Islamic Sharia law is on the rise in Great Britain as members of the UK parliament are seeking to ban self-established Muslim courts in the nation.
There are approximately 85 Sharia tribunals throughout Great Britain, all of which are run by Islamic judges who rule according to the Koran. There are no appeals following judgment and sentencing.
Sharia courts have been in existence in the country for some time, but in 1996, the passage of the Arbitration Act was seen by Muslims as being a doorway to enforcing Sharia law within British law. Now, some of the cities that have the greatest Muslim concentration, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford, also possess an Islamic court. The Tower Hamlets area is especially stated to be the seat of Sharia rule.
“If people are afraid of having their hands cut, don’t steal,” UK Islamic leader Anjem Choduary told reporters. “If you don’t want to be stoned to death, don’t commit adultery.”
Others state that homosexuals have been publicly beaten in the streets for violating Sharia law, and women have been threatened for not covering themselves with a Burqa.
Some tribunals are not courts at all. It is stated that rulings are sometimes issued at area mosques, especially as they relate to domestic issues, such as family disputes.
As a result of the prevalence of these courts, the Arbitration and Mediation Services Bill is now pending in the UK parliament, which seeks to put an end to Sharia tribunals, especially in England and Wales. Continuing to operate as a legitimate court could result in criminal penalties.
According to Baroness Cox, a Third World campaigner in the country who introduced the measure, a number of women have lodged complaints about the enforcement of Sharia law in the land. She recently debated the matter on the parliament floor.
“I feel betrayed by Britain. I came to this country to get away from all this, but the situation is worse here than in my country of origin,” she relayed one woman as stating.
Religious minorities in India have long faced persecution and resentment by dominant religious groups, but new developments indicate that the discrimination is not solely attributable to religious groups as government entities also become complicit in the acts.
Reports indicate that tribal Christians living in rural areas of India have been continually denied services due to their faith and minority status.
Christians who reside in India’s eastern state of Orissa, an area known for intense fighting between religious groups like Hindus and Christians, have claimed they are being denied access to government scholarships for education based entirely on their religious affiliation.
Local residents expressed anger over claims that authorities in the Kandhamal District have continually denied to issue government documents that are needed for local Christians to attend primary schools, colleges and universities. The injustice is the product of a government program that was created to help disadvantaged people in a Hindu dominated area of the country, according to reports from Christian Solidarity.
This most recent controversy centered on education has increased tensions in an already volatile situation in the Kandhamal District, where over 100 people died in anti-Christian protests in December 2007.
One of the hopeful students affected by these latest developments is Prakash Pradhan, from the Kandho tribe in Pikoredi village. He explained how local government officials told him he would not receive the required documents to attend school because he was a practicing Christian.
You can write pretty much whatever you want, but if you do so you cannot hide behind the financial largesse of the taxpayer.
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s; or, don’t be hypocrites! Leading to various fellow travellers and tiresome anti-Tory types to moan on about censorship and free speech.
In fact, the Mennonites themselves can be a little fuzzy about free speech, as I found out when I was lecturer-in-residence at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.
For a week I delivered a number of speeches on various theological and social issues, and was stunned how secular and even mocking of Christianity some of the students and especially staff were.
Many were also outraged and wanted me silenced for daring to say at a Christian college that Jesus was God, marriage was the union of a man and a woman, and life begins at conception. Perhaps I should have asked for a tax-break.
You see, while the Mennonites are divided and do contain many fine people, their left wing is powerful and, if you’ll forgive the phrase, aggressively pacifist.
This alleged pacifism — itself a misunderstanding of Christ’s teaching — translates less to deploring violence than to opposing the United States, capitalism, the West, and more recently Israel.
They’re intensely political and they detest the Conservative government.
And all that is being said here by the authorities is that nobody is above the law or the tax code, and that while you have a right to speak your mind, you need to do so with an honest heart and clean hands.
In an open letter to black evangelicals, Michael Brown candidly asks whether they compromised their beliefs by voting for the re-election of President Barack Obama.
“Are you guilty, on any level, of blind allegiance to the Democratic party? And, on Election Day, did any of you compromise your convictions out of racial solidarity?” the radio show host and author of A Queer Thing Happened to America wrote Tuesday on Townhall.com.
“I simply do not understand how my black evangelical friends who so staunchly oppose same-sex marriage and who stand against abortion could cast their vote for the most radically pro-abortion, pro-gay-activist president in our history,” he said as a fellow evangelical.
