Conflictul din Orientul Mijlociu – O serata Strajerul – 4

Ne-apropiem acum de prezent. Sigur că între anul în care a fost recucerit Ierusalimul de către musulmani și vremea noastră, s-au întâmplat o mulțime de lucruri. S-au întâmplat, între altele, multele persecuții ale evreilor de către creștini, în toată perioada medievală. Și-apoi, pogromurile de la începutul secolului al XX-lea, în Rusia și în Balcani, care au precedat, într-un fel holocaustul. Apoi, holocaustul însuși, când 6 milioane de evrei (din cele circa nouă milioane care trăiau atunci în Europa) au murit. Asta în afară de țigani, de homosexuali, de iehoviști, de comuniști și de alte diverse minorități.

Să mergem mai departe! Câte ceva despre situația actuală. Hărțile pe care le pun acum înaintea voastră sunt hărți stranii, pe care rareori o să le găsiți în presa noastră. Avem de-a face, mai întâi cu felul în care a fost stabilită harta Israelului, readus în granițele lui, în 1948, dar nu în momentul în care a fost înființat statul evreu, ci imediat după ce a avut loc războiul cu arabii, care s-au ridicat foarte rapid împotriva lor, ca stat nou înființat.

 

Nakhba map

În a doua hartă avem de-a face cu un alt fapt care este complet trecut cu vederea în discuțiile despre Israel. Este vorba despre depopularea spațiului care avea să revină Israelului.Read More »

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Ahed Tamimi – Living Resistance Tour

Ahed Tamimi, presently in prison in Israel, the harsh occupier of her home country, Palestine,  is called ‘the Palestinian Jeanne d’Arc’. She has become, at only 16 years old, the most powerful symbol of Palestinian non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

If you want to understand more about why is she considered dangerous to the heavily armed occupier, you may read this well written article, by Nina Fischer.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide – A Prayer Diary for Cuba

cuba_map

“God gives us strength based on our faith. We are fighting for freedom. Our Lord said the truth will set you free and we are fighting for this ideal.” Berta Soler is a human rights activist and the leader of the Ladies in White group. Berta exemplifies the courage and perseverance of Cuba’s human rights activists, church leaders and hundreds of others who face daily harassment just because of what they believe.

Sunday

Fếlix Llerena López is a young religious freedom defender who was arrested three months after an advocacy visit to Washington, DC with CSW. He wasn’t permitted to travel and had even been expelled from university. However, the charges against him have now been dropped: praise God for this good news.Read More »

Dewi Hughes – A Tribute to a Great Man of God


Dewi Arwel Hughes

I just found out that my dear friend Dewi Arwel Hughes went to bee with the Lord. May he rest in peace with the saints!

I met Dewi for the first time in February 2007, at Limuru, in Kenya, in the context of the Lausanne Movement, as we were both called to serve in the Lausanne Theology Working Group, under the leadership of Dr. Christ Wright.


Ruth Padilla, Dewi Hughes, Chris Wright, John Baxter-Brown,
Members of the Lausanne Theology Working Group

Dewi presented there a paper on ecclesiology and ethnicity, which, as I was going to find out, was one of his lifelong passions. My friend was not a nationalist. Far from it. Nevertheless, he was fully dedicated to the preservation and flourishing of the Welsh language. In 2010, when we met for the last time on this side of eternity, he had with him a young Welsh woman that he was mentoring in this area. I remember how impressed I was by the quality of her presentation during the congress, and how proud was Dewi of her. His interest in the theological implications resulted also in his book Castrating Culture: A Christian Perspective on Ethnic Identity from the Margins, published by Paternoster, in 2001.Read More »

Common Prayer

Source: Common Prayer

Blessed Oscar Romero was assasinated 37 years ago. May his memory last forever!

Taxi – Avem alergie

Iata, au inceput sa apara si cintecele legate de protestele actuale. E semn bun.

