Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A look at evolution from a Christadelphian perspective

We never shall get to know how everything really was created, until the moment Jesus has returned and will tell us or our Father in heaven will enlighten us.

Until then many options are possible, and lots of ideas are being uttered. The question of where we come from is a mystery man has explored throughout human history. 
Geocentrism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking at Evolutionary Creationism: A Christadelphian Perspective you may find some interesting reading.

One hundred years ago, second editor of The Christadelphian CC Walker rebutted the arguments of a Christadelphian who thought the concept of a spherical earth was unbiblical and heretical, and based his arguments on a literal reading of the Bible.

Fundamentalists and the New Atheists are mirror images of each other in how they see the science-Bible debate. The former reject science because a literal reading of the creation narratives conflicts with it, while the latter reject Christianity because they know that reality contradicts a literal reading of Genesis which they think is the only possible way to read the Bible.

Nothing demonstrates the fact that Genesis 1 is ancient cosmology and not modern science more effectively than its declaration that the firmament was solid, separating waters above from waters below. It is this one fact more than anything else that destroys both literal and strong concordist readings of the Genesis 1 that seek to read it as a scientifically accurate account of origins. It also shows that contemporary special creationists - both YEC and OEC - not only fail to interpret Genesis 1 properly on this point but are also ignorant of how early Christian and Jewish expositors interpreted Genesis 1.

Read more in:

Karl Giberson: Geocentrism is what real Biblical literalism looks like

From the Dust - Conversations in Creation

Early Christians and Jews accepted that the firmament of Genesis was solid


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Jesus spoke Hebrew and Aramaic

Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.

We should compare it to today where many people speak their mothertongue and speak an other language for business matters and to be able to have a good conversation with others who speak a different language. As such many today speak English, Spanish or Mandarine to communicate with foreigners or business partners.

Jeshua was a palestinian Jew, from the Essene sect, who spoke Aramaic.
Israeli linguistics professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann told Reuters that both Netanyahu, son of a distinguished Jewish historian, and the pope, the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, had a point.

"Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker,"
 he said about the largely defunct Semitic language closely related to Hebrew.
 "But he would have also known Hebrew because there were extant religious writings in Hebrew."
Zuckermann said that during Jesus' time, Hebrew was spoken by the lower classes - "the kind of people he ministered to"
But we should know that by those speaking Aramaic were also people who had studied and who had better positions in life and as such were not of the 'lower class'.

Additional reading > Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Wéér een boek over homoseksualiteit en geloof

heeft de laatste paar jaar niet meer zo veel gelezen over homoseksualiteit en geloof. Op een gegeven moment wist hij de verschillende visies en standpunten wel. Maar toen hij onlangs bij zijn ouders was en ze vertelden dat ze een nieuw boek over homoseksualiteit en geloof hadden gekocht, besloot hij het toch maar in te zien.
Nog altijd zijn er te veel christelijke homo’s die zich verscheurd voelen, het gevoel hebben dat ze moeten kiezen tussen homo-zijn of christen-zijn. Nog altijd zijn er te veel christenen die zich door hun geloofsgenoten afgewezen voelen. En zo lang kerken niet verder komen dan een verhitte dogmatische discussie – inderdaad vaak ongenadig hard – wordt dat gevoel alleen maar versterkt.

> Lees zijn verslag:
Wéér een boek over homoseksualiteit en geloof
over een boek van Justin Lee (oprichter en directeur van het Gay Christian Network)

Belang van rechtvaardigheid gekend bij Nederlanders

Kerken spelen een belangrijke rol bij de invulling van levensstijl van hun kerkgangers en juist zij brengen rechtvaardigheid veel vaker onder de aandacht dan duurzaamheid is de opinie van de Micha Monitor waarbij volgens hen de kloof tussen arm en rijk, een belangrijk Michathema is dat  bij velen hoog op de agenda staat. Met name PKN-ers en Evangelischen maken zich druk om armoede en onrecht. Vier op de vijf kerkgangers ziet het dan ook als een Bijbelse opdracht om zich daarom te bekommeren. Voor hen is de Bijbel heel duidelijk over het belang van rechtvaardigheid.

