Tag Archives: Christians

From the Acton Institute Power Blog -
Persecution Of Christians: Will It Get Worse?

Even Christian-majority states are experiencing unprecedented levels of exclusion, discrimination and violence. The 2015 World Watch List reveals that a staggering number of Christians are becoming victims of intolerance and violence because of their faith. They are being forced to be more secretive about their faith.


SWEDEN: Surging Scandinavian Rape Wave Attributed to Who?

According to 1onews.com, “A woman’s chance of being raped in Sweden during her lifetime is about one in four which is about the same as the chance of being raped in a war torn country such as Syria or Iraq. When it comes to rape, Islamized Sweden is already in a state of war. Sweden does not publish statistics on immigrant crime. If we want a clue about who is committing these tens of thousands of rapes and other types of sexual assaults, we can look at to another Scandinavian country, Sweden’s neighbor Norway. In Norway nearly 100 percent of all Oslo attack-rapes (where the attacker and the victim did not know each other) in the last five years were committed by immigrants from “non-Western” countries. In the Norwegian city of Stavanger, 90 percent of rapes are committed by “immigrants.”


Girl Meets God in the Classroom, Part 1

I had used Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God once before in class, an honors freshman colloquium on the theme of metamorphosis of body, heart, mind, and spirit. On the first or second day of discussing the book, comments made by a few students surprised, stunned, and, ultimately, silenced me.

“I wasn’t raised with any religion,” one student said, “so I can’t relate at all to this book.” A couple other students agreed.

And Part 2:

This one.

Dear Mom and Dad (and whomever else I made a hypocrite in the eyes of God), the letter-essay begins.

I suppose all the baptismal water has evaporated out of my pores by now. Every inch of my body must scream sin to you. I wonder what happened. When did I make you feel that you failed as a disciple of Christ? I am sorry that I made it impossible to keep the promises you made twenty years ago while I was crying in your arms in a gown of white. I feel guilty knowing that even though you believe in the existence of heaven, you do not have the reassurance that you will meet me there one day. I am sorry I do not believe in what you do.


Summary of the OIA Method

  1. Observation – what does it say?
  2. Interpretation – what does it mean?
  3. Application – how do I need to change?

I'll be referring to this often, I think.


Why are 'Christian movies' so bad? Talking about Jolie, Zamperini, 'Unbroken' and wisdom from Robert Duvall...

I feel exactly this way about a "Christian book" that I'm reading.


Last Friday, Michigan became a "gay marriage" state, by the decision of a federal judge, overturning a vote of the people.  Even though the governor has requested a stay until it can be sorted out in SCOTUS, at least one country clerk has "gender neutral" marriage licenses ready to go today.

I want to be clear.

I am going to be a BRIDE.

I am NOT "applicant A"

I am NOT "party B"

I am NOT "thing one" or "thing two"

1 - A license, by definition, says that the state is giving me permission to do that which is otherwise illegal.  If I must have a license in order to marry, then marriage is illegal, unless the state gives me permission to enter into a marriage.

2 - the state, by way of being the one who gives permission to marry (as opposed to God giving permission) now has the authority to define marriage (as opposed to God defining marriage.)

3 - what the state is giving "us" (citizens) permission to do is no longer "marriage" (according to Scripture.)

When is it time for Christians to opt out of a corrupt system?

Do Christians need the state's permission to enter into a covenant before God, their family,  and their church community?

I don't want a "gender neutral" marriage certificate.


This was today's reading from "Everyday Prayers" - bringing to mind one of today's political hot topics.

(GSSR - "government sactioned same-sex relationship)

When caught between your faith conviction, and what the government says you should honor/do/buy...what do you do?

We hear "love the sinner, hate the sin."  And when the baker loved the sinners, made friends with them, served them baked good on birthdays and other non-wedding events...opted out of baking for a gay wedding, she got sued.

She was hating the sin, while embracing the sinner.  That didn't work.

Christians will increasingly face this challenge, and will increasingly find ways to comply with the law, while remaining true to their convictions...or will buckle to the state, giving up on living out their faith through their businesses.

The same is true for Christians getting married.

When the state gives you permission to marry, but what they're permitting no longer resembles "marriage" - how do Christians respond?

Do they get a "gender neutral" marriage certificate?  Do they opt out of statism?

