Friday, September 14, 2012

Anti-film protests spread across Muslim world

CAIRO (AP) — Angry protests over an anti-Islam film spread across the Muslim world Friday, with demonstrators scaling the walls of U.S. embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, torching part of aGerman embassy and clashing with security forces at an American fast-food restaurant that was set ablaze in northern Lebanon.
Egypt's new Islamist president went on national TV and appealed to Muslims to not attack embassies, denouncing the violence earlier this week in Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. Mohammed Morsi's first public move to restrain protesters after days of near silence appeared aimed at repairing strains with the United States over this week's violence.
Police in Cairo prevented stone-throwing demonstrators from nearing the U.S. Embassy, firing tear gas and deploying armored vehicles to push them back in a fourth day of clashes in the Egyptian capital.
The day of protests, which spread to around 20 countries, started small and mostly peacefully in countries such as Indonesia,Malaysia, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most violent demonstrations took place in the Middle East. In many places, only a few hundred took to the streets, mostly ultraconservative Islamists — but the mood was often furious.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Panel asks: Can Christians vote for a Mormon?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Addressing an issue on the minds of many evangelical voters as a Mormon runs for president, a Baptist seminary panel said Tuesday that evangelicals must jettison -- for the good of their faith -- the idea that the White House occupant must be a "religious mascot" for Christianity. 

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted the panel discussion, less than two months before American voters will choose between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is Mormon.

"We are going to have to give up -- on both sides -- the idea of president as religious mascot."
--Russell Moore
"I heard someone in recent days say, 'I would never vote for anyone who is not an authentically professing evangelical Christian,'" said Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary. "Well, if that's the case, then as far as I can see, you have about three candidates in the last 100 years or so ... that you could possibly vote for: William Jennings Bryan, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

"The question is not John 3:16 in terms of reading the regeneration of the person's heart," Moore said. "The question is Romans 13: Does this person have the kind of wisdom to bear the sword on behalf of God's authority that He has granted to the state? And can I trust that person to protect society? That's the fundamental question." 

American Christians too often, said seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr., have seemingly assigned a "priestly role" to the White House, hoping the president will represent and promote the Christian faith. But that is a uniquely American idea, Mohler said, and unhealthy for Christianity. 

"I had a pastor say to me, 'You just can't be faithful and vote for someone who represents such things or believes such things [as Mormons believe],'" Mohler said. "And I said, 'What if you're a Christian in Utah? Do you just not vote? What if your decision is between two Mormon candidates?'

"Throughout most of Christian history, folks haven't struggled with this question because they didn't have the luxury of struggling with it. ... The separation of the priestly role from government is something that has to happen in the minds of American evangelicals," Mohler said, warning against viewing government as an idol.  

Read more.

Do Christians Forgive?

I have often wondered (still do) why so many who call themselves Christians simply WILL NOT forgive....

Jesus put it like this:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But aif you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. "

Notice the words in v15: you do not forgive others their transgressions, your Father will not forgive your transgression."

What is the world does that mean? If we don't forgive others, the Lord will not forgive us? Do people really believe this? Of course not. If they did, there would be forgiveness!

I have often said, you are more like Christ than any other time when you forgive.

John MacArthur writes:

But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. That states the truth of verse 14 in a negative way for emphasis.

The sin of an unforgiving heart and a bitter spirit (Heb. 12:15) forfeits blessing and invites judgment. Even the Talmud taught that he who is indulgent toward others’ faults will be mercifully dealt with by the Supreme Judge (Shabbath 151b).

Every believer must seek to manifest the forgiving spirit of Joseph (Gen. 50:19–21) and of Stephen (Acts 7:60) as often as needed (Luke 17:3–4).

To receive pardon from the perfectly holy God and then to refuse to pardon others when we are sinful men is the epitome of abuse of mercy. And “judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

There are petitions for the believer to ask from God, but there are also conditions for the answers to be received. Even more, our prayers are to be primarily concerned with the exaltation of the name, kingdom, and will of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer is primarily worship which inspires thanks and personal purity.

Why don't Christians forgive? Christians do! Those who merely call themselves Christian may not necessarily be one.

"You say with your lips you love me, Jesus said, but your hearts are far from me."

*John F. MacArthur, Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 397-98.

**New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 6:12–15.