Christians

January 25th, 2012 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org

The right book!

1, 8, 3, 1…  which are you?  What is this about?  Read on and see –>>

   In the scriptures, in Matthew 26:36-46, we read about 13 people that I want to address.  Jesus and 11 of his disciples when to a place called Gethsemane.  At this time Judas was off betraying his Lord for some money.  Jesus brought Peter and the two sons of Zebedee closer and gave them an assignment to watch with him.  Jesus went on a little further and prayed to the Father.
   Here is our break down: 1 person is off betraying.  8 people are given no assignment. 3 are given an assignment and struggle with it.  1 goes on to the presence of God and perseveres.
   In our churches, Bible study groups, cell groups or gatherings we find within Christianity this same break down. Which are you?
   The bad 1.  Are you the one off running your mouth? Judging, condemning, running others down with your words?  Is there sin in your life that turns others away from the Lord? Are you giving non-Christians ammo to destroy confidence in Christ?  I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Lord protect me….. from thy followers!” 
  The 8.  Are you just a pew-filler?  Are you one of those Christians that attends church or Bible study? You support financially, and there is no actual fault in your doings.  You just don’t actually do anything much for the Lord.  You’re just… there. This is the largest group.

The 3.  Are you a worker? Do you tell people about the Lord and his free gift of salvation? Do you actively do what the Lord wants in your life? Yes, you might struggle and mess up, but do you try to serve God? Do you take what you learn in your daily scripture reading and try to apply it? Do you actually do what you hear in church or read in the Bible? Or do you fall asleep and fail the Lord?  Do you serve God or expect to be served by him?

  The good 1.  Are you the one who goes on into a deeper relationship with God?  Not the work of the Lord only, but the Lord of the work.  Are you hungry for the presence of God in your life?  Do you continue in prayer, not to bring your shopping list of what you want from him, but to surrender yourself to him?   Do you want that closeness with God more than anything? Do you pray earnestly from the heart, honestly… until you are heard by him? Is loving him more important than anything else?  Are you willing (as Jesus was) to separate from the others enough to get alone with God and really focus on him and his will for you?

Are you a 1, 8, 3, or 1? 

  Here are the verses:
Matthew 26:36-46  “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.   And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?   Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 
  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” 

Straight ahead!

  December 12th, 2011 | Buen Consejo| for http://www.baptist.org
 Under the law securing an eternity with the Lord and not spending eternity burning in the lake of fire was set up differently than it is now under grace.
A confusion enters here: Someone asked Jesus (while under the law):  Matthew 19:16, 17  “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  You might say, this was a trick question. He did not ask what is needed to have eternal life. He asked, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” That is where confusion starts.
  It might seem well founded, if you don’t know enough about the scriptures. Simple requirement under the law: Leviticus 18:4, 5  “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.”
  These are the “works” to do. But the works or deeds of the law are not going to get you to heaven. (I’m still talking old testament, under the law) Romans 3:20  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  The deeds or works did not and will not get anyone into heaven.
  Habbakuk 2:4  “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”  The law had to be “attempted” to be done perfectly as a demonstration and exercise of truly seeking him and his ways.  But it had to be done by faith.  Not the faith that says, “Jesus died for me, I’ll trust him.” But a faith that said, “God said to do these things, so I will try and live in them, trusting that, though I will fail, he will have a way to get me to him.”  But if you would not try to do the works and live in the holy law, you were not really seeking him.
  Under the law blood sacrifices and offerings of many kinds were prevalent.  They did not save anyone.  Hebrews 10:4  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” These sacrifices did not take away sin, but covered it for the time being.  That is also why, when the old testament saints died they went to paradise in the center of the earth, not heaven. Their sin was covered, not taken away.  
   John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  When Jesus paid the price of his precious blood (and presented his risen body to the Father), the salvation of old testament saints was complete.
   So under the law eternal life came by walking in the law of God by faith, trusting his sacrifice system and mercy to not give you what the law showed you you really deserved.
  Works are not “Wow, you built an orphanage, you deserve heaven!” Works are showing you trust the LORD, seek him and want his ways. But it’s still his grace that keeps anyone out of the lake of fire!
Buen Consejo | October 24, 2011 | for http://www.baptist.org
 
