Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Wolf!!! - Rob Bell

*This note was an article in the Wretched Newsletter*
Imagine that you are a shepherd who spies a wolf inside your sheepfold, what would you do?
A.      Wait seven years until the wolf devoured one of your sheep.
B.      Whisper, “Psssst, there seems to be a hairy creature near you, Dear Sheep.”
C.      Yell, “Wolf! Wolf! Run for your lives!”
If a shepherd isn’t willing to cry, “Wolf,” then he isn’t a good shepherd. He is a shepherd who has become pre-occupied with other things.
To be fair, a shepherd has many duties; he must feed, seek out green pastures and tend to the sick or wounded sheep. But no shepherd can forsake his duty to protect the sheep against predators.
Pastor Rob Bell is a wolf.
Pastor Rob Bell is inside the sheep gate.
Pastor Rob Bell is devouring sheep.
Where are the shepherds?
Yes, we have heard some responses. Some. But they have been rather tacit in their condemnation of Rob’s latest book, “Love Wins.” One high profile blogger stated that he simply doesn’t understand why Rob is a threat to his seminary or church. Really?
>Rob Bell does not believe hell is eternal, conscious torment.
>Rob Bell believes that there is a second chance to believe in Him AFTER you die.
>Rob Bell believes that just about everyone (Buddhist, Baptist and Muslim) will go to heaven.
There is simply no way a shepherd can claim, “I didn’t know that this wolf was out there.”
>Rob Bell is making more television appearances than Ryan Seacrest. He is everywhere. 
>Rob Bell’s other books, “Velvet Elvis” and “Sex God” are best sellers.
>Rob Bell’s Nooma videos are shown in hundreds, if not thousands, of churches.
What more does a fellow have to teach to raise the attention of the evangelical heavy hitters? Furthermore, Rob Bell is not new to the scene with his heretical teachings (yes, I used the “h word”), he has been at this for years.
How did this happen? I think that 21st century shepherds might be living in a 20th century world. The internet, twitter and Facebook allow the wolves to creep in through gates that didn’t exist even 15 years ago. The under-shepherd needs to understand that false teachers are worming their way into unsuspecting Christian homes MORE than ever before.
The already busy pastor must continue to feed and tend to the sheep, but more than ever, he must be on the alert for the wolves that Jesus warned about.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Silence on spousal sexual assault jarring: Doctors – The Express Tribune

*Not for younger readers

Gynecologists at several city hospitals have expressed their concerns over the growing number of married female patients who are forced into intercourse.

“The number of marital rape cases keeps going up but no one even acknowledges that the problem exists. We see dozens of patients coming in but they never acknowledge they have been raped; only that they were doing their duty,” says Ganga Ram Hospital consultant gynecologist Dr Shamsa Humayun. Dr Humayun said that she recently treated a mother-of-four, who had lost her pulse, consciousness and lots of blood pressure following a result of her third abortion. “I had warned her not to get pregnant because she had severe diabetes. I told her that her life was at risk but she chose abortion over contraception. Now she is dead,” Dr Humayun said.

Alviah Noor*, who is working on her PhD research paper and recently got married, said that she had severe vaginal infection for the last six months and was heavily medicated to treat an infection caused by her intra-uterine system (IUS or coil). “The coil ruined my health but it was the only contraception I could use without my husband finding out,” she said, adding that doctors had prohibited her from intercourse but her husband refused to listen to her. “I have no choice in the matter. I have to do whatever he tells me,” she said.

Nilofer Raja* complained that her husband had several extra marital affairs and that she had contracted an STD after he forced himself on her. “He abuses me but I cannot refuse him. My family told me that it was my religious duty to do as he demanded and that if I refuse the angels will curse me all night,” she told doctors.

Shirkat Gah representative Fauzia Vikar said “the concept of marital rape does not exist in our society. She is thought to have signed a contract for sex. Even in US, the first marital rape case was reported in 1978. Most reports from battered women reflect that they do not think their spouses are guilty of a crime.” “Most women I have spoken to on the issue simply think that marital rape is natural. We need to educate and economically empower women so that they realise it is not their duty to tolerate abuse,” she said. According to Vikar, most women consider it shameful and a sin to oppose non-consensual sex. “There is almost no local literature available on the subject and not a single reported case to my knowledge,” she said.

Dr Ambreen Ahmad, a clinical psychologist who teaches at Lahore School of Economics said “We need to introduce couples counseling, especially before marriage because women need to know their rights. Many women consider it their ‘religious duty’ to undergo this when there is nothing in religion that condones such assault.”

According to Dr Rabia Ameen of General Hospital said “There is no sex education before marriage. This often leads to women contracting horrible diseases from unprotected sex. I feel terrible when I see young girls dying of reproductory problems because of irrational social expectations.”

