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Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:00:00 +0000From Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 4RT, UK Pastor Akut and his community are in mourning after Fulani herdsmen raided their town in northern Nigeria and killed more than 40 people.Nearly all the homes in Godogodo have been burned down and crops destroyed. Thousands have fled the area.Please pray for all those who survived the brutal attack on this mainly Christian community in Kaduna. The attack began at about 5pm on Saturday. Pastor Akut and his family were among many people who fled into the bush. They slept rough until they felt safe enough to seek refuge in a nearby town the next day.‘The attackers were in their hundreds and were well armed,’ said Pastor Akut. Many wore police and army uniform, he added.The assault follows closely an assault on the town in late-September in which eight people died. A total of 16 church buildings and worship centres were damaged in both attacks. Pastor Akut sees this as part of a concerted campaign to rid the area of Christianity. ‘It is an Islamic holy war against Christians in the southern part of Kaduna state,’ he said.Pray for all those who are grieving loved ones or recovering from injuries in Godogodo. Pray that God will heal them.Ask God to provide for all those who have lost their homes, belongings and crops.Pray for wisdom for state and national officials in tackling violence by Fulani herdsmen. Pray that they will have fresh resolve to end this crisis and protect vulnerable Christian communities.(Source: Morning Star News)[...]
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:09:00 +0000I was at Westminster Chapel on the evening of Sunday 23rd October 1966. It was two days after the disaster at Aberfan. On the morning of 21st October 1966 in the small mining village of Aberfan an avalanche of colliery waste slipped down the mountainside, swept through houses, and overwhelmed Pantglas Junior School. It killed 144 people, 116 of them children. Here is an excerpt from my notes on the sermon.
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Mon, 29 Feb 2016 09:49:00 +0000Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. This is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers fro[...]
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10:10:00 +0000Some have heard of the small American denomination known as the Reformed Presbyterian Church and how they took a early stand against the practice of slavery. But few have read any of the story of what was involved, what it cost to take that stand, and the blessings that followed from their Scriptural obedience. It would make an interesting study, to ask how it was that this Church saw such near-unanimous obedience in standing true to the Scriptures and against the prevailing culture. I would argue that what we read here is the proper exercise of that doctrine known as the Spirituality of the Church, in which the Church exercises its God-given authority and effectively disciplines sin where it finds it.Our post today comes from the September 1875 issue of Our Banner, a publication of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.A Long Standing TestimonyExtracts of Minutes of the Committee of the Reformed Presbytery, on the Subject of Slavery.—Minutes of February 11, 1801.“A petition came in requesting a reconsideration of the business respecting slaveholders, so far as this species of traffic might be supposed to affect Christian communion—and that such steps might be taken in the premises, as should place that whole affair on such a moral basis as the principles of our common profession, seem imperiously to demand.” “It was agreed prior to the further consideration of this subject that all slave-holders in the communion of this church, should be warned to attend the next meeting of the Committee, and that there the merits of the petition aforementioned, shall be particularly attended to.”Minutes of February 18, 1801.—“The consideration of the state of the enslaved Africans was introduced this day into the Committee. The purport of the discussion was to ascertain whether those who concurred, more or less, in the enslavement of these miserable subjects, should be considered as entitled to communion in this church. It was unanimously agreed that enslaving these, our African brethren, is an evil of enormous magnitude, and that none who continue in such a gross departure, from humanity and the dictates of our benevolent religion, can have any just title to communion in this church.”To carry this resolution into effect, the following note was sent to every member of the congregation, not then present, involved in the evil, viz: "Sir, you are hereby informed, that none can have communion in this church who hold slaves. You must therefore immediately have it registered, that your slaves are freed, before the sacrament. If any difficulty arises to you in the manner of doing it, then you are desired to apply to the Committee of Presbytery, who will give directions in any circumstances of a doubtful nature in which you may be involved, in carrying this injunction into execution."At this time the Rev. Wm. Martin was deposed from the office of the ministry, having been found guilty of several heinous sins and scandals, among which the third in order belongs to the present subject, and illustrates the faithful application of discipline to remove slavery from the church."3d, That he sold some time since, a negro man then in his possession, thereby doing everything in his power, to prevent himself from ever having it in his power to liberate a poor wretched fellow mortal in any other period in his life, putting this price of blood among his substance, while he left his fellow-mortal to languish out the last moment of his life, under the galling chains of slavery without one scanty ray of hope of ever obtaining deliverance any other way but by the hand of death, and all this after the determination of the court and church to which he belonged had marked African enslavement with the strongest degree of abhorrence." The last words quoted undoubtedly point to Presbyterial action on the subject of slavery or at least to the action [...]