"Everyday Prayers:

Though your kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18: 36 NIV), your kingdom has broken into this world and one day will utterly transform this world. Because this is true, Jesus, I need you to free me from both extremes of naive passivity and fear-mongering aggression. Very practically, show me what “obeying God and not men” looks like when the claims of your kingdom clash with the values of this world. How do I submit to the authorities for your sake while primarily only bowing my knee and heart to you as my King? (page 96)

I don't know what this will look like.  Will the state allow people of faith to enter into marriage covenants, outside of the state's approval?

In Michigan, a pastor who officiates at a wedding that does not have the state's approval, commits a misdemeanor.  Do we see "civil disobedience" in view here?  Can we see going outside the state's system as "obeying God rather than man?"

it all remains to be seen.

"The Case for Christmas" by Lee Strobel.

The best part of the books were

1) the interview with the historian that made the case for an early writing of the Gospels, and the book of Acts and

2) the interview with the Jewish man who set out to read the Old Testament, looking for prophesies of the Messiah, and found them fulfilled in the Jesus of the New Testament.

Other than that, a lot of the book was telling Christians what they already know.  It's a good book to know and have, because it lays "what we believe and why" out so clearly.

1 Comment

Jonathan Dodson, Resurgence blog, references a book, "God Is Not One," by  Stephen Prothero.

The basis of the book is good - but if we are going to compare religions that don't look very much like Christianity, I believe it is even more important to look at religions that DO look very much like Christianity.

On Page 12 of his book, Prothero writes:

And so it goes with all the world's religions.  Christians align themselves with Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, and fast-growing Mormonism may well be emerging as Christianity's fourth way.

This is a problem.  Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism have a few things in common, that Mormonism does not share.

  • The Trinity
  • Christ as eternally existent, not a created being
  • the mortality of man (we do not become gods, with our own planets
  • God the Father as eternally existent, not a created being
  • salvation by grace (compared to "we are saved by grace AFTER ALL THAT WE HAVE DONE."

Mormonism is not Christianity.  To blur that line, to put the gospel on that line...believing in a 'different Jesus' - Mormonism's Jesus - could have eternal consequences.

via a post at The Resurgence.

On "The Two Kingdoms":

The first is the earthly kingdom (in which Calvin includes government, household management, all mechanical skills, and the liberal arts) exists and we exist in it.

The heavenly kingdom (the knowledge of God and of his will, and the rule by which we conform our lives to it) also exists and we exist in it.

It is the separation of these two kingdoms that allow me to be politically and socially active (and not constantly include "as a Christian"...or "as a Reformed Christian") and religiously active (and not constantly feel the need to inject politics into my faith).

I am active in both kingdoms and do not deny either.

When we look to politics for answers to our faith, we are running to the created world (this does not mean that Christians should not be politically active; this means that we should not look to the government to the solutions for our [general "our"; human beings] spiritual questions.

There are those who end up treating radical (or even not so radical) conservatism or liberalism as the "solution" to man's problems.  If we only had more money for this program, if abortions were available for any reason, for anybody at any time....and free, if the government would get out of the way, if liberals would get out of the education system, yada, yada...everything would be wonderful!

Man's problem is sin and the solution is Christ.

If a young single high school student gets pregnant, has the kid, lets the government pay for her home, post-high-school education, food stamps, medical care, etc...and then gets pregnant again...and again turns to the government...

the answer to her problem is not to get more government spending.  Her problem is her lifestyle and the answer is Christ.

These are the two kingdoms - earthly and heavenly.  As Christians, we believe that we are in the world, but not of the world.  As members of the earthly kingdom, we can (and should) work to make our physical environment a better place, but we strive for the heavenly kingdom.

1 Comment

from a reader on another blog:

1. why don't you, with all things, trust in god?
2. not knowing god's mind, how do you know that you are not working against god's will by working against obama's policies?
3. you say, "without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head," so if god is both merciful and just, does that mean michele's disease is deserved?

1- why don't you, with all things, trust in God?

Just as Ruth trusted God, she also acted.  God has ordained the end (His will), He has also ordained the means (human action).

Christians act - to the best of their ability - to abide by God's will.  Do we get it wrong sometimes?  Of course, but God is still in control and God will use our mistakes to teach, chastise or punish.

I knew a woman who sat at home and said, "I just trust God to provide for my needs"...we said, "well, trust God, but get off your butt and get a job."

Trusting God does not mean stay idle and let Him do all the work.

2. not knowing god's mind, how do you know that you are not working against god's will by working against obama's policies?

There are Christians working on both sides of the political fence, so somebody has it wrong.  I believe that (most of the time) if both factions are working against each other they generally meet somewhere in the middle.  If President Bush had ben a conservative (vs. a Republican), we would have had a divided government and things would have ended up a little prettier.