According to exit polls from last Tuesday’s presidential election, 93 percent of African-American voters backed Obama, a slight drop from 95 percent in 2008. Still, an analysis by The New Republic concludes that black turnout or support for Obama “might have exceeded ’08 levels.”
The Apostle Paul once wrote that “faith comes by hearing,” but what about those who can’t hear? Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), the world’s leading audio Bible ministry, announced Monday that it has added to its collection of audio recordings a video-based Bible application for the deaf.
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are about 70 million deaf people in the world today; FCBH estimates indicate less than two percent of them have been reached with the Gospel message. Over 690 audio recordings of the New Testament have been made available by FCBH, but on Monday the organization announced its first ever sign language-based Bible app.
“When I took on the mission to get God’s Word to every person, I assumed He meant every person,” said Jerry Jackson, founder and president of FCBH, in a statement (emphasis Jackson’s). “If the Deaf community worldwide were taken as a whole, they would be the fourth largest unreached people group in the world.”
The free app, Deaf Bible.is, not only allows deaf users to read the Scriptures, but it also allows them to watch videos of people signing in American Sign Language (ASL).
They should go after the ‘deafqueers‘ first…
Reports are circulating about a book written by a Florida professor that was released prior to the election, which equates Barack Obama to Jesus and declares that his God-given mission is to bring “heaven on earth.”
The Gospel According to Apostle Barack was written by Florida A&M professor Barbara A. Thompson, who states that she was given a series of dreams by God in which she was able to realize Obama’s purpose as the leader of the free world. She says that after God answered her prayers to heal her son Gibran, who was badly injured in an accident, God told her to “go on a journey with Apostle Barack.”
“His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or ‘heaven here on earth,’” she writes in her book description on Amazon. “[A]s I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid, something miraculous happened. I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night.”
“Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society; Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society for the middle class and working poor,” she continued. “Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of ‘heaven here on earth’ for his followers.”
She said that Obama had provided all of the solutions to the nation’s problems during speeches made from 2007-2009.
“Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a ‘heaven here on earth,’” she claimed. “For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.”
The 220-page book also outlines the various accomplishments of Obama during his first term in office, calling them the “good news.”
According to the student newspaper at Florida A&M University, just days before the election, Thompson hosted a book signing at the university’s Southside Arts Complex, where she was greeted by an estimated 100 supporters.
“I know this book will be inspiring,” Jeema Richardson, a senior English student from Jacksonville, Florida told The Famuan at the signing. “I picked up my copy today and I’m eager to start reading about her revelations.”
The Chinese government forced some 160 Catholic priests and nuns in the Shanghai diocese to attend three days of classes on socialism, the Communist Party, and their duty to China. The move came after priest Thaddeus Ma Daqin left the Communist Party-run Patriotic Catholic Association as was ordained as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. The government has confined Ma to a seminary since his ordination.
This is a post about the sacredness of sex in marriage. The mechanics of it, I mean. Consider yourselves warned.
When I was about 13 years old the pastor of the small Baptist church I attended as a child took to the pulpit to rail about the evils of oral sex. He was gone not long after that, ostensibly because of the children in the pews, but I don’t really know. Clearly this was before the days when oral sex was nothing more than a way middle schoolers passed time on the bus ride home.
As a young wife and mother, I read Mary Pride’s The Way Home. In it she went to great lengths to discredit all forms of sex besides vanilla, missionary position style sexual activity in marriage. Because of my fervent belief in wifely submission even then, I summarily dismissed her opinion of what is right for me and my husband to engage in when we shut our bedroom door. Nevertheless, it was clear to me that the issue of what is considered an acceptable sex act, even in marriage, was something that has been a hot topic for quite some time.
The editorial staff of this blog is primarily Catholic. I am the lone
tokenProtestant voice, and when we discuss these issues the default assumption is that the Catholic approach to sex and marriage is more sacred, more chaste than the Protestant position. While on the surface it may appear that way, I have on a number of occasions respectfully disagreed.
The question that inspired this post was about oral sex. Does it violate natural law?
Protestants do not have Biblical add-ons such as the Magisterium or the Theology of the Body to guide us when making these decisions. The general consensus among Protestants is that whatever a man and wife agree to do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business. I agree fully with this even though we are, as in many areas, quite Catholic in our approach.
