It got to the point where we started talking seriously about Christ.”
Most of the men in the cage at first mouthed pro-choice slogans, Hoye said. “But when I forced them to complete the sentence, ‘I believe that a woman has a right to choose to kill an innocent life,’ they couldn’t do it.”
One morning at about 2:30 a.m., a good-looking young man named Terrell approached Hoye’s bunk and asked what actually goes on during an abortion. Using his fingers to simulate a woman’s legs spreading, Hoye showed Terrell how the abortionist inserts a vacuum aspirator and sucks out the developing child.
Terrell, 18, told Hoye he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant and that she had aborted. “She made the decision,” he said. “It was her choice.”
“Yes, I know that, but what did you do?” Hoye replied. “Did you offer to marry her?”
Terrell shook his head. “No, I didn’t.”
“Did you offer to help her raise the child?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Did you tell her that you love her and that you were going to go the distance with her as a man should, even if she decided to give the child up for adoption?”
“No, no, I didn’t,” Terrell said, his eyes filling with tears. “I never knew. No one ever told me what an abortion is. No one ever made it plain.”
When Terrell understood that he had, “perhaps because of his own lack of participation, been complicit in the murder of his own child, it really broke him,” Hoye said.
Before Terrell went back to his own bunk that night, Hoye prayed with him. “I told him God could forgive him, that what he’d done wasn’t an unforgivable sin.”
But the conversation didn’t end then. Terrell continued to visit with Hoye. “He began to understand that men have a responsibility to women, and vowed that, for him, an abortion would never happen again. He came to me a young man in jail for dealing drugs, trying to make some money and live the large life. I began to see him grow up.”

Released from jail on April 7, Hoye rejoined his wife, Lori, in their Oakland home. Today, he is not sorry for his choice. “I’ve been a jail chaplain in jail before, and even had the privilege of being a guest preacher at San Quentin. Being an inmate is completely different. I was actually one of them and it gave me a different kind of credibility. I’m sure my adversary meant my incarceration for evil, but God used it for good.”

Copyright © 2009 WORLD Magazine
Articles cannot be reproduced without permission
May 09, 2009, Vol. 24, No. 9

Posted in abortion, abortion rights, Christian Persecution, Christian persecution America, Christianity, evangelism, Jesus Christ, pro choice, pro life | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Burning Incense To Caesar: Regarding Avigdor Lieberman’s Proposed Loyalty Oath In Israel

Posted by Job on February 27, 2009

Two things.

First, I am thoroughly shocked at the intense and pervasive anti – Israel and anti – Semitic feelings around the globe that has been growing exponentially since the September 11th terror attacks. Now I do have a theory on why SOME of this is taking place, specifically among certain corners of the left. First, there has always been a large anti – Semitic presence on the left, but it has been largely muzzled by an apparently pro – Jewish sentiment in that body. I said “apparently” because it was never legitimate, but rather many of these people’s using the Jews. First, Jews were a bold, intellectually vital, and financially necessary part of the radical left in its early days. Second, it was unbecoming to be an open anti – Semite while simultaneously agitating for equal or special rights for blacks, women, Hispanics, homosexuals, atheists etc. Third, and perhaps most important, Jews were very important as a strategic weapon against conservatives, which at the time was primarily led by anti – Semitic (or at least non – Zionist) paleoconservatives.

Now the situation has reversed itself. The radical left is now mainstream, fully in control of the government and further having made major inroads in our corporate and financial institutions. So, they no longer need the courageous leadership, brilliant ideas, or financial backing of Jewish socialists. Also, multiculturalism and relativism now make it entirely possible – indeed fashionable – to denounce Israel and Jewry as evil while glorifying suicide bombers who target Israeli schoolchildren as freedom fighter servants of “god” through the religion of peace. And most importantly, the left can no longer use the charge of anti-Semitism to attack the actions and motivations conservative opponents, because the paleoconservatism of the recent past has given way to a pro – Zionist neoconservatism, many of whose ideas and leaders come from the ranks of conservative Jews, and much of whose money, numbers, and organizing muscle comes from premillennial dispensational evangelical Christianity. So, where a conservative was often called “anti – Semite” as a political tactic in times past by leftist activists, modern leftist activists now bash Jews and Israel far more overtly, publicly, and viciously than the conservative WASP (or as it were Roman Catholic) bankers and politicians ever did in private, and now use “homophobe” as their weapon of choice against conservatives. The best example of this startling shift: where leftist Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fervent Zionist and employed communist Jews as his speechwriters, organizers, and strategists, Barack HUSSEIN Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright casts his lot with the Palestinian terrorists and counts Louis Farrakhan (and similar) among his support system. Not the Palestinians, mind you, for the overwhelming majority of Palestinians are not violent criminals, but people and groups who have blood on their hands and are thirsty for more of it. And where King was roundly criticized for his Zionist position, Obama and Wright were only challenged – and in an extremely muted fashion – by a few neoconservatives.  This is only explicable by a rapid and amazing rise in the climate of anti – Semitism (both that which exists and that which is tolerated in others) which can only be explained by the activity of evil spirits. 

