30 June, 2006

Signs of the Times

What an incredible turn of events in the Middle East. In less than 12 hours, Israel troops rolled into Gaza while Arab nations drew together to condemn the attack. Ominous words from the powerful Muslim community followed shortly after:

"The leader of the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood blasted Arab governments."We haven't heard even a whisper from you," Mohammed Mahdi Akef said in a statement Thursday. "You can't provide medicine and milk and the necessities of life to our besieged people in Palestine ... You take a hesitant stance toward their freely elected government, fearing the spread of the virus of freedom to your own fertile pastures. If that's your situation, then what hope is there in supporting you?" he said. "Your nations, which have long been patient and swallowed their anger over your oppression, won't be patient forever." (CNN)

Surely if events such as this can occur in less than half a day, how much warning will Israel be given when their enemies move against them one final time, having finally lost patience?

Ezekiel 38:11-16: "And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places [that are now] inhabited, and upon the people [that are] gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know [it]? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes."

19 June, 2006

Ghana Vs. Palestine

From CNN.com:
"Ghana officials apologized on Monday after defender John Paintsil waved an Israeli flag to celebrate their 2-0 World Cup win against the Czech Republic. Team spokesman Randy Abbey said it was important to point out that the Ghanaian FA was not trying to take sides in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Paintsil plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv and had wanted to acknowledge the Israeli fans who had travelled to Germany to support him, Abbey said. "He is obviously unaware of the implications of what he did. He's unaware of international politics. We apologise to anybody who was offended and we promise that it will never happen again. "He did not act out of malice for the Arab people or in support of Israel. He was naive... we don't need to punish him.""

Ignoring for a moment the obvious fact that he's playing for an Israeli team, waving an Israeli flag apparently means one is taking sides in the Paletine/Israel conflict? Showing any kind of affection or patriotism towards Israel is construed as being anti-Palestine? How ridiculous is that??? I suppose it's just another indication of how volitile the situation is and how quickly other nations can be pulled into the fight. A sign of the time perhaps...?

I wonder, if he had pulled out a Canadian flag, would he be accused of supporting Canada in its softwood lumber dispute with the US?

14 June, 2006

State of the World

From the London Telegraph (May 25, 2006)

"One of the country's most senior bishops has reignited the Church of England row over homosexuality by claiming that same-sex partnerships are supported by the Bible. The Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said that traditionalists in the Church needed to be "converted" to see that homosexual unions are confirmed by the scriptures.

He reaffirmed his controversial belief that an openly gay man should be allowed to be appointed a bishop.

..."For there to be change, evangelicals have to be convinced that a permanent, faithful same-sex partnership is congruous with biblical truth."

Harries goes on to say: "It's difficult to have gay partnerships fully accepted by the Church, a Church in which evangelicals are a valued part, if they are so strongly opposed to it. There has to be a conversion to a new way to see that gay partnerships are not contrary to biblical truth. They are congruous with the deepest biblical truths, about faithfulness and stability."

If anyone was left wondering what Sodom and Gomorrah were like during the time of Lot and why God destroyed them both, we only have to look around the corner. Surely Christ's return is near...

08 June, 2006

Hell Ponderings

For anyone out there who is a believer in the existence of the devil and hell (or even if you're not but have some interesting tidbits to add), I'm curious how you might answer these (since I haven't been able to track down anyone who can offer up a half decent answer):

1. If hell is reserved for all those bad people out there, was there anyone being tortured and punished for eternity prior to Adam and Eve or was it just a great uninhabited pit of fire and lava?
2. If the devil is a fallen angel who now resides in hell with all his fallen angel friends, who was in hell before the fall? And if Satan is hell's ruler, who was taking care of things before his arrival?
3. If hell was created in Genesis 1, why would God call His creation "very good"? Hell is the domain of the ultra-wicked and the springboard from which demons and Satan enter our world. How is hell "very good" if God's sworn enemy calls it home?
4. 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 & 9 are traditionally considered stock evidence proving the existence of fallen angels. If this verse is correct in the sense it's actually referring to fallen angels, how can Satan and his bad angel friends continue to carry out their subtle trickery on mankind if they're being held in "everlasting chains" (Jude 6)? Why would God chain them if this didn't prevent them from committing evil acts? Seems like a pretty useless punishment. Why not just kill them?
5. 2 Peter and Jude both refer to the evil angels as being held until the day of "judgement". God sending a bad angel to hell was the initial judgment. Why re-judge an evil angel? What can an evil angel in hell do to make God reconsider the original sentence?
6. Who was Hell's first human resident?

06 June, 2006

The Fall Guy

What's this day called? Devil's Day or something like that? 6.6.2006 (or 6.6.6. just to make it easy). It's a shame more people are going to be commenting on, and asusming the existence of the devil instead of examing Scripture to see what it has to say about this mythical, unholy, fire & brimstone creature of pure evil. The devil isn't a fallen angel. The devil isn't out to get us. The devil isn't evil incarnate living in the fiery nether regions of some molten abyss tempting unsuspecting souls through ruse and subtle speech.

The devil is a figmant of Christian imagination as the fall guy for sin to remove personal responsibility from those who would rather point a finger. The devil is a sham.