Rainbow Connection 2: Don’t dare speak out!

At a time when homosexual campaigners are decrying anti-homosexual hate-speech…

 

Petition calls for doctor in ‘no’ campaign same-sex marriage ad to be deregistered

A woman that appeared in [an] advertisement for the ‘no’ camp in the same-sex marriage debate is now at the centre of an online campaign to have her medical licence stripped.

The online petition has just over 6,000 signatures and calls for a “review of the registration of Dr Pansy Lai”.

Dr Lai, a GP in northern Sydney, appeared as one of three mothers in the Marriage Coalition advertisement that first aired at the end of last month.

She told The Australian she has been inundated with phone and social media threats since the ad was released and said she had reported one threat to police that she would be shot “this week”.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36946222/online-petition-wants-dr-pansy-lai-from-sydney-deregistered/

 

And another article:

Same-sex marriage debate: conservative Muslims steer clear for fear of backlash

Muslim Australians who oppose same-sex marriage are afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled extremists, including by Christian conservatives who themselves oppose it, a Muslim community leader has said.

Ali Kadri, a spokesman for the Islamic Council of Queensland, told Guardian Australia that imams and community leaders “who represent the vast majority of the Muslim community” were staying out of the postal survey debate for fear of backlash.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/04/same-sex-marriage-debate-conservative-muslims-steer-clear-for-fear-of-backlash

 

There are questions I’d like to raise regarding the second article:

Why would the Muslim spokesman think and suggest that conservative Christians would label Muslims as extremists for sharing their views on same sex marriage, when the conservative Christian and Muslim views would be the same?

Is that suggestion an attempt by the Muslim to politically distance himself and his community from conservative Christians – who have so far been the main target of hate-speech from supporters of SSM?

Is it a suspicion that conservative Christians will be antagonistic towards the Muslim community even in cases when their views are the same?

Maybe it’s a Muslim attempt to maintain division and distrust between two religious communities – mirroring the anti-Muslim rhetoric of some Christians who have regularly resorted to fear-mongering with regard to the presence of Muslims in the community?

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And a related article (don’t dare reflect a “traditional” view of fatherhood on father’s day):

Dads4Kids ad is ‘dodgy campaign tactic’ in marriage debate, says LGBTI activist

A fathers group that claimed its political ad was blocked from television is engaged in a “dodgy campaign tactic” to claim victimhood in the same-sex marriage debate, according to a senior LGBTI advocate.

Just Equal spokesman, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, has hit back at Dads4Kids, labelling them an anti-LGBTI, anti-marriage equality activist group who had attempted to politicise father’s day.

Ben Pratt, the spokesman for Dads4Kids, said it was “extraordinary” that Australians could “no longer celebrate fathers’ day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate”.

“It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood. Not everything is about same-sex marriage,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/03/dads4kids-ad-is-dodgy-campaign-tactic-in-marriage-debate-says-lgbti-activist

ISIS – Pushing Muslims Toward Christ

This is from the Voice of the Martyrs site, describing something that I’ve now heard about from many sources.

While many in the west, including Christians, grow fearful and suspicious of Muslims in their communities and want to resist the flow of Muslim refugees from war zones like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan;  God is doing among Muslims  despite those Christian attitudes..

Islamic State (ISIS) is now believed to have fully operational branches in 18 countries across the world, not only persecuting Christians, but also pushing Muslims toward Christ.

Its efforts to create a ‘pure’ Islamic nation are causing a growing number of Muslims to examine their faith more closely and more critically. “There are a lot of people turning from Islam”, said Ibrahim Al-Jamil, a pastor in northern Iraq. “Jesus has a big net and ISIS is pushing people toward this net. What we are seeing now is like the tip of the iceberg”.

complete article here: ISIS – Pushing Muslims Toward Christ

 

While Christian fear is a disappointing response, even worse is outright Christian hostility towards Muslims, particularly those who are refugees after being driven from their homelands. I’ve written about this before. (Will hating Muslims lead them to Jesus?)