So, it is in this context that Avigdor Lieberman is being called – amazingly – “Jewish Hitler” in some circles. I will not even bother to explain how such a moniker, such a comparison, is so grotesquely inaccurate and inappropriate that it can either only be made by someone who is unaware of Hitler’s ideology and behavior and is merely used to calling someone that you disagree with “a Nazi” (which does honestly seem to be increasingly the case … the media and the education system seem fine with willfully refusing to educate people about Hitler and the Nazi regime so that any view or ideology that they disagree with, including those in the New Testament, can be accused of either contributing to the Holocaust or leading us to a new one … a columnist for the Detroit Free Press actually claimed that George W. Bush’s proposals to cut taxes and create private Social Security accounts could lead to a state policy of exterminating low income people, and yes people like her often tend to be pro – abortion!).

And what makes Avigdor Lieberman so monstrous? Quite simply, his proposal for a loyalty oath, that all citizens be required to publicly express loyalty to Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. Those who refuse have to options: to leave Israel (and if I am correct, it is at Israel’s expense!) or to remain there as a sort of second – class citizen. Lieberman has even stated that a person does not need to declare loyalty to Zionism, which comes with a lot of political and religious implications that a lot of people (including haredi Orthodox Jews!) cannot abide. Such a person merely needs to be willing to declare an acceptance of the fact that Israel exists now and of its continued existence in largely its current makeup and form (a secular western democracy with a mostly Jewish population where Orthodox Judaism plays a huge role – indeed a larger role than Christianity ever has in America, as it is modeled more closely after 19th century Lutheran Germany or Anglican England than America) – in Jewish government and institutions.

Jewish supporters of Lieberman’s proposed oath point out that the United States requires the same of people beocoming  naturalized United States citizens. That is a willfully false comparison, as Lieberman’s oath would be required of everyone, both natural born citizens and already naturalized citizens, as a requirement of retaining their citizenship. In America, it is practically impossible for a natural born or naturalized citizen to be stripped of his status against his will. 

However, Israel is not America. Enumerating the many differences between their legal code and its underlying assumptions and our own would be rather unwieldly, but suffice to say that a Christian could spend a year in an Israeli prison for giving a “Gideon’s Bible” containing the New Testament (as they of course all do) to a Jewish 12 year old. Like all parliamentary democracies, Israel lacks freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other things that make America much more of a constitutional republic than a pure democracy. 

Also, what Israel chooses to do with its citizenry is ultimately a matter of state, not of the cross. And though I believe Lieberman’s proposal to be exceedingly unwise, as it would be the doings of a democratic state that is not only secular but “founded on and governed according to anti – Christian principles and values” (it is a Jewish state, after all, so cast aside your premillennial dispensational Christian Zionism long enough read the 1, 2, and 3rd John and take its contents seriously) as opposed to the doings of a church or other body of professed Bible believing Christians, my position must be neutral, one of the many things that has happened and will happen in this world until Jesus Christ comes back. 

Yet and still, I cannot restrain myself from considering this policy past and future. It reminds me of the persecution against Christians in the Roman Empire. Christians were required to swear loyalty to the Roman state – and its state religion – with Caesar as head of both the state and religion with the status of a minor god in the religion by signing a document and bowing before either Caesar or his effigy. People who did so received certification of having done so, and people found by authorities in a condition of not having this certification either had to burn incense to Caesar or his statue immediately, or be subject to arrest, torture, and death. This policy resulted in the deaths of Christians in numbers exceeding a million, and the imprisonment or torture of still more.

I think that it is fair to point out that some Christians interpret the “mark of the beast” portions of Revelation to refer to this time, while others – myself included – believe the Roman persecution to be a precursor to the much worse persecution still to come under the great tribulation.