Yohanna Katanacho – Yom Kippur. A Palestinian Christian Perspective

yom-kippur

Today, we celebrate in Israel the day of atonement or Yom Kippur. It is a day of repentance, humiliation before God, and forgiveness. On this day, there is no eating, no bathing or washing, no anointing, and no marital relations. It is a day dedicated to seeking the forgiveness of God. It is a day in which God expects from those who follow Him to forgive the sins of others.

Can Jews forgive the sins of the nations who attacked and abused them? Can they reflect on their own sins that led our country to the current situation? Can Palestinians forgive the Jewish people? I pray that I will discover my own sins on this day and will seek to forgive and bless all of my neighbors. I also pray that my Jewish neighbors will seek true forgiveness that is much more than just ritual celebrations. Perhaps, the test of Yom Kippur is more than ritual! It is also an ethical one. Furthermore, it seems to me that Jewish ethics today cannot be divorced from the Palestinian question. The latter is the litmus test for the authenticity of celebrating Yom Kippur in Israel in the 21st century. Such forgiveness would change the hearts of the nation as well as its politics leading to the support of a politics of peace and reconciliation rather than war and further alienation. May God answer the desires of all the hearts that seek forgiveness and bless them with true atonement! As a Christian I found this atonement embodied in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross for my own sins. Read More »

Pope, Anglican leader, vow joint action on poverty and environment | Religion News Service

ROME (Reuters) The pledge at a vespers prayer service came despite challenges to greater unity posed by differences over women priests and gay marriage.

Source: Pope, Anglican leader, vow joint action on poverty and environment | Religion News Service

Here are two men I deeply love and respect.

Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump – What is Really at Stake

Source: Four Issues to Consider Before You Vote Trump – What is Really at Stake

Samuel Whitefield’s  text is one of the best articles I have found, on the conservative side, about the dangerous moral and spiritual implications of Christians voting for ridiculous Trump. Reading it, made me shiver again andd again. This is the messag for a true prophet of God.

I will paste below what I consider to be the most significant quotes. I beg you to read the entire text, if you have time. It is really worth it. What Whitefield writes here is true not only for the US, but also for Iohannis’s Romania or for Orban’s Hungary. If yoou  read it, you will know what I mean.

 * * *

To become the prophetic voice the church is intended to be will cost us far more than we think. It is going to be more painful than we think to abandon our fixation with political solutions. We are used to political friendships, and we are used to a measure of respect from the system as a compliant and loyal voting block. I want to reframe what is at stake this election. There is something far bigger than economic policy at stake in 2016 – it is the church’s prophetic voice.Read More »

Valeriu Nicolae – Euro-Narnia and the Queen of Roma

 

Valeriu Nicolae

Roma activist Valeriu Nicolae departs for Euro-Narnia, a parallel world ruled over by the mighty Baroslan whose inhabitants discuss in strange and wonderful terms remedies for the Roma problem. But what is the role of the Queen in all of this?Read More »

BiblioTech – The First ‘Bookless’ Public Library in the World

BiblioTech

During my visit in San Antonio, Tx., in May 2016, I had the privilege of visiting the first completely digital library that was ever open anywhere in the world. I had heard about it before, and I made concrete plans to visit it while in Texas. So, on May 25th, with the gracious help of my friend Rev. Silviu Neagu, we set on the way to look for it, after a visit at the Central Library in San Antonio, where we got the address we needed – 3505 Pleasanton Road, in Bexar [pronounced ‘bear’] County, a 1.7 million members, and rapidly growing.

selfie w Silviu Neagu
Selfie with Rev. Silviu Neagu in front of BiblioTech

As we were driving deeper into the South, the poorest area of San Antonio, my friend was becoming more and more skeptical. It seemed almost impossible to find a library in such a place. Did we have the wrong address? Yet, there it was: Bexar BiblioTech, hosted in a not very large former warehouse space. My heart started pounding. I had found it.