Onze noorderburen mogen zich tevreden voelen met datgene wat ze hebben. Goed is ook te zien dat gelovigen als niet-gelovigen toch bewust lijken te zijn van de noodzaak om rekening te houden met latere generaties. Toch kunnen wij vaststellen dat weinigen aan de huidige levensstijl iets willen veranderen en zeker niet willen gaan overgaan tot consuminderen. Voor de kerkgangers is het nog iets belangrijker om na te denken over de plaats waar een product is gemaakt. Daarbij voelt men zich ook verantwoordelijk voor de schepping.

Het Nederlandse netwerk van 24 kerkgenootschappen en non-profit organisaties roept al jaren, met name kerken en gemeenten, op om bezig te zijn met gerechtigheid. Niet alleen in preken binnen de kerken, maar ook praktisch in buurt, stad of elders in de wereld.


Recht doen, typeert Bijbelse levensstijl
"Als wij blijven groeien, blijven ze elders honger houden" 
Christenen zijn wel lief, maar niet groen #MichaMonitor

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Abu Hamza is gone, but Britain is still a hotbed of radical hatred

Britain: The real threat to our security is not Vladimir Putin or Chinese cyber-warriors, but the new breed of jihadists
The one thing you can count on when dealing with Islamist extremists who freely ply their trade from the sanctuary of the British Isles is that they are fully aware of their human and legal rights. Whether it is through the useful advice provided by civil liberties activists – who more often than not are funded at British taxpayers’ expense – or the result of studying al-Qaeda’s manual on waging judicial jihad against the West, the leaders of British-based Islamist groups know only too well how to protect themselves against unwelcome scrutiny of their activities.
The extensive support network available to terrorists such as the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza al-Masri would certainly help to explain how the radical cleric from north London managed to avoid extradition to America for a decade or more, thereby making a mockery of British justice, as well as undermining the efforts of successive British governments to protect the public from attack.
The life sentence that is likely to be imposed on Abu Hamza in September will symbolise the end of a generation of British-based Islamist radicals who openly rejoiced in the horrors of the September 11 attacks in 2001. But it is unlikely that this will deter the modern breed of jihadists, who arguably pose far more of a threat to our national security than Abu Hamza ever did.
Tuesday’s conviction of a 31-year-old Portsmouth man for attending a terrorist training camp in Syria shows how seriously the security authorities are treating this challenge. A number of other suspects, including Moazzem Begg, the former Guantanamo detainee and darling of BBC current affairs programmes, are now awaiting trial on similar charges. Add to this all the other radical Islamic groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that are using Britain as a base from which to campaign for the overthrow of pro-Western regimes – often through the use of violence – in countries such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and you get some idea of the scale of the security nightmare our hitherto tolerant approach to Islamist extremism has created.

Read the full article: Abu Hamza is gone, but Britain is still a hotbed of radical hatred
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Holy land Christian exodus

The Christian exodus, underway for decades, has reached critical levels in recent years. Emigration is a central concern to local Vatican officials, who are trying to stave off the flight with offers of jobs, housing and scholarships.
"I am sad to think that maybe the time will come in which Christianity will disappear from this land,"
said the Rev. Juan Solana, a Vatican envoy who oversees the Notre Dame center, a Jerusalem hotel for pilgrims that employs 150 locals, mostly Christians.
Solana said he employs Christians to encourage them
 "to stay here, to love this land, to be aware of their particular vocation to be the witnesses of Christianity in this land."
The Christian exodus is taking place across the Middle East. Jordan, where Pope Francis will begin his three-day trip Saturday, has thousands of Christian refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq.
The decline began with high Jewish immigration and Christian emigration after the 1948 war surrounding Israel's establishment, and has been abetted by continued emigration and a low birthrate among Christians who stay.
About 38,000 Palestinian Christians live in the West Bank, 2,000 in Gaza, and 10,000 in Jerusalem, according to the local Roman Catholic church.
Israel has 130,000 Arab Christians. There are also nearly 200,000 non-native Christians in Israel, including Christians who moved from the former Soviet Union because of Jewish family ties, guest workers and African migrants.
by johnib
Father Ibrahim Shomali, the parish priest of Beit Jala

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Palestinian children learn to kill

You would imagine that state television tries to bring up the next generation in good order, and would like them to have good contacts with their neighbours. You would not expect the little box in the house-room to bring messages to throw stones at others.

