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Saturday, January 14, 2017

News Weakly - 1/14/2017

Another word with definition problems: "hate". As Texas heads toward their own law requiring people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, the "hate" word is coming out again. That is, "If you are uncomfortable having your wives and daughters using a public bathroom in which apparent males can come and go at will claiming to feel like they're females, you are simply mean and hateful. Get over it. Doesn't happen!" Never mind that it does and has.

Hate is defined as "a feeling of intense or passionate dislike". If the "hate" in this instance is "I hate it when perverted males threaten women in their private spaces", I suppose it is "hate speech". It, however, is improperly translated as "I hate transsexuals who want to use the bathroom." The two are not necessarily connected. (I, for instance, have run into apparently biological females appearing as males using the men's restroom. Didn't disturb me much.)

It appears to be another case of "Princess Bride speak".

Hard to be a Christian
Open Doors has come out with the latest "The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian." As might be expected, they fall largely in the 10-40 window, that area primarily identified as most heavily Muslim and least accessible to the Gospel. It's not all Muslim, of course. Number one on the list is North Korea, a position they've held for 14 years. Close behind is Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Sudan. The rest of the top 10 are all Muslim with the exception of Eritrea, a small country in Africa claiming 50% Christian and 48% Muslim. India, predominantly Hindu, is #15. So it seems a bit odd to have nations like Mexico (83% Catholic) and Colombia (estimated at 90% "Christian") on the top 50 list. It is equally strange to see that China, having been in the top 10 over the last 25 years, ranked 39th this year. And, of course, things aren't getting better. The article says that 2016 was "the worst year yet".

Now, I agree that the Christians in these countries are facing phenomenal persecution and need our prayer and support. I understand that we here in America are not facing that kind of persecution. But I would be remiss if I did not point out that sometimes it's "hardest to be a Christian" where "Christian" is acceptable as long as it means "Don't actually go along with what God says" ... as it is in America today. Here we don't face much in the way of torture, imprisonment, or death, but if you're going to get along in this world, you had better not hold a biblical worldview. So many go along to get along, and that, too, makes it very hard to be a Christian. We ought to remain prayerful and vigilant.

The End of an Era?
There has been and continues to be concern that congregational singing is fading from church life. The influx of "new music" and incorporation of the world's principles of entertainment are contributing to a decline in choirs and even singing, where growing numbers of those who attend are opting out, consciously or unconsciously, of singing in church. Surely this is not a good thing (Col 3:16).

Media Forbid!
You thought Donald Trump was bad. Wait until you hear about his top choice for the Education Department. What's wrong with her you ask? Well, she only went 30 miles from home to go do college. Yeah, can you believe it? Worse, she's a Christian. Yeah! But wait! She's a Calvinist and she's "coming for you public schools." Thanks for the heads up, Newsweek!

It gets worse. During last year's campaign, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore, spoke out against Donald Trump. Now NPR and the Wall Street Journal are working to bring him down. Moore said, "I witnessed a handful of Christian political operatives excusing immorality and confusing the definition of the gospel. I was pointed in my criticisms, and felt like I ought to have been." Scum. I suppose it's "Don't go talking against a candidate we hate; only we can do that." Media forbid!

I Saw it on the Internet
It had to happen. In today's "Age of Empathy" where truth is decided by "I feel", this hit the news. A guitar cable refused to be pressed into use because it self-identified as female rather than male. Of course, Rachel Brooks' story is equally plausible. She kept refreshing her Bible app on her phone to see when God would update His stance on homosexual sin since He clearly was on the wrong side of history on that topic.

These must be true; I saw it on the Internet.


David said...

I know I frequently don't sing because either I don't know the song/tune or don't agree with it. To me, the purpose of the singing is to help me get into a place to worship God. It's a can of coffee beans to clear the palette. But when you have three songs in a row that don't even mention God or Lord or Jesus or the Spirit or any other clearly identifiable references to God, I don't find that helpful in getting my head in the game. It's distracting because when the song can just as easily be applied to a person it ceases to be worshipful to me.

Stan said...

Are you saying Jesus is not your boyfriend?

Marshall Art said...


That type of distortion of center-right positions is, sadly, S.O.P. for the left in general. It's easier to demonize the opponent than to argue the indefensible position.

"Hard to be a Christian"

There are varying degrees of persecution. What we experience in this country may not be so bad compared to Christians getting beheaded elsewhere, but it isn't inappropriate to call our experiences persecution...because it is. It's just low level. I know some are uncomfortable using the term in light of how bad others have it, but one shouldn't feel prohibited from using the proper terms, even out of respect for the victims of the worst examples of persecution, when discussing what is really going on. I, for one, do not pretend our experiences are of that horrible degree, but they needn't be to qualify for the term.

"The End of an Era?"

I can't make the services that continue to sing the old hymns, which I prefer. I hope they continue having them until long after such time as I am able. In the meantime, I, like David, am unfamiliar with the "contemporary" tunes at the service I attend. I was happy to be able to enjoy traditional Christmas hymns for the Christmas service I attended, even though they were mostly sung in a contemporary arrangement. At least I knew the songs.

"Media Forbid!"

I may be confusing people and departments, but I thought I heard this candidate for Dept. of Ed. was, at least at one time, a supporter of Common Core. If this is still true, and true of the person you had in mind, that could be problematic. Do you know if this is true?

"I Saw it on the Internet"

I wonder if that explains the problem I had with the outdoor outlet into which I wanted to plug in Christmas lights. I have a nearly perfectly shaped evergreen tree that is perfect for lighting up and it just stopped lighting up one day. I'm unsure of how that outlet self-identifies.

Stan said...

I don't know if DeVos is for Common Core. Yours would be a concern about issues. Theirs is a concern about religion and, seriously, how far she went to go to college?

I'm glad to have "enlightened" you about why your lights quit working. It was likely your fault for considering that plug male simply because it appeared male.

Craig said...

I thought the guitar cable satire was hilarious on many levels.

1. We guitar players are way to worried about gear.
2. The whole thing about needing a guitar for music.
3. The shot at multi site churches.

Any it was funny, especially reading the comments from people unaware of how satire works.

Stan said...

That Babylon Bee site is quite good for fake/funny news, the Christian version of the Onion.

Craig said...

Yes it is, most of the time it's spot on and is pretty equal opportunity when it comes to satire.