 

Such fear and hostility is working against what God is doing. Do we want to be on the wrong side of His purposes?

Fearless for Christ

Four masked gunmen charged into Mohammad Yousuf Bhat’s home on the evening of 1 July 2016, pushed his wife aside and demanded to talk to him. After he stepped forward, the gunmen escorted the 43-year-old father of three outside his home in the Kashmir Valley, India and shot him seven times, killing him. Those who worked with Yousuf describe him as being a fearless, bold and passionate believer who “would not be quiet about Christ”.

Complete article here: Fearless for Christ

Why Must the Laborers Be Few? by Jordan Scott

Why Must the Laborers Be Few? by Jordan Scott

My family cannot say that we were called by God to the Kurdish people. Four years ago, I didn’t even know who they were. However, my wife and I both bought into Jesus’ name being made famous where it was not. Then, some of my closest Christian friends decided to move to Kurdistan, and their decision that really helped direct my steps. That’s how my wife and two daughters ended up here. No audible voice from God, no highlight on a map, no specific burden for the Kurdish people—just a young, passionate family who loves the Lord and wants others to love Him too.

I recently drove into East Mosul with a team for a food and water distribution. As we were passing out packages of food, we would see families sitting next to the goods while another family member would go find a wheelbarrow to transport it. I see this one kid, about seven years old, sitting next to four cases of water. And a few feet away I see another kid, same age, sitting on the ground with nothing next to him.

If you were on the distribution with us that day, who would you give your water to?

America is sitting next to four centuries of “water”—four hundred years of access to the Gospel. The Kurds aren’t. I’ll let you make the choice.

Read complete article here:
http://www.faimission.org/articles/2017/8/5/why-must-the-laborers-be-few

 

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I came across the above article at a very opportune time. The fact that it was written only a day or two ago makes it seem even more significant.

Recently many of my posts have been addressing Christian attitudes to Muslims, something that has concerned me since seeing some of the hateful things written about Muslims, even by those considered to Christian teachers. (What kind of Christian witness do those attitudes display?)

After publishing those posts I’ve received some (well-meaning) advice: that I’ve been venturing into risky territory; that ministry to Muslims requires a special calling.

Firstly, I’ve never considered myself to have (or need) a special calling to minister to any particular group of people, Muslim or otherwise, and I’ve never considered myself limited to addressing one particular group above another, (most of what I’ve posted hasn’t been directed at Muslims anyway – but to Christians who’ve taken a very un-Christlike approach to Muslims).

I try to deal with opportunities and confront issues as they  arise. I don’t believe I need to wait for a special calling to do so, and I don’t believe that the average Christian needs any special calling to permit them to act on whatever opportunities they find right in front of them.

Too many of us can be like the servant who chose to bury the money (“talent”) he was given by his Master, too afraid of doing the wrong thing and losing it, to put it to use and potentially make a profit for his Master.
Matt 25:14-30

We wait around for that assumed special, individual calling and in doing so miss the general universal calling of all believers. We rationalise our avoidance of certain possible actions with the excuse: “it’s not my calling”.

I know I wasted most of my Christian life avoiding so many opportunities that will never open up again. I look back and see so many possibilities that I didn’t act on – not because I wasn’t “called” to take them, but because they may have been inconvenient or caused discomfort: basically through fear of losing something I didn’t really want to give up.

I replied to that well-meaning advice I mentioned earlier by referring to the book of Acts and some of the experiences of Paul. Those experiences are also cited in the above article.

 If the Lord doesn’t want you to go, He’ll stop you the way He stopped Paul in Asia.

(Acts 16:6-7 )

 

Am I denying that there ARE some special callings for particular people?

No – it’s clear that Paul was called to be the apostle to the gentiles, and God appoints some people to particular roles and tasks within His church and in the world; but we should not allow that fact to hold us back from general obedience to what he has commissioned His followers to do, when the need is clear and while we have the opportunity to do it. And if we are faithful doing that, we’ll find more opportunities opening up.

