But for How Long?

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“At times our Lord, as judge among the nations, arises to visit the sins of a people upon them. Patience makes room for justice, and Providence determines that guilty nations shall be scourged: at such times they are blessed indeed who can cause the King to stand still. This wicked country of ours has often escaped through the prayers of the saints. No man can read our history without perceiving that among guilty nations we hold a sorrowful place; for we have had more light than any other people, and have sinned against it full often. This erring nation had been scourged to destruction if it had not been that the intercessions of Gods people have caused the Judge of all the earth to stand still. Jesus now rules all nations as Lord of Providence, and metes out justice and judgment among them, but a plea for mercy brings a decree of forbearance, and sinful nations are permitted still to stand within the bounds of grace.”

Charles Spurgeon

Learning from the Liberal Lexicon

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The President’s comments on 3 Moslems killed in N. Carolina:
“No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,”
The President’s view on the Islamic killers that killed 4 Jews in Paris were terrorists who “randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”

On Nov. 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan shot and killed 12 soldiers and one civilian while wounding or shooting at 30 other soldiers and two police officers at Ft. Hood. Hasan said the shooting was justified because the soldiers he killed were “going against the Islamic Empire.” Administration spokesman called it “workplace violence” and insisted on repeating the fictitious claim that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Eventually the US Army declared it an act of terror

Its unclear why the President bends over backwards to avoid calling an act of hate and terror an act of hate and terror. I suppose that when one equates the Inquisition with Jihadism it should be no surprise (the Inquisition had more in common with the Bush Administration’s CIA torture program than anything resembling the teachings of Jesus).

And now there’s news of an attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen…
I suppose another “random attack.”
I guess some hate crimes are more equal than others….

Who Has to Die for Your Belief?

Who Has to Die for Your Belief?

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Some 65 million died for Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward;”

At least 50 million perished in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet system;

6 million Jews died because of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution as well at least 5 million “undesirables” in the name of racial and social purity;

At least 5,500 have died because of ISIS, 7,000 by Boko Haram and unknown thousands by Islamic terrorists such as the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden in the name of Allah.

The body count could go on.

Even Dick Cheney & the CIA have their share in the name of “national security.”

Add to that the civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria and countless other casualties of war, revolutions and regimes.

     I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the one who said he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I don’t have to kill or wage jihad. I don’t have to avenge the defamation of his name or life by murder or acts of terror even though he is regularly ridiculed and vilified.

Jesus calls his followers to be witnesses (based on the Greek word “martyr”) of his life, death and resurrection, to “take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Mt. 16:24-25). No one need die for my belief – except (somewhat paradoxically), as Bonhoeffer wrote (The Cost of Discipleship), “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” – die to self, die to sin, die to destructive desires of the fallen nature, die to hatred, revenge and retaliation – die, in order to live.

How much better is a faith not worth killing for but worth living for.

“…and the Wall came a tumblin’ down”

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In 1971, my family visited what was then known as West Berlin. I remember my father, my sister and I standing on an observation post looking over the Berlin Wall into East Berlin. The colorful West was a dramatic contrast with the drab grey of the Communist side. My father told me to make a certain “gesture” with my middle finger to the East German guard on the other side of the barbed wire, tank barriers and no-man’s land. I didn’t – never thought it was smart to insult a man with a gun! Millions died in the name of Marx, Lenin and Stalin in the 20th century. Its been 25 years since the Wall  came down. New ideologies have emerged. New walls have been built. The body count grows. But freedom comes – with a cost and in surprising ways. Many gave their lives for the Wall to fall. The other day I met a veteran from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” who fought and was wounded in combat. His wounds are more than physical though and he’s yet to find the way to rebuild his life. I pray for him and the many others this Veteran’s Day who served and still pay the cost.