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Religious Liberty fails, Gospel still Moves in Malaysia May 31, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Church, Culture/Society, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics, Politics/Public Policy, World News.
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In a recent post, I mentioned the possibility that Malaysia’s high court could forge a new direction toward free exercise in the largely Muslim country. The decision has received pressure from many sides, religious and otherwise, but Malay Muslim forces prevailed in the deliberation chambers.

Unfortunately, the court decided against Lina Joy and liberty today. Three judges heard her appeal, one for, two against  her request.  Chief Justices Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Federal Judges Alauddin Mohd Sheriff . The verdict comes after many years of increased pressure from Islamic fundamentalists to deny the woman the permission to marry a Christian.  Instead she will be forced to marry a Muslim man in a ritual ceremony that subjects her to highly discriminatory Islamic family and inheritance laws.

More from the press:  She was refused in both cases because as ethnic Malay she was legally Muslim and “could not change religion”. Religious issues involving Malays, including conversions to other religions, fall under the jurisdiction of Islamic courts and not the country’s general laws. De facto, two legal systems coexist in the country: one based on Islam; the other, on the constitution. And the two are often in conflict. Lina Joy’s case illustrates this clearly. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion; Islamic law prohibits conversion to any other religion. 

Pray for these, and others, around the world who suffer under the hand of their fellow citizens, lacking the ability to worship with their liberty protected by law.  Also, pray the gospel will continue to move with swiftness through the streets of this nation that outlaws religious liberty.

Read more here.


Malaysia’s Highest Court to Decide Landmark Religious Liberty Case May 30, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Church, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics, World News.

This week in Malaysia, a young woman who left Islam for Christianity may change the course of history in the Muslim-controlled community of Kuala Lumpur.

Lina Joy has been rejected by her friends, disowned by her family, and has been forced into hiding as a result of her commitment to Christ.

After a 7 year legal battle, Malaysia’s high court decides this week whether she has a constitutional right to choose her own religion over Islamic Sharia law that prohibits Malay Muslims from leaving their religion.

Pray for Lina, and for the sovereign Lord to move this court to the right decision for His gospel in that corner of the world.

Read more here.

Iraqi Christians Martyred, Persecuted, Still Fleeing May 26, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Church, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics, Politics/Public Policy, World News.
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Iraq is controlled by Islam, right?  Did you know that experts estimate over 1 million Christians lived there through the late 80s?

Rarely do you hear of those persecuted for Christ in Iraq, some fleeing for their lives, others imprisoned or being martyred for following Jesus.  Since the late 80s, it is estimated that over half of the Christians from Iraq have been killed or fled for safety in neighboring regions.

Remember your brothers and sisters there who are persecuted and dying, and pray that Christ would be exalted in that nation as His gospel is spread (Heb 11:37-40; 13:3).

 Read the article here.

Peter Singer–Should doctors treat premature babies? May 25, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Culture/Society, Family.
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In this article, infamous “ethicist” Peter Singer asks a haunting question concerning the treatment of early term babies, “In these circumstances, what should doctors—and society—do? Should they treat all children as best they can?” You can sense his answer from the question.

His response, “A policy of not treating babies born earlier than twenty-four weeks would save the considerable expense (more…)

UMC on God and His Gender May 20, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Church, Culture/Society.
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Below you will find the UMC statement on God and how He reveals himself in His Word


UMC 101

The Gender of God

What does The United Methodist Church believe about the “gender” of God? Would a person be going against church belief if she were to stop using the pronoun “he” in hymns, substituting the word God instead?

God is a spirit; as such God is neither male nor female. However, because God is personal, it would be inappropriate to refer to God as “it.”

It is natural for humans to invest God with human personal qualities, like gender.

There are many places in the Bible where God is portrayed with masculine characteristics and pronouns, but there are also biblical images where God is portrayed with feminine characteristics:

  • Deuteronomy 32:18 refers to God as the one who gives birth to creation.
  • Isaiah 42:14 reveals God crying aloud like a woman in labor.
  • Hosea 13:8 refers to God acting like a mother bear defending her cubs.
  • Psalm 131:2 shows the psalmist calmed “like a weaned child with its mother.”
  • Psalm 22:9, Psalm 71:6 and Isaiah 66:9 use images of God as a midwife.
  • Isaiah 49:15 speaks of God being more faithful than a woman is to her nursing child.
  • Isaiah 66:13: God promises to comfort as a mother comforts her child.
  • Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34-35: Jesus longs to gather the people as a “hen gathers her brood.”