But let's look at some of the policies and what Scripture says.

On taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves:

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countrymen may continue to live among you…”
Leviticus 25:35-36 (NIV)

What about those who can take care of themselves but still do not work?

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. (1 Thess 3:10)

What about managing money?  The Bible says a lot about stewardship and investing wisely - with a government of the people, I think this would include the government.

On abortion:  There does seem to be a difference between early and late term "causing of a miscarriage".  The unborn is called "a child" throughout the Bible.   I can understand a mother being driven to feeling the need to have an early term abortion and Roe v. Wade will be with us for a long time.

BUT>>>late term abortions (elective) and partial birth abortions may not be with us.  These are the abortions that I'm vocal about.

And once a child is born, I believe that they are "human" and should be given medical care (even if that care is only paliative.)


  • stewardship and wise investing and spending
  • death of infants
  • care of those unable to take care of themselves
  • the "not care" of those who won't...

The rest is all "opinion" and operating under what we believe is best for our country and the conservative's belief is just as valid as the liberal's (and vice versa - holes can be poked in both sides)

3. you say, "without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head," so if god is both merciful and just, does that mean michele's disease is deserved?

Deserved?  Or useful?

Not the same thing.

Even an evil thing can bring about great good.  Joseph was sold into slavery and God said, "they meant it for evil, but I used it for good".

John Piper wrote a piece, "Don't Waste Your Cancer".

In it he says,

It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design.


Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God’s design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” And to know that therefore, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).

So it is not that Michele deserves cancer...but all of life is of God and even what Satan means for evil, God can either stop it or not...and He will work it for good.

I am sometimes a bit shaky when I talk to people with cancer.  I can relate to the trials their families are dealing with, but when they ask how my experience with cancer turned out...

I'm a widow, it didn't end well.

I know a lot about working doctors' offices, I know about the medi-port, I know about the pumps that administer chemo as if it were an insulin pump.  I know about the huge radiation machines.  I know about talking to your kids.

I can't assure that all will be well on this earth - I can't.  For Christians, I can say that what we deal with on this earth is as bad as it's going to get.  After this life...the bad is all over.

I can say that - no matter what the outcome - my God is in control.  My God sees into eternity and my God sees what we cannot and my God does what is right...every...single...time.

"Trust God" seem as if it is only something that you should say.  But it is the reality for those who believe.  Sometimes it isn't easy to trust...sometimes you just keep on keeping on.

One of my co-workers said that he voted for Barack Obama because he (the co-worker) believed that Obama would govern more centrist than what he campaigned.

"So...you're saying that you voted for the man because you believed that his campaign promises were lies?"

Within minutes of our new president taking the oath of office, the White House web page had been changed.  A few of the "changes" on his agenda could directly target Christians and Christian organizations.

  • It could become illegal for a Christian hospital to deny abortions for any reason.
  • It could become illegal for a Christian adoption agency to adopt only to heterosexual married couples.

"Changes" directly contradict the Constitution's mandate of "state's rights".

FOCA would effectively make ALL abortion issues federal issues and would effectively (and purposefully) overturn laws made at a state level.

FOCA would not only take away state's rights to make laws that do not concern things in the Constitution, they also take away the citizen's rights to vote on proposals concerning abortion at the state level.

President Obama's agenda is a two-prong offensive against

  • state's rights
  • Christians following their consciences in matters of the gay agenda and the abortion agenda.

I will pray for our president's safety and health.  I will pray that God guide his heart and change his attitude toward the most innocent and vulnerable of our citizens - the unborn.  I will pray that God sway his mind in a way that guides his toward the Living God.

I will not support him, which includes by necessity supporting his agenda.

I will "all work together" in much the same way that liberals "worked together" with President Bush.  They fought him every step of the way and were outspoken about where they disagreed.

So will I be.

If favorite books in the Bible can be judged by the amount of underlining, highlighting and note-taking, mine is Philippians.

The first thing I have underlined is v.1:6 -

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The note that I have in the margin reminds me that Paul was in prison when he wrote this - and still he wrote of peace and joy, surety and grace.

I am reminded that for the "remnant", persecution brings strength. There are places in this world where Christians are truly persecuted - tortured and killed; fired from their jobs. They watch their families tormented.

And still they praise our God. May we remember the persecuted church; pray for them daily - pray for strength and courage, pray that God will change the hearts of those to hate them. Pray that God will be glorified in all.