2016-05-23 15.36.29
Rev. Silviu Neagu & Mr. JoseAngel Siller, head of BiblioTech in Pleasanton

As we entered the building, we were greeted by the guard, and the head of this institution, Mr. JoseAngel Siller, who became our guide during this visit. He had, among other things, a master’s degree in philosophy of religion, and seemed to be a religious man, even if he did not make too much out of it.

2016-05-23 15.08.16 2016-05-23 15.10.42 2016-05-23 15.13.10

One of the first things one sees on the wall after entering the building is the ‘tecolote’ [owl, in Spanish], the mascot and at the very same time the digital app of the library. As you scan it with your phone or table camera, you enter the virtual world of this technological miracle.Read More »

Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel – EthicsDaily.com

By: Brian Kaylor Southern Baptists at their annual meeting adopted a pro-Israel resolution deemed by some Arab Baptist leaders as unbiblical and harmful to their peacemaking efforts.

Source: Southern Baptists Adopt Controversial Resolution on Israel – EthicsDaily.com

A new act of political prostitution and blatent injustice in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Shame, Paige Patterson!

CS Lewis – The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment

(Thanks to Daniela Lunga for the link)

Observation: It is interesting to see reflections of the Girardian scapegoat theory, even if probably Lewis was not aware of it.

Mercy, detached from justice, grows unmerciful. An illustration explaining a theory of Crime and Punishment that C.S Lewis described as ‘a man-eating weed’. Notes below in video description.Read More »

Interviu Teodor Baconschi – Est-Vest, renaştere şi debandadă spirituală – fragmente

Theodor Baconschi

Am selectat mai jos citeva fragmente dintr-un foarte interesant interviu acordat de Teodor Baconschi lui Cristian Patrasconiu pentru platforma LaPunkt. Sper ca ele va vor motiva sa citi intregul interviu, care poate fi accesat la linkul de mai sus.

Avem de-a face, desigur, cu o perspectiva conservatoare si ortodoxa, asumata in mod deschis de autor. Ceea ce nu inseamna insa ca aceasta il scuteste de anumite interpretari partizane si subiective, desigur, inevitabile in orice demers intelectual cinstit.

Enumar, in fuga, citeva dintre acestea:

  • perspectiva exclusiv negativa asupra procesului de secularizare in Europa
  • invinuirea exclusiva a protestantismului pentru acest ‘flagel’
  • cresterea prezentei musulmane in Europa privita preponderent ca o amenintare
  • atitudinea implicit critica fata de papa Francisn, pus in contract cu ‘ultimul papă conservator, Benedict al XVI-lea’

si la acestea as putea adauga si altele, dar va las s-o faceti voi insiva.

* * *

Societatea românească e un mozaic de fracturi. Aveam, la 1900, un retard istoric de cel puțin 100 de ani față de Occident (evident, e o apreciere pur estimativă). Aproape un secol mai târziu, când a căzut comunismul, eram, iarăși, una dintre cele mai sărace țări de pe continent. Deși ne-au ajutat să ne dezvoltăm, tranziția democratică și integrarea euro-atlantică n-au făcut decât să ne așeze întru-un sistem de referință care ne-a agravat complexele de inferioritate. Pe acest fundal dislocat, regăsirea tradiției precomuniste, cu o Biserică Ortodoxă liberă, s-a făcut adesea formal și zgomotos, fără creșterea organică de care au nevoie procesele istorice firești. Am intrat în mileniul trei cu povara acestor handicapuri. Prin urmare, nu putem încă avea o atitudinea critică față de Occident: nu l-am trăit pe dinăuntru. Dacă ne socotim ca parte integrantă a lui, ne ies oricând la iveală reminiscențele comuniste și orientale. Dacă îl respingem, nu prea avem ce să punem în loc. Avem, cum s-a spus, o modernizare lipsită de modernitate. Am copiat, în loc să asimilăm. Cu alte cuvinte, în loc să spunem ce e greșit amenajat ”la ei”, ne sar în ochi propriile defecțiuni de parcurs.Read More »

Pope Francis Has A Dream

Source: Pope Francis Has A Dream

‘Francis defended the idea that continental Europe plays a particularly important role, while at the same time exhibited a rejection of colonial ideals. His vision is that of a Europe based on new ideas and discussions, a political and social model engaging all of the players on the global stage. Francis called for a “just distribution of the wealth of the earth,” as well as “more inclusive and equal economic models” and the transition “from a liquid economy to a social economy” in which the priority will be access to employment, rather than a speculative economy. His Europe is one that is sympathetic and open to youth, migrants and refugees.’

