“Would The Devil Write it?”

A Florida church has decided that the best way for them to publicly represent Christ is to burn copies of the Qur’an on 9/11/10.

Presumably, this church headed by Pastor Terry Jones (below) adheres to the teachings of the Son of God who when asked by His opponents what the greatest commandment is, responded with this,

‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.


Like Hilary Faye, Pastor Terry Jones is filled with Christ’s love. As if you couldn’t tell by the suit…

I fail to see how this Qur’an burning carries out the second greatest commandment. The book burning in Acts 19 can hardly be used as a precedent. What the Ephesians did there was publicly making their repentance known. By burning their sorcery books they were saying Jesus trumps sorcery, incantations and the occult. I find it hard to believe that the folks at this Florida church are repentant Muslims.

Predictably and justifiably so, there has been public outcry over this church’s planned bonfire. Young American Muslim, a Houston Chronicle blogger, has chimed in with a post titled, Burn a Quran Day is Hateful and Ignorant.

Read more of this post

Taiwan Loves Jesús

[Photo credit: AP]

Jim Rome talks to a Soccer Writer?

This morning as I perused my daily haunts and came across an interesting article in the soccer section of Sports Illustrated. The piece was written by Greg Lalas:

U.S. team, an improved MLS fuel growing buzz for sport in America

You might have heard of Greg’s Brother, Alexi, Lalas

This is what many Mexicans think Jesus looked like

Lalas’ thesis is that maybe, just maybe interest in the beautiful game might just be picking up here in these United States. He lays out reasons which by all accounts seem legit.

However, there is one indicator which might trump any of the good ones Mr. Lalas lays out. Jim Rome is actually going to legitimately talk soccer on his show today. He’s talking to Grant Wahl who wrote the controversial book, The Beckham Experiment: How the World’s Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America.

I know that Rome has flip-flopped on other sports (i.e. NASCAR and horse racing), but he’s on record as vowing never to capitulate to soccer. In fact, his recalcitrancy drew the ire of former Team USA player Eric Wynalda who had some unkind words for Rome back in 2007.

We’ll see how this goes, I’m assuming Wahl is familiar with Rome’s loathing for soccer.

Here’s one of Rome’s rants against fake injuries in soccer, which as a fan of fútbol, I strongly object to as well:

Update: This is how the interview ended

Wahl: Nice talking soccer with you Jim

Rome: Thanks Grant, let’s not make it a habit

Hahahaha

Michael Vick’s Pay Cut

Our economy is not the strongest that much is clear. Perhaps no one has taken a bigger pay cut in the last couple of years than former Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick.

Granted, his “pay cut” was due to a rash of bad decisions he made which subsequently landed him in the clink.

According to this story, “Vick wants to play, but what team would risk it?”,

In 2006 [Vick] made nearly $15 million. Recently he reported total income of $12.89 for an entire month.

That’s $12.89 as in 12 dollars and 89 cents. This from someone who, before things went terribly bad, categorized a $1,000 check to his mother as “chump change.”

Guau… Provided my math is correct, that is a 97,000% pay cut. Ouch!

Here’s Vick making $7211/hr.

michael-vickStreeter Lecka / Getty Images

Here is an excerpt from Vick’s statement after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges,

I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.

Here’s hoping that during his time in prison was spent fruitfully in nurturing the relationship he claims to have found, though to be sure it is Jesus who found him and not the other way around.

As for his return to the NFL, why not? It’s not like dog fighting is the unforgivable sin

Coexist

I’m not sure what the artist who created this sticker had in mind. If his point is to call (command? Gasp!) upon people who hold these differing worldviews to get along, who can argue with that?

Hopefully our artist realizes that this is nothing new. In fact in the Gospels, Jesus ups the ante by commanding us to love God and to love our neighbor. Of course, “neighbor” encompasses unregenerate people of any stripe (Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, etc).

However if his point is that these worldviews are ultimately reconcilable (let us not forget that the same Jesus who told us to love God and our neighbor firmly stated this), then I’m afraid he is sadly mistaken and tragically anachronistic in the sense of extrapolating current moods to older traditions. As noted Christians apologist Ravi Zacharias said,

Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.

Whatever the artist’s motivation, this story might be an example of my first speculation:
Fighting for their whiskers

The story is about the D.C. Fire Department making their firefighters shave their beards. However there are Christian, Jewish and Muslim firefighters that for religious reasons will keep theirs. In a sense they are banding together to keep their fuzz.