In one episode of “Pioneers of Tomorrow” a pretty young host praises a little girl for her desire to be a police officer and “shoot Jews.”

Other programs, both for children and for adults, have also included children whospeak glowingly of their suicide-bomber fathers and promote violent jihad, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In one such show, the ADL says,
 “One of the girls said ‘I want to fire missiles at the Jews and be martyred like my father.’
One of the boys also said that he wants to follow in his father’s path,
 ‘I want to follow the path of Jihad like daddy and I want to be martyred like daddy.’”

Read more about it: Palestinian TV Teaches Kids The Way to ‘Jihad Street’

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Division and defrocking because of same-sex wedding

Religious practices change all the time—just ask Catholics who celebrated mass in Latin until the 1960s or Protestant groups that started ordaining women as ministers in the 1970s. But are there certain core beliefs that can never change? 
Former Methodist minister Frank Schaefer on the division within the United Methodist Church (UMC) says:
"The church is really trying to sweep this under the rug and we're pretending we're all united, we're the United Methodist Church after all." 
For many years now several debates have gone on about celibacy and about intercourse with people of the other and of the same sex.

Conservative theologians within the United Methodist Church argue that Schaefer's defrocking was justified because church law, by definition, must be upheld — otherwise, it is not a church law. They maintain that homosexuals are welcome in the church, but that one should abstain from the practice of homosexuality. 

Schaefer says there was "no way in Hell" he would have declined when he was asked to ordain his son's same-sex wedding in 2007. "I saw it as an act of love," says Schaefer.  Others within the church saw it as an act of rebellion. 
“The ultimate debate is not over sexuality—it’s just one battle flag issue in the current culture wars that’s been going on in the last 150 years between traditionalist and liberal revisionists,”
says Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative Christian think-tank in Washington, D.C.UMC is experiencing a split in opinion on gay marriage.

Read more about it in: Religious Hoi Polloi
Matt Rourke/Associated Press
The Rev. Frank Schaefer with his wife after meeting with Methodist leaders on Thursday.
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Israel the Oil and Gas Opportunity

The partners in Israel’s Tamar natural gas field said on Tuesday they had signed a letter of intent with Spain’s Union Fenosa Gas to export up to 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually over 15 years to the company’s liquefied natural gas plants in Egypt

Middle East Revollutionary Turmoil
2011 saw unparalleled historic events - most notably the massive political  &  social upheaval in the Middle East.  With the ' Arab Spring ' rattling through more than 14 separate nations in the Arab World ,  overthrowing longstanding governments  &  dictatorships  ( Tunisia , Egypt , Libya )  &  throwing others into chaotic civil wars ( Syria , Yemen )  it has created a  maelstrom of political dynamics  transforming this already volatile region into a tinder-box of instability   &  strategic uncertainty.  In 2013 ,  the continuing emergence of brutal terrorists groups such as  Al Qaeda , Al Nusra , ISIS , Ansar Al-Islam  has  further escalated the violence , bloodshed &  suffering in this troubled region.   These events are the  prelude  to the final global conflict , long prophesied in the Bible  &  centered around God's people , the tiny nation of Israel.

Since natural gas was first discovered offshore Israel in 1998, the country has seen the growth of an oil and gas industry that promises to provide not only an economic boost to the country itself but could also prove to be a diplomatic tool that can be used to build better relations with some of its neighboring states.

writes Jon Mainwaring,

From Ezekiel we learn that when Russia and the EU invade the Middle East they do so to take a "spoil", could Oil be the "spoil" they will be after? 

Map of oil and natural gas in Middle East.
Map of oil and natural gas in Middle East. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Read more about it in:

Israel's OIL and GAS Opportunity 03-05-2014: Israel the Oil and Gas Opportunity
Find also:
The 'Sanhedrin' - History, Relevance, Warning

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