Ilia Delio on Incarnational Bias

Ilia Delio - Compassion. Living in the Spirit of St. Francis
Ilia Delio – Compassion. Living in the Spirit of St. Francis

NOTE: Fr. Rohr shared today this amazing quote. I dedicate it to all my friends who are politically conservative (or neoliberal) and committed Christians at the samee time. I hope they will be as convincted as I am. May the ‘God of the Poor’ have mercy on us all!

An incarnational bias is evident today in our globalized culture. The “problem” of immigrants, welfare recipients, incarcerated, mentally ill, …disabled, and all who are marginalized by mainstream society, is a problem of the incarnation. When we reject our relatedness to the poor, the weak, the simple, and the unlovable we define the family of creation over and against God. In place of God we decide who is worthy of our attention and who can be rejected. Because of our deep fears, we spend time, attention, and money on preserving our boundaries of privacy and increasing our knowledge and power. We hermetically seal ourselves off from the undesired “other,” the stranger, and in doing so, we seal ourselves off from God. By rejecting God in the neighbor, we reject the love that can heal us.

Until we come to accept created reality with all its limits and pains as the living presence of God, Christianity has nothing to offer to the world. It is sound bites of empty promises. When we lose the priority of God’s love in weak, fragile humanity, we lose the Christ, the foundation on which we stand as Christians.

Compassion continues the Incarnation by allowing the Word of God to take root within us, to be enfleshed in us. The Incarnation is not finished; it is not yet complete for it is to be completed in us.

(Ilia Delio, Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis, (Franciscan Media: 2011), 61.)

Benjamin L Corey – 5 Reasons We So Blindly Support Israel in Spite of the Truth or Biblical Ethics

mary-joseph-israeli-soldiers

Over the course of time I’ve noticed a troubling trend: it’s *almost* impossible to have a reasonable discussion with fellow Christians who believe we are called to give unwavering support the modern secular nation state of Israel.

This of course, has led me to try to figure out why this is the case. Why do so many Christians reject basic facts about Israel? Why do so many of us have an aversion to believing truth on this issue?

As your list-maker-in-chief, I have a few ideas as to why this seems to occur. So, here are my 5 reasons so many of us irrationally support Israel– in spite of truth or biblical ethics:

1. Bad theology regarding Israel has led us to become victims of our own confirmation bias

2. We don’t listen to Palestinian voices– not even our Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine

Read More »

Cazul Bodnariu NU este despre familia Bodnariu

România este ţara noastră, a celor care înainte de 1989 am închis şi schingiuit în orfelinate sute de mii de copii.

Source: Cazul Bodnariu NU este despre familia Bodnariu

Colega mea, Mirela Oprea, specialist in protectia copilului si advocacy, scrie despre contextul mai amplu al protestelor legate de cazul familiei Bodnariu.

Interview with Jon-Åge Øyslebø, Embassy of Norway in Washinton DC, on Barnevernet

This is an exclusive audio interview by Marian Petruta, with Jon-Åge Øyslebø, in charge of Communications and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Norway, Washington DC.

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

These Labels were Made Up to Divide us.

Artist/Writer – Prince Ea

Rachel Held Evans – Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels

Rachel-Held-Evans1
Rachel Held Evans

NOTES: It has been some time since I have shared on my blog a post written by Rachel. But this one is a must, as so many evangelicals in the US seem to be fooled by the perverted version of the gospel promoted by the Republican candidate to the American presidency.

And some good news on Rachel. On Feb 29th, President Obama nominated Rachel Held Evans as member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Well done, Rachel.

