A Cry for Help from Jerusalem

TJerusalem by night

I have just received a desperatee call for help from a very good Christian Palestinian friend. It is related to the implications of the recent decision of the American president to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

My friend is telling me that more and more of the evangelical churches in Palestine (representing something like 1% of the Palestinian Christians, who are, themselves, about 1% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank) are adopting a Zionist theology, in an attempt to schmooze American churches to support them financially (you may rightly call it ecclesial prostitution). This is, of course, a luxury that historical churches in Palestine (not only Greek Orthodox, Melkite, and Latin churches, but also Anglicans and Lutherans) do not have. Continue reading “A Cry for Help from Jerusalem”

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John Pavlovitz – If You Voted for Donald Trump, You Owe My Children an Apology

John Pavlovitz

Note: This is a vitriolic and well deserved indictment to all those who, in their foolishness have made possible the election o an utter fool as President of  United States,

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If you voted for Donald Trump, you owe my children an apology.

You owe them an apology for making them grow up with a hateful, incompetent, petulant, predatory monster as their President.

For placing their safety in the hands of an impulsive child, who trolls world leaders with nuclear weapons and wields our military like an insecure coward brandishes a gun at a party.

For unleashing the fierce tide of bullying, racism, bigotry, and homophobia they have to see in their classrooms and ball fields and neighborhoods—because the man you chose has repeatedly encouraged and legislated it.

For making them do “shooter drills” at school, because you’ve sanctioned a man who is fully in bed with the NRA, who removes barriers to mentally ill people getting guns, and who does nothing to prevent military weapon proliferation.

For the terrifying images of a crowd of emboldened, violent, torch wielding Nazis terrorizing a town—and of a President who coddled them afterward.

For the inexplicable disconnect they see in a man claiming to be Christian—while being so devoid of anything remotely resembling Jesus.

Continue reading “John Pavlovitz – If You Voted for Donald Trump, You Owe My Children an Apology”

Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical”


Scot McKnight, at the centre of the picture

[This ia stern warning from a leading evangelical. We better listen. And, I openly admit, I fully agree with Scot.]

It’s time to bury the word “evangelical.” It’s both past time to bury it but it’s also time yet again to bury it.

I have a strategy for doing so, but first this:

Kate Shellnutt, at CT, writes,

More than 80 years ago, the first president of Princeton Evangelical Fellowship aspired for the organization to allow students “to enjoy Christian fellowship one with another, to bear united witness to the faith of its members in the whole Bible as the inspired Word of God, and to encourage other students to take, with them, a definite stand for Christ on the campus.”

In 2017, the Ivy League student ministry remains fully committed to this purpose … just without calling themselves evangelical.

The long-running organization changed its name this year to become Princeton Christian Fellowship, citing baggage surrounding the evangelical label.

“There’s a growing recognition that the term evangelical is increasingly either confusing, or unknown, or misunderstood to students,” the organization’s director, Bill Boyce, told The Daily Princetonian.

It’s not an issue limited to the 8,000-student campus; a number of evangelicals across the country share his concerns, particularly after last year’s election linked evangelical identity with support for President Donald Trump in the public eye.

Which leads me beyond the obvious: one of the more openly affirming institutions of evangelicalism, CT, records the news that evangelical is an embattled term while CT presses forward with no desire to diminish the centrality of the term for itself. But this essay is not about CT.

It’s about that dreaded term “evangelical.”

It’s a case of only a few who like the term while many despise the term, all the while knowing there’s no other term to use.

The issue is politics; the presenting painful reality is Trump. The reality is 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. The word “evangelical” now means Trump-voter. The word “evangelical” is spoiled.

Which means the problem is not nearly so large among self-confessed evangelicals. They admit to being evangelicals and voting for Trump and evidently see no dissonance. We don’t know how many of that 81% held their nose when they voted for Trump but this is certain: they weren’t voting for Hillary Clinton. Their evangelical convictions and their political convictions were inter-looped into voting for Trump and not Hillary (or a Democrat). Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical””

Is It Too Late for Russell Moore to Say Sorry? | Christianity Today

Southern Baptist leader’s critiques of Trump and his supporters are having an impact beyond the election.

Source: Is It Too Late for Russell Moore to Say Sorry? | Christianity Today

There is more trouble in the Southern Baptist empire. Russell Moore dared to challenge the shameless Trump supporters in SBC, and they are now taking revenge. No surprise there. It’s just the usual thing since the fundamentalist coup d’etat in SBC, a few decades ago.

Russell Moore, Evangelical Leader, Faces Backlash For Anti-Trump Comments : NPR

Russell Moore, who presides over the political arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, called out religious right figures who supported Trump notwithstanding his “serious moral problems.”

Source: Russell Moore, Evangelical Leader, Faces Backlash For Anti-Trump Comments : NPR

The Southern Baptist Convention is turning quickly into Trump Baptist Convention. And Moore’s days in it are numbered, it seems. A real pity!

Timothy Snyder – 20 Lessons from the 20th Century

timothy-snyder
Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University, has published on Nov 15, 2016, on his Facebook wall, the following lessons from the 20th century, which both Americans and Europeans would do well to rehearse, before it is too late. Here they are.

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Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges. Continue reading “Timothy Snyder – 20 Lessons from the 20th Century”

Franklin Graham sets us straight | Religion News Service

(RNS) Nobody gives a rip about Donald J. Trump’s taxes, he assures us. And how does he know that?

Source: Franklin Graham sets us straight | Religion News Service

 

As you can see, foolish Franklin Graham does it again.

“But Mark,” you’re asking, “how does Franklin know that nobody gives a rip about about Donald J. Trump’s taxes?”

Believe me, he knows. Because even though the media talked about it, he knows that nobody gives a rip that the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association pulls down seven figures a year.