Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Do We Have to Do to Get Christians to Pay Attention to the Persecuted Church?

Have you ever considered what it must be like to be a surgeon?  I'm asking because the overwhelming majority of people in life, are not surgeons.  Most of us will never go to medical school and most of us will never learn to cut into a dead corpse and take out a heart in order to do a heart transplant on someone.  Truth be told, you would not catch me near a corpse or blood or anything remotely that gory!  I don't have the stomach to even look at medical shows on television where they do these types of things.
I bring this up because every day I read through a number of news articles about Christians being persecuted all over the world.  Some days, to be honest, it's pretty depressing.  I get to read about how Muslims are chopping off the heads of other Christians, or how Boko Haram has decided to murder more of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  When I'm not reading about that, I'm reading about how Christians in China, Indonesia, North Korea and other countries are being tortured and imprisoned for their faith in Christ.  It can get a person down, especially when you consider that despite your efforts to inform other Christians about it, so many of those Christians you're trying to inform just hit the snooze button, yawn and then go back to sleep.  It gets very old.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not into depressing people.  I certainly don't want to complain that the overwhelming majority of the Christians I know are clueless about the plight of the persecuted church, but I have to admit that there are some days when I really would like to give a loud speech and tell people, "Look, your Christianity is not what Christians all over the world are living out as Christians."
I mean, seriously, how hard is it to write a letter to a persecuted Christian?   How hard is it to give a few dollars a month to get bibles into a restricted nation?  How hard is it to pray every day for the persecuted church?


Michigan Senate Committee Approves Key Pro-Life Abortion Bill

A Michigan state Senate committee has approved a package of pro-fie bills intended to protect women and unborn children and further drive down the number of abortions in the state.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard more than two hours of testimony regarding House Bill 5711 on Thursday. HB 5711 is an omnibus bill, also known as the Prolife Bus. The purpose of the Prolife Bus is to hold the abortion industry to the same health and safety standards as other medical providers. Patients’ safety must be put ahead of abortion profits.
“The hearing was held in the Farnum Building near the Capitol. Senator Rick Jones chaired the committee. All wanting to provide testimony were provided the opportunity. An overflow room was available for those unable to obtain seating in the packed hearing room,” said Pam Sherstad of Right to Life of Michigan. “Many spoke in favor of HB 5711 including prolife individuals and representatives from Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference. Other individuals opposed the legislation including representatives from Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women and American Association of University Women.”
After testimony was heard, Sen. Rick Jones called for a vote, saying, “This issue is too important to not move forward.”


Students for Life Launches 3rd Fellowship for Pro-Life Students

This weekend, Students for Life of America kicked off our 3rd Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship by flying our 2012-2013 Fellows to Washington, D.C. for the kick-off Leadership Training Retreat.
The mission of the Students for Life of America Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship is to raise up the next generation of pro-life leaders. We want to train student pro-life activists to be leaders on campus and beyond and network those student leaders with their counterparts in the national pro-life movement to help further develop their leadership potential. The SFLA Fellows participated in 3 days of leadership presentations, most notably a full-day training with Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute who educated the Fellows on pro-life apologetics, fundraising, speaking, and the importance of the 2012 election.
Ashley Price, Fellow from Mercer University, remarked, “I want to pass this on to my group members back on my campus.” “The fact that youth can really make a difference on the local and national scale shows me that the tide truly is turning.” Christian Andzel, from the University of Buffalo, said, “The fact that the prolife leaders of this generation are in this building have reminded me that our movement must keep our eye on the prize, which is to change minds and hearts on how we view human life from the moment of fertilization to natural death. Once we are able to change the culture, we’ll be able to change the law, and then we will restore the dignity of all human life.”
Throughout the 2012-13 school year, the SFLA Wilberforce Leadership Fellows will be applying the leadership skills they learn on their campus and throughout their communities by organizing events, assisting Students for Life of America in its mission of equipping the pro-life generation, and working with their National Wilberforce Mentor (a leader of an existing national pro-life organization) who will help network them with the national pro-life movement and assist in completion on their Fellowship Projects.


Billy Graham: 'My Heart Aches for America'

July 24, 2012 - In a new prayer letter Billy Graham writes: "My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance."

Billy Graham: 'My Heart Aches for America'
The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.
Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of ... Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.


Matt Maher On Darkness In Music