* * *

As it becomes clear Donald Trump’s candidacy for president will be more than a sideshow this year, the probable Republican nominee is making his pitch to Christian voters.

You would think it would be a hard sell given the fact that the real estate mogul and reality star has boasted about his extramarital affairs, profited off casinos and strip clubs, said he doesn’t need to ask God for forgiveness, called for targeting innocent civilians in war, mocked a reporter with a disability, threatened the religious liberty of minority groups in the U.S., and gained wide support among white nationalists for consistently lying about and demeaning blacks, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and Syrian refugees.

But polls show that despite all of this, Trump remains favored among evangelical voters. After speaking at Liberty University last week, Trump scored an important endorsement from Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent leader of the Religious Right who, to the applause of thousands, compared Trump to Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read More »

Din nou despre cazul Bodnariu. 4 observaţii şi 3 concluzii preliminare

Cum s-a schimbat societatea românească după cazul Bodnariu

Source: Din nou despre cazul Bodnariu. 4 observaţii şi 3 concluzii preliminare

Mirela Oprea, specialist in psihologie si stiintele educatiei, scrie din nou despre cazul Bodnariu.

Cazul Norvegia, privitul în oglindă și pădurea care nu se vede de copaci | Protecție copii

Norvegia a fost pe buzele multora zilele astea. Cazul Bodnariu a fost întors pe toate fețele. Am evitat până acum să mă pronunț, pentru că tema a luat o turnură mult prea diletantă, ceea ce e în co…

Source: Cazul Norvegia, privitul în oglindă și pădurea care nu se vede de copaci | Protecție copii

Sper din toata inima ca dupa ce reusim sa-i ‘civilizam’ pe norvegieni, ne vom intoarce si spre ale noastre, care sunt mult mai grav, dar nu par sa deranjeze pe niciunul dintre cei care sunt astazi in strada.

Ceva imi spuna insa ca dupa ce cei cinci copii Bodnariu si vor intoarce acasa la parinti, caci nu se poate altfel, si, poate, dupa ce parintii Bodnariu vor fi invatat sa renunte la orice forma de disciplinare fizica a copiilor lor, desi ma tem ca in privinta asta sunt mai putine sanse, NU vom vedea si o mobilizare a romanilor pentru soarta cu adevarat tragica a copiilor din Romania. Om traui si on vedea. Sa dea Dumnezeu sa ma insel!

Statul mesianic, copiii şi coşmarul lumii întoarse pe dos | România | DW.COM | 13.01.2016

Nu citim aici un nou poem pedagogic, argumentând în favoarea foloaselor bătăii, pasămite, rupte din rai. Nu e un text care ignoră legea. Ci e o apărare a copiilor. Şi o pledoarie pentru un stat fără trufii salvaţioniste.

Source: Statul mesianic, copiii şi coşmarul lumii întoarse pe dos | România | DW.COM | 13.01.2016

Petre M. Iancu produce aici unul dintre cele mai consistente texte pe tema cazului Bodnariu. De citit si gindit mai mult si de vorbit mai putin.

 

CAZUL BODNARIU. MAE: Interesul superior al copiilor este de a NU fi separaţi. Prima reacţie a ambasadei Norvegiei – Gândul

Detalii în Gândul

Source: CAZUL BODNARIU. MAE: Interesul superior al copiilor este de a NU fi separaţi. Prima reacţie a ambasadei Norvegiei – Gândul

Conferinta de presa a MAE legata de cazul Bodnariu vadeste faptul ca acuzatia de neimplicare a guvernului in aceasta chestiune, moneda comuna a demonstratiilor initiate de evanghelici in mai multe orase din lume, estre nelegitima si jignitoare.

Desigur, MEA ar fi putut comunica mai transparent cu privire la demersurile facute inspre rezolvarea problemei, dar, in acelasi timp diplomatia este o arta a discretiei, nu o forma de exhibitionism, pentru a satisface voiorismul specific spiritului gregar al maselor.