The Catholic position as I understand it is this. Oral stimulation as foreplay is acceptable. Oral copulation is considered sodomy, therefore not sex, and the spilling of the man’s seed anywhere beside a wife’s vagina undermines the sacredness of sex, ignores the procreative nature of sex, and defies natural law.The Catholic position also leaves little argument of this; that what’s good for the goose is not at all good for the gander, since the goose has no seed to spill.
But what does the Scripture say?
Paul warns us about the dangers of moving away from “the natural use” of sex. I am aware that he was referring to homosexuality. Still, it would be obtuse of us to ignore that any sexual relationship that depends more heavily on activities that ignore the key and lock design God created to solidify the one flesh union and bring forth life potentially defiles the marriage bed.
There are passages in the Song of Solomon that theologians interpret as a clear reference to oral sex, and I agree. This is not a picture of couple following rules and doing their duty solely for the purposes of procreation. They are enjoying one another in every way. It’s a beautiful picture of sexuality in marriage. Passages such as these come to mind:
(Bride) Awake, O north wind And come, wind of the south Make my garden breathe out fragrance Let its spices be wafted abroad May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits! (4:16)
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest So is my beloved among the young men In his shade I took great delight and sat down And his fruit was sweet to my taste. (2:3)
We can argue whether or not the increase in freedom that Christians claim a right to is simply an extension of our pornographic culture, and whether the elevation of the sensual to the level of preeminence at the expense of spiritual oneness and the procreative nature of sex is damaging to marriages. These are valid questions and each couple should examine them closely for themselves.
Given the often repeated meme that most marriages are miserable and sexless, I am loathe to attempt to use religion to discourage couples from doing the things they enjoy within the confines of matrimony. When Scripture offers no clear prohibition, married believers should enjoy their sexual relationship in whatever way they feel comfortable. This is certainly preferable to the alternative, where ambiguous rules not in found in Scripture overshadow the beauty of uninhibited marital pleasure.
Catholics, of course, will disagree. Oh well!
The Vatican says it will never stop insisting that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, after gay marriage initiatives scored big wins this week in the U.S. and Europe.
In a front-page article in Saturday’s Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See sought to frame itself as the lone voice of courage in opposing initiatives to give same-sex couples legal recognition.
Catholic teaching holds that homosexuals should be respected and treated with dignity but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” The Vatican also opposes same-sex marriage, insisting on the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman as the foundation for society.
The Vatican’s anti-gay marriage media blitz came after three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in the election that returned Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency, Spain upheld its gay marriage law and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized early next year.
“One might say the church, at least on this front, has been defeated,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote. “But that’s not the case.”
The article insisted that Catholics were putting up a valiant fight to uphold church teaching in the face of “politically correct ideologies invading every culture of the world” that are backed by institutions like the United Nations, which last year passed a non-binding resolution condemning anti-gay discrimination.
“The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity, the only check … to the breakup of the anthropological structures on which human society was founded,” it said.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, for his part, said gays can have their rights protected by means other than through legal marital recognition.
He stressed that children should have a right to say they have a father and a mother.
“If not, then why not contemplate freely chosen polygamy, and naturally so as to not discriminate, polyandry?” he asked sarcastically. Polyandry is when a woman has two or more husbands.
The Papists are not the sole critics of modernity, much as they may wish to ‘present’ themselves as such (according to this); we confessional Protestants also are there, too, as are evangelicals, and Eastern Orthodox, too; and outside of orthodox Christianity, there are others such as Mormons and Muslims who also are alongside in terms of being critics of modernity.
Pope Benedict will join the army of Twitter users across the world and set up his personal account on the popular social network. He is expected to start using it by the end of the year, Vatican officials have confirmed.
Pope Benedict XVI reportedly won’t be going at full length with his texts, which are reduced to 140 characters on Twitter. His messages will be put in a nut shell, mostly featuring updates on his activities and words of wisdom.
Source: RT. Read full article. (link)
A Texas woman claims that a polling place forced her to cover up her “Vote the Bible” shirt she was wearing or she would not be allowed to vote.
Texas Values is representing Kay Hill after Williamson County election workers told her that her shirt was deemed “offensive” and that she either needed to change her shirt or cover the words up in order to vote at Taylor City Hall on Oct. 24.
“This is obviously a religious free expression and no one should be put in a position having to choose religious freedom over deciding to vote,” Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, told KTBC-TV.
Hill eventually complied with election workers and covered-up the words in order to vote.
Williamson County officials say Hill’s shirt violated electioneering laws.