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:26:00 +00001. Born Survivors by Wendy HoldenI give this book four stars for the subject matter is such that I cannot indicate I love it. This is the story of three different Jewish young wives sent to Auschwicz while concealing their pregnancies. The narrative takes them from the death camp to save labour in an aircraft factory then an horrific train journey to Mauthausen, a death camp in Austria. Each woman gives birth on the way to Austria. Miraculously mothers and babies survive and are among those liberated by American troops. As in other accounts I have read I see the survival of some Jews, not as mere luck, but because of a determination to survive and their hope no matter the horrors they endured. We are told what happened after the war. No happy reunions with lost husbands. Part of the horror of the story is the way that German civilians who had contact with the prisoners did nothing to help either because they did not care or were too frightened. There was one glorious exception, a stationmaster in Bohemia who organised food, clothing and other help from his town when the train of prisoners was stopped there. One other man praised in the book is Bomber Harris. The man in charge of the RAF bombing is rarely praised but these women working as slave labour in a factory near Dresden, thought of him as a saint and believed Dresden a legitimate target for strategic reasons. So in conclusion this is a book to horrify one as to the depth of human depravity but also encourage one to see people can endure and triumph through appalling suffering.2.Submission by Michel Houellebecq Middle aged French academic loses his lectureship at the Sorbonne after a Muslim government comes to rule France. If you do not have a working knowledge of French writers and philosophers you will find this hard going. There is a typically French love of gastronomy and drink. However I found the explicit sexual detail to be pornographic. The author could have explored further the implications of Islamic rule beyond the borders of academe.3. Boko Haram: Nigeria's Islamist Insurgency by Virginia Comolli Published in 2015 this book deals with events until August 2014 only so there is nothing concerning the present situation after the 2015 election of Buhari as president. We are though given a comprehensive history of Islam in the north of Nigeria and the many factions after 1960 independence. Boko Haram is but the latest and most violent manifestation of salami/wahabi Islam. That Islam in the north has a long history of rejecting all things Western (except technology) is seen in the figures quoted for literacy, said to be the world's lowest. The author does not tells that Nigeria proclaimed universal primary education in the early nineteen seventies. BH is shown to continue and harden the anti-western line rejecting the institutions of the secular state, the Muslim establishment and Christians. Despite the northern states proclaiming shari'a law they are in the judgment of BH,not strict enough. Links are described with Islamist movements in other countries and the BH effect on neighbouring states. The response of the Nigerian government has not been effective. It has failed to crush BH or to protect the people from the insurgents. There have been extra-judicial killings so the people may fear the security forces as much as BH. The major omission from this account is that there is hardly anything on the Fulani insurgency in the Middle Belt. In states like Plateau, indigenous Christians now live in fear of raids by nomadic Muslim Fulani cattle herders and their supporters. Though not strictly BH this is also Islamist insurgency.4. Margaret Thatcher by Jonathan Aitken In his introduction to his second volume of the authorised official biography of Margaret Thatcher, Charles Moore relates that at the many talks he gives on [...]
Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:20:00 +0000Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who have been killed and driven from their homes in attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.
Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:56:00 +0000A great tribute from a non-christian.The Rev. J. Gresham Machen, D. D., who died out in North Dakota on New Year's Day, got, on the whole, a bad press while he lived, and even his obituaries did much less than justice to him. To newspaper reporters, as to other antinomians, a combat between Christians over a matter of dogma is essentially a comic affair, and in consequence Dr. Machen's heroic struggles to save Calvinism in the Republic were usually depicted in ribald, or, at all events, in somewhat skeptical terms. The generality of readers, I suppose, gathered thereby the notion that he was simply another Fundamentalist on the order of William Jennings Bryan and the simian faithful of Appalachia. But he was actually a man of great learning, and, what is more, of sharp intelligence.What caused him to quit the Princeton Theological Seminary and found a seminary of his own was his complete inability, as a theologian, to square the disingenuous evasions of Modernism with the fundamentals of Christian doctrine. He saw clearly that the only effects that could follow diluting and polluting Christianity in the Modernist manner would be its complete abandonment and ruin. Either it was true or it was not true. If, as he believed, it was true, then there could be no compromise with persons who sought to whittle away its essential postulates, however respectable their motives.Thus he fell out with the reformers who have been trying, in late years, to convert the Presbyterian Church into a kind of literary and social club, devoted vaguely to good works. Most of the other Protestant churches have gone the same way, but Dr. Machen's attention, as a Presbyterian, was naturally concentrated upon his own connection. His one and only purpose was to hold it [the Church] resolutely to what he conceived to be the true faith. When that enterprise met with opposition he fought vigorously, and though he lost in the end and was forced out of Princeton it must be manifest that he marched off to Philadelphia with all the honors of war.My interest in Dr. Machen while he lived, though it was large, was not personal, for I never had the honor of meeting him. Moreover, the doctrine that he preached seemed to me, and still seems to me, to be excessively dubious. I stand much more chance of being converted to spiritualism, to Christian Science or even to the New Deal than to Calvinism, which occupies a place, in my cabinet of private horrors, but little removed from that of cannibalism. But Dr. Machen had the same clear right to believe in it that I have to disbelieve in it, and though I could not yield to his reasoning I could at least admire, and did greatly admire, his remarkable clarity and cogency as an apologist, allowing him his primary assumptions.These assumptions were also made, at least in theory, by his opponents, and thereby he had them by the ear. Claiming to be Christians as he was, and of the Calvinish persuasion, they endeavored fatuously to get rid of all the inescapable implications of their position. On the one hand they sought to retain membership in the fellowship of the faithful, but on the other hand they presumed to repeal and reenact with amendments the body of doctrine on which that fellowship rested. In particular, they essayed to overhaul the scriptural authority which lay at the bottom of the whole matter, retaining what coincided with their private notions and rejecting whatever upset them.Upon this contumacy Dr. Machen fell with loud shouts of alarm. He denied absolutely that anyone had a right to revise and sophisticate Holy Writ. Either it was the Word of God or it was not the Word of God, and if it was, then it was equally authoritative in all its details, and had to be accepted or rejected as a whole. Anyone was free to reject it, but no one was free to mutilate it or to read things into it that were no[...]