While the use of a variety of names and images might seem contradictory and confusing, such a practice enables understanding the incomprehensibility of God. The use of a variety of names and images serves as a corrective measure against our tendency to take any single image literally.

Click here for the link

Carter meets with SBC bloggers May 18, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Church, Politics/Public Policy.
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Jimmy Carter called a meeting yesterday with Oklahoma blogger Wade Burleson, Texas blogger Benjamin Cole, Georgia blogger Marty Duren, and Alabama blogger C.B. Scott.  They met to discuss the “Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant” agenda in the coming months.

 Read the article here.

Cuba, Bavaria Strike $500m Infrastructure Deal May 18, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Politics/Public Policy.
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Looks like the Germans are going to step in and make a concerted effort at rebuilding the infrastructure of the island off the coast of Miami. I traveled to Cuba in December and witnessed firsthand the great need they have for transition.

From the release: A $500m agreement has been struck between the German State of Bavaria and Cuba, under which the German companies are providing the island with an array of generators, antennas, motors, and medical technology. By comparison, the US had just $340m trade with Cuba last year, mostly in agriculture . . . . As far as the Cubans are concerned, Bavarians have proven themselves to be loyal participants in the revolution. By improving infrastructure they are helping to put socialism on a solid footing for the post-Castro generation.

Pray for the believers in Cuba, that God would give them power, supply their needs, and give them strength to expand His presence among them.

Read the article.

Jerry Falwell Goes to be with the Lord May 15, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Campus, Church, Family.
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Jerry Falwell died this morning.

The founder of Liberty University, long time pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, leader of the Moral Majority, and builder of the religious right into a political force, was found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.

Read the AP release.

Dawkins, Delusion, and Disdain for Faith-heads May 15, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Books, Church, Culture/Society, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics.
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In the Times, Richard Dawkins responds to the critics who offer the following criticism of his book, The God Delusion:

  1. I’m an atheist, but I wish to dissociate myself from your shrill, strident, intemperate, intolerant, ranting language.
  2. You can’t criticise religion without detailed study of learned books on theology.
  3. You ignore the best of religion and instead . . .
  4. You’re preaching to the choir. What’s the point?
  5. You’re as much a fundamentalist as those you criticise.
  6. I’m an atheist, but people need religion.

Hot quote: “You and I are too intelligent and well educated to need religion. But ordinary people, hoi polloi, Orwellian proles, Huxleian Deltas and Epsilons need religion.”

His closer: “I believe that, given proper encouragement to think, and given the best information available, people will courageously cast aside celestial comfort blankets and lead intellectually fulfilled, emotionally liberated lives.”

Pray for Dawkins, and for those whom the Lord has cross his path, that they may bring a word that yields life from death and light into the darkness.

Read the article here.

Genetic Testing + Abortion = Bad Medicine May 14, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Culture/Society, Family, Politics/Public Policy.
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Recent advances in prenatal testing have thrown another difficult twist in attempting to understand the “choice” pro-abortion position.  While willing to argue that every woman must have the choice over her body, new tests revealing the sex, potential for disability or disease, make the more compassionate among them less willing to “choose” to abort the child with the potential for physical challenges.
Read about Sarahlynn Lester, a 32 year old young lady who supports abortion, gives to NARAL, and volunteers her time at the local Planned Parenthood. But when she found out she was pregnant, she was excited.  Then, after a brief prenatal screening, she learned her child could have Down syndrome.  Nevertheless, her ethics of choice will not extend beyond her screening.  She explains, “I thought it would be morally wrong to have an abortion for a child that had a genetic disability.”

Read the difficulty of understanding the moral compass of this paragraph: Abortion rights supporters — who believe that a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body — have had to grapple with the reality that the right to choose may well be used selectively to abort fetuses deemed genetically undesirable. And many are finding that, while they support a woman’s right to have an abortion if she does not want to have a baby, they are less comfortable when abortion is used by women who don’t want to have a particular baby.

One useful element in this discussion is the underlying fiber in the pro-choice conscience that demands one consider whether a potentially compromised baby–after testing–should be terminated.   The conscience demands truth be pursued, not defiled.

Read the article.