“Electioneering or loitering within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place or inside the polling place is not allowed,” Connie Watson, public affairs director for Williamson County, told KTBC. “Electioneering would cover wearing a hat, a pen, a T-shirt or a sign that would indicate a position for a political party, candidate or a proposition.”
Saenz disagrees that Hill violated any sort of electioneering law.
“Electioneering only prohibits supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party,” Saenz told the Austin American-Statesman. “The Bible is not candidate or a ballot measure.”
Saenz is calling on the county to apologize to Hill, but officials say they won’t because what they did was right.
“We back the actions of our appointed elections workers at the county and precinct level,” Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis told the American-Statesman. “If a citizen does not agree, they need to follow the proper channels to complain.”
Hill is expected to file a complaint Friday with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has warned that it may shut its doors to pilgrims in protest at a dispute with an Israeli water company.
The church, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, has had its bank account frozen at the request of Hagihon over an unpaid $2.3m bill.
The dispute has left hundreds of priests, monks and teachers unpaid.
The church has traditionally not been charged for water, but Hagihon says it is owed money for the past 15 years.
According to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, there was a tacit agreement between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem – which, along with the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Franciscan Custos, is jointly responsible for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre’s administration – and a former mayor of the city that the church would be exempt from water bills.
But in 2004, Hagihon sent a demand to the church for 3.7m shekels ($950,000; £590,000). It was backdated to when the company took over the water supply in the late 1990s.
The Patriarchate reportedly believed it was a mistake because Hagihon did not press it to pay. The company is now demanding that the bill, which has risen to 9m shekels ($2.3m; £1.4m) including interest, be settled.
A Hagihon spokesman said Israeli law did not permit any exemptions.
Thank goodness “The other Christian denominations which jointly manage the church are said to support the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in its battle.”, unlike in another similarly-shared church over there where they fight…
Customer complaints have prompted Shoppers Drug Mart to shut off its Christmas music, but the jolly jingles will be back later in the year.
Spokeswoman Tammy Smitham said the national pharmacy chain normally starts playing holiday tunes at the beginning of November. They had no idea it got on people’s nerves.
But now that the chain has some 45,000 Facebook fans giving feedback in real time, Shoppers has gotten the message.
“We looked at the volume of feedback that we were getting. From the majority, we’ve heard people say it’s too early,” Smitham said.
As of Friday at midnight, Frosty The Snowman and Jingle Bell Rock will be axed for the usual top-40 fare.
But Christmas lovers need not fear — the festive tunes will be back.
“It has not been cancelled. It will be back closer to the holiday season,” Smitham said.
Reactions from customers on Facebook have been mixed. Some said Christmas music should be kept at bay until after Remembrance Day out of respect for veterans.
Others criticized the store for a move they perceived as political correctness run amok.
“It’s the Christmas music that gets everyone in the spirit of the season. Why do we as Canadians have to conform to others and their way?” Wendy Cole wrote in the Facebook comments — a sentiment echoed by others.
Smitham said that while Shoppers has a commitment to diversity in the workplace, “it’s really just people felt it was too early for holiday music.”
Complaints aside, within an hour of making the announcement, more than 2,200 people had “liked” it on Facebook.
More than 2,400 clergy and community leaders gathered in Cairo, Egypt on Monday for the first time in nearly forty years to elect a new Coptic Christian Pope.Pope Shenouda III, who died at the age of 88 earlier this year, had been an important part of the lives of the 8 million-plus Christians who live in Egypt, and who have faced many hardships and violence from the majority Muslim population in the past number of years.
With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in government, Coptics say a new pope is needed to bring some stability and sense of authority for Christians worried about the future.
“The new pope will be a preacher of peace,” said Bishop Basanti, a member of the Coptic church’s Holy Synod. His priorities “will be to demand the rights of the Copts, the rights of all those killed” in violence, as well as freedom of worship, Fox News shared.
The final vote on a new pope will not take place until a ceremony on Sunday, but Monday’s vote is also important because it will narrow down the field to only three candidates. Currently, three monks and two bishops are still in the running.
A pastor in Texas is awaiting his day in court following his arrest this month while preaching at a homosexual pride event.
Pastor Joey Faust says that he and other members of his church, Kingdom Baptist Church in Venus, Texas, were physically blocked by police while attempting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the Fort Worth “Ride the Rainbow” pride parade.
In 2011, Mayor Betsy Price served as co-grand marshal in the parade. Following complaints from homosexuals about the preaching and witnessing of Christians adjacent to a picnic that was a part of the festivities, according to reports, the Fort Worth Police Department resolved to step up its presence at the event.