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 22:33:00 +0000(Writer’s Opinion) By John Edmiston, Special to ASSIST News ServiceCARSON, CA (ANS – January 9, 2016) -- In the past few weeks there has been intense controversy about a professor at Wheaton college who was disciplined for saying that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor at the private evangelical Christian college that once had Billy Graham as a student, proclaimed on social media that Christians and Muslims share the same God and was suspended by the college.This raises the important question of: Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?Notice there are two parts to this question: a) worship and b) same God.The Devil knows God is One but does not worship Him. On the other hand, devotees of Baal indeed worship, but they worship a false God.First let’s compare the two other faiths with Christianity to see if:a) the have the same god andb) if they have the same worship:Not The Same God1.Christians worship a Trinity, one God in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims and Jews refuse the idea of the Trinity and just worship “one Almighty God”.2.Christians worship Jesus Christ as Son of God, Lord and Savior. Neither Jews nor Muslims do this. They do not worship Jesus. Therefore, their god is a different deity. (More on this later).3.Christians worship a God whose primary attribute is love and who calls us to forsake revenge and to love our enemies and to forgive the sins of others. Jews and Muslims worship a god whose primary attribute is power, honor and purity and who does not call upon them to love their enemies or forgive the sins of others and where punitive revenge is a religious duty.4.Christians worship a God who became incarnate in human flesh and who died for their sins on the Cross. This idea is considered blasphemy (shirk) in Islam and is denied in Judaism. In both religions their god remains in Heaven. Christianity has a down-to-earth God.Not The Same Worship5.Christians worship in spirit and truth and not in any particular sacred location (John 4:4) while Judaism and Islam have sacred cities such as Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina.6.Christians worship according to the Spirit and not according to the letter, we have died to the Law. Judaism and Islam place literal obedience to written religious laws at the very center of their religions.7.Christian worship is free from the rule of the elemental principles of religion such as New Moons, Sabbaths, matters of food and drink, and categories clean and unclean. Judaism and Islam in their worship place a great deal of emphasis on new moons, Sabbaths, halal or kosher food, and categories of clean and unclean.8.Christian worship consist of people who are already saved, and who already possess eternal life going from glory to glory through beholding the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:16-18). For Christians worship is not a means to salvation but rather a celebration of a salvation that is already secure. Worship in Judaism and Islam is necessary for salvation, which is partly attained via worship. Neither Jews nor Muslims worship by being transformed by beholding the face of Christ. To repeat, Christian worship is AFTER salvation, while Jewish and Islamic worship is PRIOR TO or PART OF salvation. Thus it is NOT the same worship!The Jesus IssueThe following article says that the answer is a plain “no” because he who denies the Son does not have the Father:1 John 2:22-24 ESV Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. (23) No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (24) Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in th[...]
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At least 14 people were killed and several others injured in an attack on Kimba village in Borno State by Boko Haram gunmen on Christmas Day. They opened fire on villagers and torched their homes. In the days that followed the violence continued to escalate. On 27 and 28 December more than 90 people were killed and 80 injured in multiple Boko Haram attacks around the Borno State capital Maiduguri and in Madagali in Adamawa State, and a suicide and gun attack on a Borno village on 6 January claimed 14 lives. Please pray for the defeat of Boko Haram and for peace to return to north east Nigeria.
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Sat, 02 Jan 2016 21:08:00 +00001. Christian Pipe-Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense by Uri Brito and Joffre SwaitA small booklet in praise of the present unfashionable habit of pipe smoking. I do not think it will encourage anyone to start puffing but it will give pleasure and some good quotes for afficionadoes.2.Realm Divided: A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England by Dan Jones One knew of 1215 as the year of Magna Carta but Dan Jones shows how important a year this was in English history and its relations with France and the Papacy. Jones divides his chapters between the big events history in 1215 and the social history of the period. It makes for real understanding of the times. I would like to read more history written after this excellent pattern.3. Frost: That Was The Life That Was: The Authorised Biography by Neil HegartyA fascinating story of the man who went from a Methodist manse to become the foremost TV interviewer of his age. He enjoyed a loving, stable home with his parents and two elder sisters with whom he cotinued to be close. He went from grammar school to Cambridge on a scholarship. At university he was more interested in the theatrical and journalism than in his English degree. Narrowly escaping being sent down he barely scraped through to graduate but in The Footlights club he was most diligent and ambitious hoping for a future in entertainment. We are told he was resented by public schooled undergraduates but no specific examples of this snobbery are given. After university, still in his twenties, Frost has a meteoric career in TV starting with That Was The Week That Was. As a teenager, this was for me essential late Saturday night viewing. It broke the mould of TV respecting the establishment. From there Frost's TV career on both sides of the Atlantic is chronicled. He had intimate relationships with several women and a short first marriage before he met the love of his life and entered into a stable marriage producing three sons. There is recounted his interviewing tachnicue and many of the people he interviewed, most famously the Nixon interviews after Nixon's resignation from President. One aspect of Frost's story I found of particular interest was how far he moved from his modest Methodist upbringing.. He became a lover of fine food, wine and cigars and a friend of royalty. Formal Christian observance disappeared yet his wife said he prayed every night. His background enabled him to converse well with Billy Graham and to put Blair on the spot as to what Christian observance he shared with George W Bush. Overall we read of an able man in his field and one who was respected and loved by family and friends.4. Troublesome Words by Bill BrysonBryson is a favourite author and there he gives us a reference work on English usage. I do not think this is a book one is likely to read cover to cover but one to dip into when needed. It seems fairly comprehensive but I spotted one omission. There is nothing on full and the false comparative fuller.5. Truth for All Time by John Calvin Calvin wrote the French original when he was a twenty something year old asylum seeker in Geneva. He tells the reader how to become a Christian and expounds the creed, ten commandments and the Lord's prayer as well as outlining the Christian's duty to pastors and rulers. A fine summary of basic Christian truths.6. Girl From The South by Joanna TrollopeI have read a number of Trollope's novels. They have all been about middle class English families with some measure of dysfunctionality and divorce. This novel is different. It is set in London and Charleston, USA. The latter concerns an old established local family. In London it is a number of thi[...]