What better way to Coexist than standing up for beards?

Jesus: Community Organizer

Cute.

For those of you interested, you can but it here.

This shirt does make me wonder if the good folks behind it are as confused as Pilate was regarding who Jesus really IS.

(H/t: Townhall blog)

Why God Never Got Tenure

This has been hanging in my lab’s bulletin board for the past few years, thought I’d post it here (at the risk of having to bear the shrill cry to “lighten up” I’ve provided some commentary, of course):

  1. He had only major publication
  2. It was in Hebrew (and Aramaic and Greek)
  3. Had no references (doesn’t need ’em, HE IS)
  4. It wasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal (Of course…)
  5. Some even doubt He wrote it Himself (to their own peril)
  6. It may be true that He created the world, but what has He done since then? (Deists…)
  7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited
  8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating His results (“Get your own dirt”, LOL)
  9. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects
  10. When one experiment went awry He tried to cover it up by drowning His subjects
  11. When subjects didn’t behave as predicted, He deleted them from the sample
  12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book (not to mention apply the book)
  13. Some say He had His Son teach the class (Well He did…)
  14. He expelled His first 2 students for learning (No, it had to with disobedience)
  15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed His tests (Most? Try all)
  16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop

Charles Barkley and Fake Christians

The following quote is from this story,

And I think these Christians, first of all, they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in the country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they’re Christians. They’re not forgiving at all. — NBA legend Charles Barkley

Sir Charles was a great basketball player who is always good for a sound bite. As for his theological chops, well, his comments are reflective of someone who doesn’t know much about Christianity.

Christians are not supposed to judge those outside of the church, as the Apostle Paul makes clear,

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

If unbelievers (“outsiders” as Paul calls them) want to engage in behavior which is clearly in violation of God’s Law it is not up to us to judge them, God will take care of that as Paul makes clear.

If this is what Sir Charles means when he says “judge other people”, fine and good. However, the problem lies when so-called Christians proudly engage in the type of behavior one finds prevalent amongst unbelievers.

Not only are we as members of the Body of Christ (the Church) supposed to judge, if such “Christians” remain unrepentant, then it is the church’s responsibility to disfellowship them.

To the unbeliever (and admittedly to some Christians) this may sound harsh and may even tempt him to judgmentally call Christians all sorts of unflattering names, but frankly it is a family matter and it does not concern them.

Yes, Sir Charles, the Christian is commanded to forgive but Jesus (you know the Son of God and all) laid out the way that the unrepentant “Christian” is to be dealt with, a cursory read of the process, as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, might be of some use to you before you find doing the very same thing that makes you sick, a “hypocritical judge”.

Modern Man

This is a poem by British journalist Steve Turner (emphasis mine)

Creed

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don’t hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes,
UFO’s and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same –
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then it’s
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will re-adjust.
History will alter.

We believe that there is no absolute truth
except the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

Muslims, Christians, and Peace

Caught this interesting headline from the U.K.:

Muslims tell Christians: ‘Make peace with us or survival of world is at stake’

Whether or not the statement (the focus of the above story) signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars was a veiled threat or not, I cannot say.

Here’s a part of the statement,

“As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes.”

I thought it interesting since the policies of countries whose population is primarily “Christian” (i.e. America) grant Muslims more freedom to worship Allah than countries like Saudi Arabia, whose population is primarily Muslim, grant peoples who hold different convictions.

From what I understand one cannot bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia, it’s not hard to imagine the outrage that would result if the United States of America had a similar policy towards the Qur’an.

This is not to say that xenophobia and prejudice towards Muslims do not exist in the U.S.

Unfortunately they (xenophobia and bigotry) are alive and kicking here in the States and we must all work to improve on this. Yet this can be done without setting our convictions aside and accepting the Muslim belief that Jesus of Nazareth was not God Incarnate and that He didn’t actually die on the cross (they do, of course, rightly accept that Jesus was born of a virgin).

On this there can be no compromise, yet there is no need to resort to hatred or prejudice. On the contrary, we must love our neighbors (Muslim or not, Jesus doesn’t make a distinction) and share with them what Jesus has done on their behalf so that they may be spared the consequences of rejecting Him.