This year, a homosexual female sergeant from the Fort Worth Police Department served as one of the marshals. It is believed that the sergeant was responsible for coordinating police efforts at the parade.
Faust states that as he and others from his church were preaching and distributing tracts to those in the parade, suddenly, the police formed a human blockade across the public walkway.
“The police lined up [across the street] and said, ‘You can go no further,” he told Christian News Network. “We were forbidden to cross the street and they wouldn’t tell us if we were being detained.”
Faust said that as he stood for some time watching others being allowed to pass by the human blockade, except for anyone that was present to witness to attendees, it became obvious that the police had an agenda.
“Christians who were in support of homosexuals were allowed to cross the street,” he stated. “A Christian walked by me right in front of the officers, and said, ‘I’m here with my family and some of them are homosexuals.’”
Faust then asked police why they were specifically restricting those that oppose homosexuality.
“I asked, ‘Why are they allowed to pass?’” he said. “They were just quiet.”
“At that point, I took a step and attempted to cross,” Faust outlined. “Once I stepped into the street, [the officer] put my hands behind my back.”
Faust and a second church member were then charged with “interfering with public duties,” a class B misdemeanor. He was jailed for 20 hours and held on $1,500 bail. Faust said that the conditions while incarcerated were deplorable.
“They did everything they could to make it as miserable and as difficult as possible,” he remarked. “Everyone was getting [released] far earlier than we were.”
Faust is now required to report to a bail bondsman each week up until his trial, for which he does not yet have a date. He explained that in Fort Worth, the process generally takes 7 to 9 months, and that being held by a bondsman includes abiding by specific terms.
“I can’t leave town,” Faust outlined. “I have to report every Wednesday with a phone call and let them know that I’m here and I didn’t run away.”
If convicted, Faust faces up to 6 months in prison and a $2,000 fine.
May God lay His curse upon the police who take sides and enforce anti-Christian laws and/or interpret laws in anti-Christian manners.
A university dean in Florida, who moonlights as an Episcopal priest and is an admitted lesbian, recently caused controversy after a video surfaced on the web that provided snippets of a lecture she delivered to her Epistemology class, in which she discusses religion and evolution.
“This is a book of myth, and that’s going to offend some of you,” stated professor Lesley Northup of Florida International University’s Honor College in the video. “And I don’t really care.”
“I know that some of you out there are creationists. You really don’t believe in evolution,” another clip reveals. “I personally don’t think you should be allowed to leave this university with that belief.”
Since the release of the video, recorded by a student in Northup’s class, various web outlets have been discussing what Northup meant by her remarks, which they believe to insinuate that students should not be able to graduate as creationists.
However, Northup told Christian News Network that the context of her message was to advise students that she believed they needed to accept evolution as fact and to “keep an open mind” about religion and science. She also stated that the way that she defines “myth” is widely accepted by most professors, but is understood differently by members of the general public.
“By myth we are talking about the stories that people have throughout their lives that give their lives meaning,” she said. “I made the claim that the Bible is myth. [But], I prefaced that by saying that we are not talking about the same kind of myth. … Myth is, in fact, true, but it is not the same kind of truth that we find in science.”
This is your brain on mainline Protestantism. As stupid as evangelicalism; except wrong in everything, exactly opposite Scripture.
Just days before the U.S. presidential election, evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, has suggested that “this could be America’s last call” before the return of Christ, and has asked voters to pray for guidance.
“In just a few days, we in the United States have the privilege of electing the people who will serve in office for the next several years,” Graham writes in a piece titled “This Could Be America’s Last Call…” on the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) website.
“Since we believe this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime, my father and I have taken a strong stand in the past few months to encourage voters to support candidates on the national, state, and local levels who embrace biblical values,” he adds.
“Don’t you guys realize this is the mostest importantest election EVAR?!?!?” Nope; they always say that…
Idiot neocon evanjellyfish churchians.
Same with their idiocy in date-setting. Franklin Graham doesn’t know his Scripture:
For Christians, they sure don’t know their Bible:
Especially to my fellow confessional Protestants (Reformed and Lutheran).
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked up 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. With this act, he hoped to provoke a discussion among the scholars about the abuses of the indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. He was not trying to create a public furor by any means, but within a fortnight, these theses had spread through the country like wildfire. The last thing Luther had in mind was to start some kind of major controversy, but nevertheless major controversy did begin.