Dr Ameen said “On average we deal with five cases of spousal rape every week and 90 percent of these cases occur within the first two weeks of marriage. Young brides aren’t aware that they have the right to put a stop to intercourse and we often see severe tearing and heavy bleeding in young women.” “I have lost count of the number of times I have simply stitched a vaginal tear and prohibited the couple from having intercourse for six weeks. The women almost always come back with the same problem because their spouses refuse to listen,” she said, adding “I now recommend that the woman stay at her parents’ house to be safe.” Dr Ameen said that women seldom know that it is even possible to be raped by their husband. “They think that it is their duty to go along with whatever their husband wants and all we can do is recommend a course of treatment,” she said, adding that doctors often knew that their patients would not be allowed to rest.

Dr Shamsa Humayun, a gynecologist said that patients don’t complain of sexual abuse from their spouses even when the evidence is overwhelming. “I have examined women with severe vaginal tearing, enough that they needed stitches, but they still never admitted they were assaulted,” she said.

According to a gynecologist Dr Asmah Mehmood “Very few women in Pakistan actually have a healthy sexual relationship with their spouses. Abuse is common and so is violence.” She said “I have seen a woman who was the victim of the constant rape by her spouse simply because he was addicted to pornographic films. She was abused so often that we eventually stopped even asking her what had happened.”

Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that in her 30-year career as a gynecologist she had never seen an official report relating to marital rape even though after delivery cases the most common cases she treated were related to women being sexually assaulted by their spouses.Silence on spousal sexual assault jarring: Doctors – The Express Tribune
It's nauseating how these women cannot trust the man who is supposed to guard and treasure her to do so with the most intimate act of mankind. It's no wonder that many newlywed women have so many health problems, they are small and easily torn which opens them to infection as well as the act itself being known to cause UTIs even with consenting partners because of the disruption of her natural flora. The worst of it being that these poor women think they're simply doing their duty and not even considering that non-consensual intercourse is rape.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemaker's Journal: Understanding

So this week's Homemaker's Journal is a pick and write -

In the kitchen today: little was done.  Mom and Des went on a ski trip - with lunch provided - Dad and I took left-overs, there's a lot of them.  I was out for 14 hours thanks to nursing clinical so the only real cooking I did was 2 scrambled eggs to take for dinner.  Dinner for the rest of the family was leftovers - so no in depth cooking.

Proverbs 17:27 says that “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”. What this means for me as a woman of God is ……. I need to remember to stop and listen.  All too often I have a bad habit of cutting in, when if I had been silent the question would have been answered in a moment or misunderstanding cleared up.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's VBS Season!!

The last post I made about the up and coming VBS programs for 2011 was admittedly early... However, this (re)look at the programs available this year is right on time: when everyone starts seriously considering the options available.

First up are those that I was unable to examine due to a lack of released information:

Augsburg Fortress: they have not released a new program for this year but are instead recycling their RENEW program once more. UnBiblical.  That one word sums up the program all too well.  I saw the preview video last year and perused the curriculum and just about died that they would pass it off as a vacation BIBLE school.  The program  would pass for a public school's Arbor Day promotion program...

David Cook has also decided to reuse the programs of yesteryears...

Great Commission Publications: Faith Expedition VBS
Abingdon Press: Island Odyssey
VBS Reach Out:
Based in Jonah passages
Urban Ministries Inc: Jesus Truth Seekers
God gives us faith to follow his plan – Exodus
Hearing the right voice – Paul makes his voice heard over the magician
Am I Jehovah’s or am I Jeering? – belonging to God, or not yet in right relationship with Him
Forgive! – parable of the unforgiving servant
God gives us faith to believe his promise – 1&2 Samuel
Going the right way – despite Paul’s advice, a wrong decision puts all on dangerous course
Am I headed to my Tarshish or my Nineveh? – heading away from God in rebellion or toward Him through obedience
Hear! – parable of the sower
God gives us faith to obey him – Daniel
Being true to who you are – mutual hospitality reveal’s Paul’s true identity in Christ
Have I been turned around by God? – turned toward God both once-for-all in salvation and continually in daily repentance
Help! - parable of the Good Samaritan
God gives us faith to repent and give our lives to Jesus – Matthew & Luke
Seeing who Jesus is – while imprisoned for preaching Christ
Do I have a ”Jehovah” or a “Jonah” attitude? – knowing I am saved by grace not by works
Seek! - parable of the prodigal son
God gives us faith to share the Good News of Jesus Christ – Acts
Spreading the Good News – salvation is for everyone
Lord, send me a Fish and a resurrection! – understanding how Jonah’s life points to the death and resurrection of Christ
Choose! – the rich man and Lazarus