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 21:01:00 +0000'There is a kind of vail now cast over the greater part of the world, which keeps them in darkness; but then this vail shall be destroyed: Isa. xxv. 7. “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” Then all countries and nations, even those which are now most ignorant, shall be full of light and knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail every where. It may be hoped, that then many of the Negroes and Indians will be divines, and that excellent books will be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and other now the most barbarous countries; and not only learned men, but others of more ordinary education, shall then be very knowing in religion: Isa. xxxii. 3, 4. “The eyes of them that see, shall not be dim; and the ears of them that hear, shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge.” Knowledge then shall be very universal among all sorts of persons; Jer. xxxi. 34. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.”' -from
Wed, 23 Dec 2015 17:41:00 +0000Fulani militants attacked two homes in Hwak Kwata-Zawan village near Jos on December 13. They also raided a compound where people displaced by violence elsewhere in the state had sought refuge.
Wed, 23 Dec 2015 17:25:00 +0000No name calling, no hatred, no political agenda. CANADIAN COMMENT APPEARS AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE AND IS MEANINGFUL.THERE IS ALSO SOME RECENTLY ADDED BRITISH COMMENT. This pilot hit the nail right on the head in his open letter. A newspaper stated that a Muslim doctor is saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an airplane. The following is a letter from a pilot. This well - spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully. By Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot I've been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks. On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others, hacking their necks, over and over, with box cutters. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers. The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist. How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE of the same good neighbors and children? The events of September 11 changed the answer.. It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me. I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ...... Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation; that He will protect it and let it prosper? Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots, who have through our history, given their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America??[...]
Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:18:00 +0000He Gained the Martyr’s CrownThe enemies of the Covenanters had very long memories. Long after sermons were preached or actions taken, the authorities in Scotland remembered words and actions against them. Such was the case with a young minister by the name of Hugh McKail.A child of the manse, from Bothwell, Scotland, his pastor father was one of those forced out of his pulpit and parish when he refused to conform to Prelacy. Little is known of young Hugh’s early days, but he did go to Edinburgh for education. There he was soon marked out as a young man of exceptional ability. For that, upon graduation, he was chosen to be a chaplain and tutor of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir James Stewart. In that Covenanter home, he would sit at the feet of those in leadership positions in the church and learn of the dire situation facing both the church and the state.In 1661, he applied to the Presbytery for licensure in the ministry. Preaching in a variety of situations, he was quickly recognized by his hearers for his great ability in the Word of God. However, his ministry soon came to an end as it became obvious that he wouldn’t compromise his convictions, just as his father before him. Preaching his last sermon in a church in Edinburgh, he had a sentence in it which marked him for remembrance by the Prelate forces of his day. He said, “the Church is persecuted by a Pharaoh on the throne, a Haman in the State, and a Judas in the Church.” The identification was obvious to all in the pews that day.Forced to leave his beloved Scotland, the young twenty-six year old would spend the next three years in Holland. On his return to Scotland, the situation had not improved any and there was a spark of rebellion in the air. That spark was ignited, as my post on November 28 indicated, at the Battle of Rullion Green. Hugh McKail was among the nine hundred in the Covenanter ranks that day. But his own physical weakness removed him before that great battle arrived, and he traveled to Edinburgh instead. There he was arrested by the authorities, not so much for his Covenanter attachments as for his statement made in that Edinburgh church some years before.Interrogated in prison, he was placed in the Boot, a fearful torture device which all but crushed his leg while he remained silent in voice. He was ordered to die by hanging on December 22, 1666. His exact words that day of death have been preserved through the ages. They were:Farewell father, mother, friends, and relations; Farewell the world and its delights; farewell meat and drink; farewell sun, moon, and starts; Welcome God and Father; welcome sweet Jesus Christ the mediator of the New Covenant; welcome blessed Spirit of grace, the God of all consolation; welcome glory, welcome eternal life; welcome death! Into Thy Hands I commit my spirit.”Words to Live By:Could Hugh McKail have compromised his convictions and avoided suffering and death? Certainly, and many did. But this young man was reared by a parent who by his example remained steadfast to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. With such an example like that, it is no wonder the young minister was given over to sacrifice, in loyalty to both the Living and Written Word, come what may to his physical body. Addressing all parents reading these posts on Presbyterian history: Your life preaches all the week. Are those in your family being helped or hindered to follow the Living and Written Word?[...]