With that in mind: consider this. Were Israel to actually implement Lieberman’s policy (which by the way would take major changes to Israel, including but not limited to a major redirection of public opinion, big changes of Israel’s laws, and a complete overhaul of the composition of their largely liberal courts, which are far more likely to sentence conservative Israelis to 6 months of community service for speech code violations for displaying shirts and bumper stickers with slogans offensive to Muslims – again, Israel has no freedom of speech – than approving a citizenship test), then in order to be viable and practical, the government would have to be able to differentiate between who has taken the loyalty oath and who hasn’t. (After all, Christians had various ways of evading detection and capture by the Romans.) This is not the case of apartheid South Africa, where it was very easy to use physical appearance to determine different treatment by government authorities. Israel is not even planning on automatically deporting those who reject the loyalty oath, but rather giving such people the option of remaining as second class citizens. 

So, how is this to be done except A) completing a national computerized database or registry of people who have  and haven’t declared a loyalty oath and B) requiring people to carry evidence of their loyalty and status with them on their person so that the government officials – and anyone else who decides to enact similar policies of their own, including banks, grocery stores, and other businesses – would be able to differentiate and treat people accordingly? Would it take the form of an identification card that a person would be forced to carry? Well, those can be forged. What about a government – issued microchip? 

But that is just Israel, you say? Wrong. Various interests in America have been promoting “national ID cards” and “national registries” for years to combat everything from legal immigration to voter fraud (not to mention databases of people allowed or not allowed to buy firearms, and also of sex crime offenders … are “hate crimes” offenders next?).  If Israel adopts a national registration and ID system to implement their loyalty oath policy, then other western style governments are very likely to emulate it for their own national ID systems to address their own (real and perceived) problems. As a matter of fact, dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes are even more likely to. 

So, for no other reason than that, Lieberman’s proposal is something to watch and think about, along with the many similar proposals in our own country, especially those who prefer national ID cards over simply building a border fence, or people who claim that there aren’t simple and local solutions to voter fraud.

Posted in Christian Persecution, Christian persecution America, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

Pastor Bike Zhang Mingxuan Arrested In China!

Posted by Job on August 24, 2008

Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan, known for traveling across China on a bicycle to evangelize, was arrested by Chinese police just two days before the Olympics began. Pastor Bike was the inspiration for the recent partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association to create the Olympic Prayer Band.

Learn More about the Olympic Prayer Band here

Pastor Asks for Prayer Band
Earlier this year, Pastor Bike pleaded with VOM staff to ask Christians to pray for persecuted Christians in China during the Olympics. The pastor voluntarily preaches the gospel openly in China despite being persecuted. He has asked for his identity to be revealed to bring continued attention to the persecution of Christians in Communist China.

Thanks to Pastor Bike’s inspiration and the commitment of concerned Christians across the United States, more than 800,000 prayer bands have been circulated. On Aug. 6, Pastor Bike was arrested while trying to deliver medicine to his ailing wife. His wife and another pastor were also arrested. We have also learned this week that Chinese officials are opening a full investigation of the Olympic Prayer Bands that were distributed to house church members within China. Despite this increased pressure from Chinese authorities, Chinese Christians continue to ask for prayer and to make their plight known.

More about Pastor Bike

Pastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, rode his bike more than 10,000 miles, visiting 24 Chinese provinces to introduce nonbelievers to Jesus Christ. Armed with a Bible and his business card, which declared “Believe in Jesus, Earn Eternal Life,” Pastor Bike brought the gospel to thousands of people. He and other Chinese evangelists have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese officials during this Olympic year. Please pray for the release of Pastor Bike and his wife.

As the Olympics goes on, the harassment of Chinese evangelists continues to increase. Please help remind others to pray for persecuted Christians like Pastor Bike. Pastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, rode his bike more than 10,000 miles, visiting 24 Chinese provinces to introduce nonbelievers to Jesus Christ. Armed with a Bible and his business card, which declared “Believe in Jesus, Earn Eternal Life,” Pastor Bike brought the gospel to thousands of people. He and other Chinese evangelists have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese officials during this Olympic year. Please pray for the release of Pastor Bike and his wife.

Posted in China, Christian Persecution, Christianity | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Messianic Jewish Teenager Ami Ortiz Victim Of Terror Attack By Israeli Jews For Believing In Jesus Christ!

Posted by Job on June 22, 2008

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25306012/

Commentary from a Messianic Jewish magazine

Posted in anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, Christian Persecution, Christianity, evangelism, Israel, Judaism, Messianic Judaism | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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