Barnevernet: fața contemporană a unei practici vechi? – Chibzuieli

Hmmm… Astăzi am dat peste un citat interesant. Sursa: Sejersted, Francis, and Madeleine B. Adams. The Age of Social Democracy: Norway and Sweden in the Twentieth Century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton…

Source: Barnevernet: fața contemporană a unei practici vechi? – Chibzuieli

Eugen Matei, din nou despre Barnevernet.

Cazul Bodnariu. Barnevernet, poate poftiţi şi pe la noi!

De acord? „Aş vrea să văd un protest în faţa Guvernului pentru starea deplorabilă în care se află copiii din România, unde 50% din copii (mai ales cei din mediul rural) sunt la risc de sărăcie şi marginalizare socială”

Source: Cazul Bodnariu. Barnevernet, poate poftiţi şi pe la noi!

Un articol al Mirelei Oprea scris din perspectiva copiilor victime ale violentei in familie. Ma tem ca va enerva pe multi. Asta e. Iata si concluzia:
‘…mi-aş dori să văd proteste similare şi pentru copiii români care sunt bătuţi zilnic, trimişi la cerşit, forţaţi să se prostitueze sau să muncească, etc. Aş vrea să văd un protest în faţa Guvernului pentru starea deplorabilă în care se află copiii din România, unde 50% din copii (mai ales cei din mediul rural) sunt la risc de sărăcie şi marginalizare socială. Asta, ca să ne fie tuturor foarte clar, înseamnă că nu merg la şcoală, că se culcă flămânzi, că nu au haine de iarnă, că sunt exploataţi de către cei care ar trebui să îi îngrijească şi aşa mai departe. ‘

Walter Brueggemann on Idolatry

A really prophetic message.

The Case of Bodnariu Family – A Further Norwegian Perspective

Bodnariu children

Note: As you can see below, my Norwegian friend has followed closely the conversation here on this case and is offering a further (and final) perspective on this matter.

* * *

Dear Danut,

We certainly entered a wasps nest (or maybe a rats nest) engaging in this discussion. I have read all the postings you have sent me, and I have followed up the different links and watched the taped interviews with interest.

Before I make my comments, I want to make it perfectly clear that yes, errors are made, and every error is one too many, and that I am all for continued improvement of the organization and the routines of the Child Welfare Service. (I prefer to use the official name even if some call it the Child Protection service.)

BUT if you want to change a system you cannot do it based on anecdotal evidence. If you look it up, you will find a lot of definitions and descriptions of “anecdotal evidence”, but here is one from Wikipedia:

“Anecdotal evidence is evidence from anecdotes. Where only one or a few anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases. Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a generalized claim; it is, however, within the scope of scientific method for claims regarding particular instances, for example the use of case studies in medicine.”

If we look at what has been presented in this case, it is anecdotal evidence. Even if we assume that the stories presented are true examples of wrongdoings on the part of the Child Welfare Service, what do we have? Less than 10 examples spanning 5 years!Read More »

Caring for the Earth – A New Carol

Under the impression of the recent conference in Paris, on climate change, the Rt. Rev. Steven Croft, Anglican Bishop of Sheffield, wrote inspired new words, in Advent mood, for the well known hymn The King of Love My Shepherd Is, which you can listen above.

Here are the words of the new Carol:

Creator of our common home
And maker of such wonder
You crafted fire and sky and stone
Dividing seas asunder.

In love you set the earth in space~
In joy ordained its pathway
Filled earth and sea and sky with grace
That we might praise you always.

We turned away your gift of life
Polluted all you gave us
The land was spoiled, we favoured strife
Lives turned away from goodness.

In Bethlehem you gave your Son
Creator in creation
To win us back and call us home
Revealing your salvation.

The Word of God took human form
Eternity in person
Reason and love came to transform
God’s gift for our conversion.

Creator of our common home
Redeemer of such mercy
Sustainer of all life on earth
To you always be glory.

(Source, HERE)

Bishop Steven Croft
Bishop Steven Croft