Tue, 15 Dec 2015 09:01:00 +0000By Alex Murashko, Special to ASSIST News ServiceCHARLOTTE, NC (ANS - Dec. 14 2015) -- Naeem Fazal, the author of the book, Ex-Muslim, says there is only one position the church, as defined by Christians within the Body of Christ, should take when it comes to answering the question: What should we do to prevent Islamic terrorist groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) from attacking America and elsewhere?Fazal, who is the pastor of Mosaic Church in Charlotte, said recently, “As the church, we have a position to play (take), and no other entity, no other organization, club, group, [or] community, can play that position … We are the only ones that can take this position and actually make a difference if the church embraces and plays its position…“And that position is not a statement or an idea or a solution. The position is actually physically on our knees … because no one else is getting on their knees. No one else is thinking that way. No one else is called to do this.”One week after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Fazal is drawing attention to a video (below) of the midweek service he did shortly after the tragedy perpetrated by ISIS in Paris. In Ex-Muslim, he tells the amazing story of having a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. Fazal is a Pakistani, who was born and raised in Kuwait. He grew up in a Muslim household, was a teenager in the midst of the Gulf War, and came to the United States in 1992.The video is posted by his church and titled “Mosaic Church | Position on ISIS.” During his message he describes how he is often asked to give answers to difficult questions about violence stemming from organizations such as ISIS.He talked about a woman who during a speaking engagement at a church asked and then answered her own questions, but finally left an opening for him to answer the question, “How do we prevent another 9/11?”His answer was that the church should take a position of prayer and he illustrated his point by sharing verses from the book of Daniel beginning in Chapter 10 where Daniel is having a conversation with an “angelic being.” He describes how Daniel comes to the realization that his prayers can be a part of God’s plan.“Prayer allows us to slay some things” including “inner demons and outer dragons” Fazal explained. Also, prayer can bring on a peace within oneself that surpasses understanding. Among other attributes of prayer, he said it “binds the enemy” and “puts up supernatural protection.”“Prayer is more than a conversation,” he said. In Matthew 18, “Jesus is saying you have power by prayer to access and to control things you do not see.”Fazal concluded his message by saying that God can “supernaturally show up to a suicide bomber and say, ‘You are not going to blow all these people up … Your plan was to kill thousands and thousands of people… no, no no.’”It is the prayer of the church that has prevented thousands of more deaths that the terrorists had planned, he said. “What if we were to fully believe that?”VIDEO: https://youtu.be/z-NHn5QZ7MgOn the Web:Mosaic Church: http://mosaicchurch.tv/ Naeem Fazal message podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mosaic-church-charlotte-nc/id305083938?mt=2 Ex-Muslim book: http://exmuslimbook.com/ Photo captions: 1) Naeem Fazal. 2. Book cover. [...]
Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:39:00 +00001. American Sniper
Sun, 13 Dec 2015 06:18:00 +0000By Scott A. Morgan, Special to ASSIST News ServiceNIGERIA (ANS – Dec. 12, 2015) -- When one hears or thinks of Christian persecution that is occurring inside Nigeria the first thoughts seemingly focus on the Boko Haram Militancy that started in the Northeastern part of the Country and has been able to spread outside of Nigeria to its neighbors.The State in question is Taraba, which lies to the south of the Area where the Islamists have focused their insurgency which are the States of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. It also forms part of the border with Cameroon. Like several other States in Nigeria, Taraba had had one person dominate the political landscape. That person is Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and while researching this article, a search was conducted regarding the political landscape of Taraba and I discovered that his website was taken down by theNigerian Authorities. It is believed that nothing happens in the State without his knowledge.The question now is who is the guilty party? It is reported that they are the Fulani’s, a nomadic tribe that resides in the area. According to a report documented by the Nigeria Conflict Security Analysis Network, and analyzed by World Watch Research, which is part of Open Doors International, the numbers, especially related to the Fulani’s, are staggering. Using data collected between December 2013 and July 2015 the following incidents have taken place within Taraba State:* 1,484 Christians have been killed which are broken down into 532 men, 507 women and 445 children.* 2,388 were injured which were broken down into 1,069 men, 817 women and 502 children.* 171 Churches were destroyed, 314 homes, and 39 shops and businesses.At this time there are 10 IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camps open within the State currently housing 11,898 People. In Benue State there are six camps open and housing 12,664 IDPs. An estimated 10,000 more IDPs are camped along the Nigerian-Cameroonian Border as well. What is a concern is that it is estimated that this covers only 50% of the reported atrocities against the Christians committed by the Fulani’s.Earlier this year Nigerians elected a New President, Muhammadu Buhari, to deal with a myriad of issues such as a poor economy and the Boko Haram insurgency. These concerns have easily overshadowed the events that have occurred in Taraba. It has been recommended that the UN Human Rights Council send a Commission of Inquiry to the region (Middle Belt) The focus will be to determine if ethnic/religious cleansing is taking place in this state.No data regarding violence against Muslims has been collected to determine how they have suffered in this area. It feels that some type of cleansing process is taking place to support the Boko Haram insurgency. This is also something that the US Embassy in Nigeria and the Congress need to investigate so that the proper discussions could be held with the Government in Abuja.The region is already in a precarious state. Nothing else that will inflame tensions needs to occur. It’s time for Abuja and its allies/donors to face some critical questions. Such why is the UN interested in the Atrocities there and not in the Northeast? Why is the Nigerian government focused more on Boko Haram as a threat to National Security than what is occurring in Taraba?Photo captions: 1) Shocking image of some of the Christians who have perished in Nigeria. 2) Fulani herdsmen on the attack. 3) A Church destroyed by Islamists in Nigeria. 4) Scott A. Morgan.About the writer: Scott A. Morgan has been the President of Red Eagle Enterprises since its ince[...]