 

Joel Richardson interview

I’ve watched a few of Joel Richardson’s own videos and have found he shares some interesting ideas and insights.

Here is an interview with him, in which he gives his testimony, including details of his ministry to Muslims, information about the nature of Islam, and addresses the following:

What should be the Christians’ response to Islam and Muslims?

What is the primary mandate to believers when it comes to Muslims?

The consequences of waging war in Muslim nations and possible Christian alternatives.

The latter half addresses differing ideas about the “Rapture” and how our personal view of the rapture should and should not affect our behaviour as believers.

Joel Richardson’s website:
https://joelstrumpet.com/

IMPORTANT: By posting this video I am in no way endorsing the ministry of the organisation that produced the video. I post it only for the content of the interview with Joel Richardson.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and 9/11

The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and 9/11. Dr. Nabeel Jabbour interview – Part 2

This is part two of the series of interviews with Dr. Nabeel Jabbour, continuing his history of modern day Islamist extremism.
Here he shows how the events touched upon in the last audio led to Al Qeda and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

From the Zwemer Centre for Muslim Studies:
http://www.zwemercenter.com/zwemer-podcast/page/6/

How ISIS Began in Colorado

How ISIS Began in Colorado (interview with Dr. Nabeel Jabbour – Part 1)

The next few posts will be audios from the Zwemer Centre for Muslim Studies.
http://www.zwemercenter.com/

They are a series of interviews with Dr. Nabeel Jabbour about the origins an influences behind the rise of present day extreme Islamism.

The roots of this extremism stretch back to surprising places.

I had recently come across a lot of the content of this particular audio from a “secular” source on ANB radio
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/what-he-saw-in-america:the-violent-legacy-of-sayyid-qutbs-visi/7795158

Son of God?

Son(s) of God)

(a brief overview)

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem reportedly has the following inscription, expressing ONE of the tenets of Islam that distinguishes it from Christian belief:

“God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son”.

That statement is a clear attempt to distance Islam from Christianity, and it’s surely no coincidence that other inscriptions near to it focus on the persons of Jesus and His mother Mary.*

The identity of Jesus as the Son of God is central to the Christian faith and Jesus regularly identified God as His Father. That relationship was continually disputed by enemies throughout His life on earth.

The gospels give an account of how Satan challenged the Sonship of Jesus. The recorded temptations in the wilderness were centred on it, as he tried to tempt Jesus to prove He was the Son of God.

“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

“Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.”

Religious authorities were determined to kill Him because of His claim to be God’s Son, considering it to be blasphemy.

“We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”

But many who heard his teaching and experienced His miracles readily recognised Him as Son of God.

“Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

When crucified He was mocked by the crowds because of the claim He was the Son of God.

“saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

“He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’

But not everyone mocked, even a Roman Centurion witnessing the crucifixion recognised Jesus as the Son of God.

So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said,

“Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

After His resurrection His disciples recognised and preached that He was the Son of God.

Saul (Paul):

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy

John:

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

And most significantly, God Himself confirmed the Sonship of Jesus.

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

and

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

It is also important that the question of whether God could have a Son goes beyond His relationship to Jesus.

The Bible describes Adam as “son of God” within one of the lists of Jesus’s ancestors.

the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Scripture also refers to others who are considered as sons of God:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

There is also the promise that followers of Jesus are adopted as sons.

“you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

and

adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”

And that last quote (“according to the good pleasure of His will”) perhaps gives the most significant rebuttal to the claim that having a son would somehow reduce God’s “transcendent majesty”; as if God could be reduced in some way by the fact of being Father.

Does God Himself not have the right to make that choice? Is it not up to God Himself what He can or cannot do and what He can or cannot be?

For any man to say God cannot have a Son, that man is in fact limiting God, enforcing some kind of restriction on God’s own right to choose and act and BE according to the good pleasure of God’s own will.

That man is making himself the limiter of God.

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* Inscriptions
See “INSCRIPTIONS ON THE INNER OCTAGONAL ARCADE”