Daily Archives: 17 Jan 2010

Haiti’s Most Heart-Breaking Story

This saddens me profoundly.

The old lady crawls in the dirt, wailing for her pills. The elderly man lies motionless as rats pick at his overflowing diaper. There is no food, water or medicine for the 85 surviving residents of the Port-au-Prince Municipal Nursing Home, barely a mile (1 1/2 kilometers) from the airport where a massive international aid effort is taking shape. “Help us, help us,” 69-year-old Mari-Ange Levee begged Sunday, lying on the ground with a broken leg and ribs. A cluster of flies swarmed the open fracture in her skull. One man has already died, and administrator Jean Emmanuel said more would follow soon unless water and food arrive immediately.

This is completely unacceptable. Those bickering officials who can’t organize distribution have blood on their hands.

Truer Words Were Never Spoken…

הבל הבלים אמר קהלת

World Peace: An Impossibility

I think it fair to assert that there will never be world peace.  Ever.  Not as long as people are in charge.  Why do I say this?  Because if the world can’t manage to get along when helping the devastated people of Haiti; if it can’t manage to avoid all bickering and backbiting and pettiness at a time such as this; then there’s no reason to believe it ever will.

The world is filled to overflowing with small and silly persons who have such grand opinions of themselves that they can’t look beyond their own egos to help others without finding fault.  It’s disgusting.  Brazil and France, shame on you.  Yes, shame on you for your childishness.

Brazil and France lodged an official protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority at Port-au-Prince’s congested airport, forcing many non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic. Brasilia warned it would not relinquish command of United Nations forces in Haiti and Paris complained the airport had become a US “annexe”, exposing a brewing power struggle amid the global relief effort. The Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières also complained about diverted flights.

‘When I was a child I did childish things- but when I became a man, I put away childish things’ remarks Paul to the Corinthians. The world community needs to grow up.  But I despair that it will.  Only a new earth in a new heaven will solve the sin problem exhibited in petty humankind.

This Is For Dave Black: Ain Gespräch etlicher Predicanten zur Basel gehalten mit etlichen bekennern des Wydertauffs

I have the suspicion that Dave and I are having a bit of fun with his pro Anabaptist posts and my contrarian ones.

Here’s another, just for you Dave!

Johannes Oecolampadius, Zwingli’s friend in Basel and Reforming colleague (whose statue stands to this day beside the Church he Pastored in that beautiful city) preached against the re-baptizers a fiery sermon in 1525 that still amazes. The title- Ain Gespräch etlicher Predicanten zur Basel gehalten mit etlichen bekennern des Wydertauffs.

You go Johannes!

The Sherd Proves Nothing That Some Are Claiming

I wasn’t going to remark on this report but since it offers a good bit of speculation in the guise of fact I must.

The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel’s Elah valley. The excavations were carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, scientists could not tell if the writing was Hebrew or some other local language.

It is. But it doesn’t prove, by any stretch of the imagination, that the Bible is earlier than previously believed. Such a claim is akin to suggesting that a piece of pottery with 17th century English on it proves that Shakespeare wrote The Tempest. One piece of pottery with Hebrew on it, likewise, doesn’t prove that the Bible was written centuries earlier than thought.  How could it?

The only thing the sherd proves is that someone wrote in Hebrew in the 10th century BC. So what. The sherd, in short, is a fun little artifact but nothing more. It’s probative value when it comes to biblical scholarship is nil.

It’s popularity as holy relic does show something though. It shows that there’s a little bit of Josh McDowell in too many scholars of the Bible, always seeking, as they must, a piece of ‘evidence that demands a verdict’. Authentic Christian faith needs no such proofs to know that Scripture is God’s Word to his people. Only unbelievers need such proofs: and they are never convinced by them anyway.

Stats This Week

It’s gratifying, quite honestly, to know that people actually find my musings worth reading.  And humbling.  Here’s this week’s stats according to Alexa.

Oh New Zealand… I love you too!

Zwingli’s Sermon Against Luther’s Sermon Against the Rabble-Rousers

Is today’s featured ‘Zwingli work’.  You can download a copy of this gripping and wondrously constructed piece of sermonizing here.  The title is Früntlich verglimpfung … über die predig wider die Schwermer and it was preached in Zürich in 1527.

Zwingli and Luther didn’t exactly see eye to eye on the subject of the rabble rousers.  There’s none of Luther’s ‘slay, stab, kill…’ here.  Enjoy.

Quote of the Day

Baptism does not give faith, for if someone does not have faith, then washing him in water a thousand times achieves nothing.  — Huldrych Zwingli

Hope, Fizzles

The Post and Courier reports, on the cusp of the beginning of Obama’s second year as President

Forget “can,” “change” and, above all, “hope.” The new word echoing in the blogosphere and beyond as Obama enters Year Two: disappointment. The polls have shown a wide decline in Americans’ approval of Obama since he first took office on Jan. 20, 2009. According to the latest Gallup Poll, he enters his second year with one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in the past half-century (50 percent of Americans approved of his performance at the first of January, and 44 percent disapproved.) They feel so strongly that they are moved to write about their disenchantment — on the Web and in letters to the editor, some in anger, others in sorrow, in language intemperate or aggrieved.

Such disappointment can only exist when that in which we place our hope leaves us in the lurch. That’s precisely why the bible urges us in the strongest terms NOT to place our hope in mankind.

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but her leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5ff).

“Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help … Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God … Who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.” (Psalm 146:3-7).

All who are disappointed in Obama are only disappointed because their faith has been wrongly placed. When faith is placed in God it is never disappointed.

The Church of England… And Gay Glergy

Stephen Smuts observes

A Church in compromise… succumbing to political correctness and the cultural sensitivities of the day, abandoning both Scripture and Truth. No wonder the Church of England is falling to pieces and mark my words: She will never recover, at least, not without sincere repentance.

Stephen is an Anglican Priest working in South Africa. And he’s correct. Read his other observations on the subject.

Sanctity of Human Life Day

Is today.  Life is too important to be left in the hands of judges or legislators.  Such persons lack the requisite skills to determine who should live and who should die before they are even born.

Since Roe v. Wade 50 million lives have been destroyed.  Think about that the next time you remember the Holocaust and the deaths of 6 million Jews.   We have our own little holocaust going on here in the United States and it has lasted longer and killed more than the one carried out during World War II.

President Obama Will Be In Church Today…

The last time we heard about the President and church it was just about a year ago when, after he had been elected, he was church shopping.  You know, looking for a church where he could be blessed (rather than a church where he could be a blessing).

Well today he’s going back.  Oh no, not to listen to a sermon, but instead to speak himself about Martin Luther King and urge aid for Haiti.

I’m sure that lots of folks will talk about aiding Haiti today.  It’s the right thing to do.  On the other hand, to devote a service of worship to the adoration of a man is neither appropriate nor Christian.  Forgotten in the adulation of King is adulation of The King.  Forgotten too the words of John the Baptist who said of Jesus, ‘he must increase and I must decrease’.

I think it’s great that we honor those who have made a positive impact on society.  But a service of worship devoted to Zwingli or Mother Theresa or Martin Luther or John the Baptist (which one never sees, does one?) would make me as uncomfortable as churches around the United States burning up the worship hour honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The adoration of the Saints was denounced by the Reformers and perhaps the adoration of modern saints needs the same straightforward denunciation.  We worship the risen Lord.  Not the departed servant.