Thu, 10 Dec 2015 07:29:00 +0000by davidtmyersThe story of the Covenanters defeated at Bothwell Bridge and sent aboard the Crown of London as slaves is a sobering story. There are pictures on the web of the monument on the coast of Orkney near the sea as well as the Covenanter Fountain in Kirkland.Covenanters in the Crown of LondonFollowing the disastrous Battle at Bothwell Bridge on June 22, 1679, in which Covenanters were defeated in the battle, close to 1200 Covenanter prisoners were taken to Edinburgh and imprisoned in a make shift, open air prison next to Greyfriars Kirk (church). Some were tortured and killed immediately. Others died of natural conditions due to the harsh conditions of the site. Others were pardoned and set free under the August 14th Act of Indemnity that same year. But our attention today focuses in on the approximately 257 alleged ringleaders, including Covenanter ministers, who were sentenced to be shipped to the West Indies or Virginia as white slaves. Setting sail from Leith, Scotland, on the prison ship, Crown of London, on November 27, 1679, they sailed only a short while before bad weather forced them into a port.Despite warnings from the locals to not attempt to sail, they had hardly cleared the land mass when the ship lost its anchor on December 10, 1679, striking rocks off of Dearness.The captain, Thomas Teddico, described as a profane, cruel wretch, ordered the crew to escape by chopping down the mast and riding it to the shore. The prisoners in the hold, who had their hatches chained to prevent them from escaping, were left to their own straits. All of them perished, with the exception of around 50 who were enabled to escape by means of a ax which one prisoner had with him. During the next several days, bodies of the dead prisoners washed up at the beaches, and subsequently were buried in the area.Of those who managed to escape, six prisoners were caught and shipped to the Barbados as slaves. Eight other Covenanters were shipped to the English plantations in Virginia. Some escaped to Ulster. At least two families in the port area claimed to be descended from a few Covenanters who stayed where they landed.On August 22, 1888, a majestic granite monument [pictured at right] was erected about 300 yards from the spot where the Crown of London went down. It has the following memorial etched on its side: "Erected by public subscription to the memory of 200 Covenanters who were taken prisoner at Bothwell Bridge and sentenced to transportation for life, but who perished by shipwreck near this spot, 10th December 1679." Another memorial is found in nearby Kirkwall and is known as the Covenanter Water Fountain, built just two years later in 1890 due to excess funds left over from the original monument.Words to Live By:Our spiritual forefathers suffered much for the Savior in their battles to win the Reformation. They deserve to be remembered by all Presbyterians everywhere for their sacrifices for the kingdom of Christ. In so remembering, you the reader may be informed that black African slaves were not the only ones shipped to these shores. White slaves -- Covenanter slaves -- also were sent to our shores. Don't forget their sacrifices. Remember their sacrifices as we approach the coming year.[...]
Wed, 09 Dec 2015 08:44:00 +00001. As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey ArcherArcher is one of the great storytellers of our time. He takes a barrow boy from the East End and follows him becoming a department store magnate with a seat in the Lords. There is the story of a feud with another family, a tale of romance going wrong and illegitimacy where children are kept from knowledge of their parentage. Heirs are hunted in the Antipodes. The story twists and turns and has its surprises.2. Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore I found Moore's first volume to be excellent and he has once again produced a very detailed and thorough account, this time of the years after the 1982 Falklands war until her third and final general election victory, the only PM to win three elections in a row in the 20th century. Five years in over 700 pages. Some chapters are more gripping than others because of the nature of their subjects. Her ups and downs with Reagan, the development of her relationship with Gorbachev, the miners' strike, the Brighton bomb, South Africa and how others viewed her., these are the most interesting. Westland and party infighting are not so fascinating. Once again, Moore is no hagiographer. He paints her warts and all. She talked too much and sometimes did not want to listen. Kind to ordinary people around her she often had poor relations with her ministers and treated some badly. In the case of Geoffrey Howe, that came back to haunt her. I was surprised to learn of tensions with Tebbit who I always thought of as her tough guy. She was indeed a Marmite character. Moore shows how and why she was both loved and hated. Roll on volume three. How long will we have to wait?3. Radical Puritans in England 1550 - 1660 (Seminar Studies In History) by R.J. AchesonAn excellent brief introduction to dissent from the established Church of England. It starts with a few isolated separatists and ends with a great diversity in dissent during the Commonwealth. The English desire not to conform seems to come out as a national trait. But there is alsp the folly of trying to enforce conformity. Laud and his followers would have probably survived their professed Arminianism but forcing others to keep all their ceremonies, that was folly.4. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham Another gripping thriller from the master of legal fiction, Sebastian Rudd is the lawyer who will defend the people other lawyers will not help. He is the only admirable character in the story. But I do want to ask if United States laws, prosecutors and police can really be this bad. The criminals are worse but not a lot. Grisham keeps the reader's attention. I am not going to be a spoiler but I found the ending rather flat. The moral of the story seems to be that if you hire a good lawyer, take his advice.5. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Christopher CatherwoodThis book is by the eldest grandchild of the renowned preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He writes to introduce modern Christians to the man considered by many to be the greatest preacher of the last century. He starts with biography then moves on to more controversial matters. Firstly he rightly sees Lloyd-Jones distinguishing matters of primary importance for Christian fellowship from secondary matters. But no distinction is offered between individual Christian fellowship and the difference when it is fellowship between local churches. The somewhat idiosyncratic view of[...]