From the discussions at Wittenberg, the disputations began to accelerate and escalate. Copies of the theses reached Rome and critical meetings were scheduled with the young monk. In these debates, Luther was maneuvered into proclaiming publicly that he had questions about the infallibility of church councils and also that he thought that it was possible that the pope could err. In 1520 a papal encyclical was issued which condemned Martin Luther as a heretic. Luther burned the document in a public bonfire and his defiance before the church was now a matter of record.
In response, Martin Luther picked up his pen to challenge the entire penitential system of the Roman Catholic Church, which undermined in principle the free remission of sins that is ours in the gospel. By doing so, he was unswervingly advocating his commitment to sola fide, the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
In 1521, Luther was summoned to the Imperial Diet, an authoritative meeting that involved the princes of the church, called by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire to be held in the city of Worms in Germany. Luther was an outlaw. For him to appear at the Diet was to risk his very life; therefore, he was given safe conduct by the Emperor to attend. With a few friends, Luther traveled from Wittenberg to Worms. The eyewitnesses of that episode tell us that when Luther’s little covered wagon appeared around the corner of the bend, there were lookouts posted in the church tower at Worms. All the people were agog waiting for the arrival of this notorious person. When Luther’s caravan was sighted, people were throwing their hats in the air, blowing trumpets, and creating all the fanfare of the arrival of the hero. It was the 16th century answer to a ticker-tape parade.
Things, however, became very solemn in a hurry because the next day he appeared before the Diet. His books were stacked on a table in the room, and he was asked and ordered to recant of his writings. This surprised Luther because he thought he was going to have an opportunity to defend his writings; but the only question really of any importance that was asked of him was this: “Are these your writings?” And when he said yes, they said, “Are you ready to recant of them?”
Hollywood has their version of Luther standing there boldly with his fist in the air saying, “Here I stand!” and so on. But instead he dropped his chin on his chest and muttered something that nobody could understand, so they asked him to speak up. “What did you say?” He said, “May I have 24 hours to think about it.” And so Luther was granted a reprieve of 24 hours to return to his room to contemplate the seriousness of this occasion.
The prayer that Luther wrote in that ensuing 24-hour period was one of the most moving prayers I have ever read in my life. In that prayer, Luther cried out for God in his sense of total loneliness fearing that God had abandoned him, and proclaimed, “O Lord, I am Thine, and the cause is Thine, give me the courage to stand.”
And on the morrow, Luther was called once again back to the court and was told to reply to the question. He said to the Diet, “Unless I am convinced by sacred Scripture or by evident reason, I cannot recant, for my conscience is held captive by the Word of God, and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.” And with that there was an instant uproar.
The Emperor himself later indicated his regret that he even gave Luther a safe conduct, and immediately put a new price on his head. As Luther was leaving the city, his friends staged a kidnapping to protect him and took him away in a fast horse through the forest. They hid him for a year in Wartburg at the castle disguised as a knight. During that year, Luther undertook the task of translating the Bible from the biblical languages into German. And that perhaps was his most important legacy of that time – that he made the Bible available to the common people. And with that the Reformation was born.
—R.C. Sproul (from the series, Heroes of the Christian Faith)
Here‘s the great hymn of the Reformation, writen by Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.
A high-ranking military officer is continuing to fight after losing his teaching job over complaints from Muslim groups about the content discussed in his class.
Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley is a decorated Army veteran, who has served in the Armed Forces for nearly 20 years. He was also an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University, where Dooley was reportedly well-received.
However, after the federal government received complaints from over 50 Muslim groups for teaching a course on “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” he was given a negative Officer Evaluation Report — the equivalent of being blacklisted. Dooley states that his course had been approved by the military a number of years ago, and it was not until complaints were received that he was ordered to stop.
“It was a course that had been going on at the National Defense University since 2004,” Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel at the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Dooley, told reporters. “His superiors knew what the course was all about. The first time they evaluated him … as an instructor there, they rated him outstanding [and] indicated that he should be moved as quickly as possible to a command position.”
However, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff labeled Dooley’s class as being “against our values.”
The complaints that brought the matter to Dempsey’s attention, and to others within the government, came in the form of a letter that was sent to a number of federal agencies, including the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
“The undersigned Muslim, Arab and South Asian organizations write regarding the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam,” it read. “The seriousness of this issue cannot be overstated, and we request that the White House immediately create an interagency task force to address this problem…”