Faith Expedition – hmm… this program intrigues and frustrates me.  There is very little in regards to details about the lessons other than a chart about as detailed as the list above…  However, the Gospel is supposedly presented clearly each day – it being a Reformed curriculum I would expect them to be able to nail that.  I can say that far better detailed Sunday school curriculum offered by the company looks AMAZING!!!  I would expect that the company would also be able, therefore to make a solid lesson plan for something as “major” as VBS.
Island Odyssey – “linking Biblical island stories with popular island destinations”… hang on a sec, maybe I misunderstood that and they are referring to an examination of the cultures of the islands in the Bible accounts… Nope.  Day one is Cyprus and Jamaica… there is a specific fruit grown in Jamaica that has a star patter when cut open so the day’s phrase is “Jesus is the star, I will listen to him and believe.”  It is not the worst I have seen… but I would beseech people not to use it.  It, like many popular companies, seems to miss the actual Gospel by a mile (not even mentioning it during their 10 minute video) and focusing more on the fun of the theme than the Bible.
Summer Seaquest – first off, any VBS that garners praise from Alistair Begg has my attention ^_^ The lessons seem sound, even deliberately avoiding the common pitfall of most VBS programs: promising thing s to children about God that are only promised to believers.  By making the first lesson differentiate between the saved and unsaved it clears out being a “Christian” simply because one is not any other particular religion.  That it stresses repentance and continual repentance, not just a “magical” sinner’s prayer, is another rare and wonderful treat.  Finally, the focus on grace alone and not works for salvation is the icing on the cake!  I have no doubt that this would be a Biblically sound VBS program.
Jesus Truth Seekers – it certainly has the potential to be the longest VBS I have seen with 10 lessons for preschool through adult.  Alas I am not sure that more means better in this case.  Each lesson deals with a different parable to teach a particular moral/behavior lesson; the over arching theme being that in Christ even the impossible becomes possible… I am guessing that days 4 and 5 are supposed to be the Gospel days, but I am still not fond of the ever popular moralizing lessons beforehand to teach the children to be “good” and then the Gospel.  All good deeds should stem out of the heart that Christ changed with salvation, plain and simple

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The History of the Modern Gospel

Real Truth Matters is a multimedia resource that has sermons, videos, and more.  One video series they have is the history of the modern gospel.  The "gospel" presentation given on tv today and many churches has little to do with the Bible or it's teachings, this video series discusses how the given presentation came about.

Intro: Departing from Scripture, the Root of Error

Part 2: Toxic Intelligence

Part 3: Welcome to the Circus

Part 4: I got a Feeling

Part 5: Repeat After Me

This week’s Journal is all about HOME
In my homey kitchen …..
There is pasta cooking and rice will be put on later today.  Pasta and rice are two staple foods in my book; both are quick to turn into a meal with a little olive oil or soy sauce plus spices and a quick protein such as egg or canned tuna.  They can also be a quick breakfast, rice and honey is a quick and satisfying morning meal.  The key is having a container of cooked rice in the fridge at all times.
My thoughts on being at home ……
It is a true blessing to be able to be at home and not need to be out working.
A constant habit I have of making my home comfortable is ….
Burning candles.  I LOVE candles, particularly soy candles.  Fragrant and clean burning, leaving a soothing/comforting aroma in the room it is present.  The burning candle also tends to make the place seem more cozy too.
If I could change the decor of my home ….
Not a clue what I would do.  Often a woodsy, cabin look is my fancy but on occasion but there are so many other lovely options I would not know where to start.
What I want my children/spouse/other family to remember about my home is …
…HOME.  A safe haven.  A place where they know they are loved no matter what and a place that they can bring others and not be ashamed - of the family or home.
Home …
Is where the heart is: whether it be in Alaska, New York, or Spain, any I can make any place to be my home.  It is a place of safety and love.  Not a perfect place, but still filled with fond memories and laughter.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A thought to mull over

What will people say about our generation in 50 years? What will they say in 100?  Looking back in history we condemn, and rightfully so, those who deemed other people as inferior beings because of their ethnicity.  We condemn those of the Holocaust who slaughtered millions: Jews, Gypsies, and the mentally/physically infirm.  Yet we have our own slaughter houses in our own towns and do little about it: Planned Parenthood.  We have less and less of an issue with the concept of "euthanasia" of the critically ill and those who have poorer quality of life than we deem appropriate.  What should Christians do?  It varies.  For some, going out and picketing on street corners and protesting at clinics would be what Christ has asked for them to do.  For others it may be that they should devote a portion of their time to volunteering at, or working for, their local pro-life clinic; perhaps as a secretary or as a counselor.  Then there are those who maybe should donate goods or money to their local pro-life clinic.  Maybe instead go about preaching the Gospel: that we are wretched sinners who can be saved because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who lived the perfect life we cannot and paid our fine; that through repentance and faith we will be saved.  Upon salvation people learning the value of the preborn, elderly, and infirm.  Or perhaps it would be to pray that God would move among the people of this nation and change the hearts of the people and our leaders.

A couple resources that you may find useful are
Abort 73 - not for little eyes, it has images of abortions.  However, it has many resources for those of high school age and above to wear, say, and handout.
Blood Money
The Silent Scream - not for little eyes, has a video of an abortion proceedure with other pro-life resources.