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 06:45:00 +0000BY R. J. RUSHDOONY "The news about the public schools gets worse daily. We read now that in San Francisco lesbians and male homosexuals are allowed to visit that city's high schools to explain and defend homosexuality to the students. No such right is given to Christians. Indeed, we read frequently of a teacher fired somewhere for doing no more than giving favorable treatment to the Bible. What can we expect of a country that does this? What kind of future do we have? Psalm 94:20 declares, "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship which frameth mischief by a law?" The Berkeley Version renders this verse thus: "Can a corrupt government be allied with Thee, one that organizes oppression under the pretense of law?" This, of course, we have been doing for some time now, organizing oppression under the pretense of law. In one area after another, law has ceased to be a protection to the righteous and has become an oppression. Our laws and the godly citizens. It has become dangerous to have a new law: it winds up penalizing us rather than the criminals. In the face of all this, students are taught, "there's nothing perverted about being a gay," and they are taught to "act out gay roles." At the same time, last November the U. S. Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in all schools! Perhaps the judges felt it would be traumatic or upsetting for children ( those who have learned to read ) to see such statements as "Thou shalt not steal." Under the circumstances, what can we expect from God except judgment? Should we be surprised or upset if the years ahead become grimmer and grayer? Remember, there may not be justice in our schools and courts, but there is in God's universe." - A Word in Season, V. p. 12-13 [ permission to reprint granted by the Rev. Mark Rushdoony ]. (2014)[...]
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 05:51:00 +0000By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service, who was born in NigeriaGWOZA, NIGERIA (ANS – December 6, 2015) -- Mercy, a 22-year-old woman from Borno State in north-east Nigeria, was abducted in June 2014 when Boko Haram overran the small town of Gwoza where she lived. She speaks here for the first time about her five weeks in captivity, where she was forced into a marriage, made to watch multiple killings and felt compelled to submit to her captors’ demands to follow Islam.According to World Watch Monitor (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org), Mercy’s town of Gwoza sits at the foot of the Mandara mountain range on Nigeria’s eastern border with Cameroon. In 2009, Boko Haram started moving into the area and setting up camp in hills next to the village.In June 2014, members of Boko Haram overran the town and declared it an Islamic caliphate. At least 100 people were killed in the attack.AbductionWWM said that the insurgents arrived in Mercy’s neighbourhood in the middle of the night. She and her father - her mother had died 10 years before - were at home by themselves when they struck.“Everyone in the town ran to save themselves. My dad and I were separated. I don’t know what happened to him. I think he died the same way many others died, because they refused to deny Christ,” she said.Earlier in 2015,World Watch Monitor heard how Boko Haram members had shot Christian men in their homesfor refusing to deny their faith. (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2015/03/article_3784577.html).The attackers burned down Mercy’s house before six of them marched her and four other women into the hills, where a vehicle was waiting to take them to the nearby town of Mubi, which had also fallen to the insurgents.“All the way there they kept threatening us. They told us if we did not obey every command once we got to the camp, we would be beaten severely.” The intimidation worked. No one moved or spoke a word, Mercy said.CaptivityThe “camp” consisted of a few houses close to each other. “When we got to the place, there were about 50 other women. I recognized many other Christians, who had now become Muslims and were forced to undergo Islamic teaching.”WWM continued by saying that Mercy could only guess what was in store for her. “My first day was like hell. I cried all day and all night. I prayed like never before and asked God to give me courage.”The next morning, Mercy and the others were taken to a clearing for questioning. They were asked to become Muslims and to marry Boko Haram members.“The four other girls were very scared and immediately agreed. I pleaded that they allow me to remain a Christian, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. They beat me and told me to never mention Christianity in the camp again. Then they told me that they would arrange a husband for me.”From that day onwards, Mercy was forced to attend Islamic teaching along with the others.“We were forced to attend prayers at 5am. After that, we were sent to amadrassa [Islamic school]. There was only a short break. After we were given a little food, we returned to the madrassa. They constantly told us to work hard for the advancement of Boko Haram. In the afternoon we were dispersed to do our chores, such as washing the men’s clothes.”Arranged marriage“I also received a husband a few weeks later,” says Mercy. She doesn’t want to give details about the arranged marriage. All she says is, “Every single day came with tears and fears f[...]
Sat, 05 Dec 2015 15:24:00 +0000by archivistOn December 5, 1973, the second day of the first General Assembly was underway for the National Presbyterian Church. In fact, it was on this second day of that General Assembly that the original name of the denomination was chosen. A year later the young denomination voted to change its name, choosing the name Presbyterian Church in America. Shortly after the formation of the Presbyterian Church in America, Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer composed the following thoughts in observance of that event. Notable in his mind was the contrast between the divisions of the 1930's and the 1970's and the manner in which each of these divisions had been conducted. Dr. Schaeffer's message, titled "A Step Forward", was subsequently published in THE PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL, 6 March 1974, pages 7-8.Photo source: Picture taken from the February 1973 issue of One in Christ, the Bulletin of the National Presbyterian and Reformed Fellowship."A STEP FORWARD"The formation of the National Presbyterian Church is a step forward in the Lord's work in our chaotic age!As a life-long Presbyterian and now a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, I have had a deep interest in the Presbyterian Church US since my days at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, from which I graduated in 1935.Even at that time it was evident that Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., was a source of liberalism in the pulpits of the PCUS. Through the years I have seen no sign that the situation is improving.To me, practicing the principle of the purity of the visible Church is a part of the command of the word of God. In the PCUS, good men have tried unsuccessfully to practice this principle by combating clearly false teachings at the center of Christian truth. These include the older rationalistic liberalism and the new neo-orthodox, existential liberalism. After having failed to bring purity into the Church, they chose the only way to be obedient--they practiced the principle in reverse and withdrew.Thirty-eight years ago such a division occurred in the Northern Presbyterian Church. Those in the Presbyterian Church US have showed more than long patience in their efforts to bring improvements in their Church from within. However, the formation of the National Presbyterian Church should not be seen as the ending but a beginning.It would be tragic if the National Presbyterian Church made the same mistakes which were made in the Presbyterian Church in the North. True brethren who have not felt led by the Lord to leave the PCUS should be treated with dignity and a loving beauty. There are two reasons for this:Observable LoveFirst, Jesus taught that the mark of the Christian is the observable love shown among all true believers. Second, by keeping the lines open to these men--not as a stratagem but as loving obedience to Christ's commands--the National Presbyterian Church will continue to offer a viable alternative. In the days ahead, the pressures will increase through the further growth of liberal control and the almost certain coming union with the United Presbyterian Church USA. I pray that mistakes made years ago in the North will not be repeated today.The vision of the National Presbyterian Church should not end here. We must keep our distinctives as to the Reformed position, which we believe are true to the Scripture, and it should be natural to have close contacts with other true Presbyterian b[...]
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 20:52:00 +0000In the Name of Allah the Passionate the Merciful The document of safety pledge that has been given by the IS to the Nazara (Christians) of Raqqa city (in Syria) as long as they comply with the terms of this protectionAll praise is due to Allah Who has honored the Islam with His victory and humiliated the polytheism with His defeat, Who says in His book:(Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah (tribute) willingly while they are humbled. (They acknowledge acquiescence)) At-Tawbah (The Repentance) surah (chapter 9): verse 29. We testify that there is no god save Allah Who has fulfilled His promise, given victory to His servant, honored His soldiers and without being helped He has defeated the combined forces (infidels). There is no god save Allah. We worship none save Him and are sincere to Him in religion even if infidels hate that. We testify that Mohammed is Allah's servant and messenger, may Allah's blessings be upon him, the laughing killer whom his Lord sent with the sword on the specified moment in order to make Allah worshiped alone and Allah has authorized him to fight infidels. We testify that Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary) is Allah's servant, messenger, spirit and word whom He threw down (gave) to Maryam. The Almighty says (Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah , nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant - He will gather them to Himself all together). An-Nisa'(The Weman) surah (chapter 4): verse 172. All praise is gratefully due to Allah for honoring the Islam and the blessing of ability.And yet: this is the safety that has been given by Allah's servant Abu Bakir Al- Baghdadi the prince of the believers (caliph) to the Nazara of Raqqa: he has given them safety for their souls (themselves), their possessions, their churches and their offspring in the city of Raqqa. Their churches are not to be demolished nor will parts of their churches' courtyards be taken nor are their possessions reduced. They will not be compelled to convert nor is one of them got hurt. He has stipulated on them the following terms:1- They are not allowed to build a new abbey, church or monk hermitage in their city nor around it, nor are they allowed to refurbish any existing ones when they get damaged. 2- They are not allowed to show a cross or any of their books in the paths of Muslims or in markets. They are not allowed to use sound amplifiers when they pray or worship.3- They are not allowed to make the reading of their books and their churches' bells heard by Muslims. (They can ring bells inside churches without being heard by Muslims). 4- They must not commit any aggressive actions against IS like giving shelters to the spies or the wanted by IS nor do they help them hide, move nor anything else whether these aggressors are Christians or not. If they know there is a conspiracy against Muslims, they must report. 5- They are not allowed to show any of their worship rituals outside their churches.6- They must not prevent any Christian from converting to Islam if they want to. 7- They must revere Islam and Muslims and must not libel their religion. 8- The[...]