What is the difference between Redemption, Remission and Forgiveness?  Did you even know that they are different?  Which one saves you?? Can you have one of the other two and still be lost?
Many people say that if you ask God to forgive your sins, you’ll be saved. That is not how it works. Forgiveness only restores the relationship that wasthere before.  If some neighborhood kid breaks your window with a baseball, then comes to knock on the door to apologize, you might forgive him.  But that will not make him your son. That will not fix the window. If a lost sinner asks God to forgive him, his life will improve. He will not become God’s child or have his sin washed away.
  Remission means to be covered up or retained to not spread, increase or be in the way. But it is still there. Like a cancer in remission is still a cancer.
  Redemption means to actually buy something and go pick it up.  That is what saves you. Jesus Christ died for  your sins to purchase you and own you. He will also one day come and pick us up.
Let’s look at some scriptural evidences-  First came preparation. Luke 1:77  “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,”  Through remission of sin (to get it out of the picture, but not gone) the way is prepared to receive knowledge.  Jesus cleared the way for your understanding of salvation so you could chose it, if you want. Matthew 26:28  “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  Acts 10:43  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Next he would actually offer himself to take away that sin. John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He would pay the price to buy us out- redemption.  Leviticus 25:51  “If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.”  Numbers 3:49  “And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:”
  Romans 3:24  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:7  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”  Ephesians 1:14  “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (earnest means- down payment)
  We also get free forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:14   “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”   Romans 4:7  “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”  Acts 5:31  “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Forgiveness is only in there because of the repentance that allowed you to submit to him for redemption.
  After salvation remission is irrelevant and redemption is permanently fixed, but forgiveness to maintain and sustain a close, blessed walk with the Lord is a continual process.  It has nothing to do with going to heaven or  hell. It has to do with the personal relationship between you and the Lord.  If you have a son and he behaves poorly (imagine that!), you might punish him.  If he wants a new bike, you might deny him that. If he needs help with something, you might not help him…. but does not cease to be your son.
  In your personal walk as a Christian forgiveness is a daily, if not hourly process, even moment to moment, depending on the individual. You will not receive forgiveness with blanket prayers like, “Lord, forgive my sins..”, “Lord, forgive me for not doing what I should have and for doing what I should not have, and where I failed you…bla, bla..” The scriptures are clear: 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  You don’t ask for forgiveness. You confess your sins to the Lord.  Confessing sins means enumerating  them, that is, name and itemize them.  “Lord, I lied.”, “Lord. I knew I should read my Bible and did not.”, “Lord, I felt I should talk to that person about you, but chickened out.”  This way, when you have agreed with the Lord that these items are sin, you get forgiveness and can’t claim next time that you did not know it was sin.
Summary:  Remission prepares the way for you to receive the knowledge of salvation.  Redemption gives you the actual salvation. Forgiveness is thrown in to start the relationship at a new beginning.  
September 10, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org |

The right book!

As you continue reading the Bible, I thought it prudent to make you aware of what is going on in the world of truth. Since the days when Eve (Gen 3:1-6) replied to the serpent’s questioning of the words of God, the battle has been on. She replied with her own, re-worded version in her own words and easier to understand (though it was riddled with inaccuracies) and Satan answered with a more scholarly version (having more truth than hers, just one lie). Mankind fell! Jesus was also tempted of the Devil and answered with correct, word for word quoting of the words of God and stood! (Matt 4)
The current day battle over the hearts and minds of Christians is still on the forefront.
Psalms 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The word of God is the main source of Christian strength and improvement.
1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,”
it is also the main weapon in the fight against evil.
Ephesians 6:17b “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
There are many, even in the ministry that use the “so called Bibles” and hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
Here’s where it stands: In Old Testament times the majority of God’s people spoke Hebrew (a little Aramaic). The Old Testament was written in Hebrew (a little Aramaic). In the first century the majority of God’s people spoke Greek. Hence, the New Testament was written in Greek. God’s promise of preservation of the scriptures did not stop there.
Psalms 12:6, 7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
There was a time when the Bible went into English. It happened at the time of the reformation. It triggered it. It was in accordance with the Biblical prophesies of the book of Revelation, during the Philadelphia church period (1500 and on). The majority of God’s people speak English. That makes the English Bible the most important book on the planet.
According to the scriptures the source of the Old Testament would be the Jews. So the Hebrew Old Testament was used. It is called the Mazaratic Text. In the book of Acts and throughout the scriptures we find that Antioch, Syria was the place of Christian and apostolic headquarters. Therefore, the Textus Receptus, Antioch manuscripts were chosen for the New Testament. Theses were put together in the King James 1611, also known as the Authorized Version. And there it stood. All nations with religious freedom were established on the King James 1611.
Around 1888 (at the beginning of the Laodicean church period– the worst, most corrupt) two men named Hort and Westcott decided to stir things up. They were heretical misfits who did not believe in many sound biblical principals. They took some manuscripts based on a work called Hexapla from around 270 AD. It was the fifth column of Origen’s self proclaimed work. Other columns had grocery lists and commentaries. Origen did not believe in many of the biblical principals of Christianity. Therefore he re-wrote it to suit himself. These manuscripts were used to make the Egyptian family of manuscripts consisting of Vaticanus, Codex Ephramis, Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus. These counterfeits had always been rejected by the church.
There was also another counterfeiting job of the Old Testament back in the second century. There were some Jews that rejected the whole Messiah, Jesus thing. They re-wrote the Old Testament in Greek to reflect that. There were about 70 of them (72), so they called in the Septuagint (Latin for 70) or LXX.
Hort and Westcott took all these corrupt manuscripts and made the Revised Standard Version of 1888. Then Fundamentalists took the manuscripts and made the American Standard Version. Another denomination took them and made the International Version. Each one re-writing the counterfeit manuscripts to suit their beliefs. Then, the one-up-manship of the New Revised Standard, New International, etc.. Now there are well over 100 versions in English. All based on counterfeit manuscripts.
In 1982, as a fund raising idea, Jerry Falwell joined together with Thomas Nelson to make a New King James. It was a fiasco! To get a copyright on an existing work one must change 35% of the text. For that they had to go to the Egyptian manuscripts again. After it’s completion Dr. Falwell pulled his name from it and denounced it. Thomas Nelson went and sold it anyway.
The bottom line is: there is only one Bible in English that comes from the correct manuscripts. It is the King James 1611 or Authorized Version. It is written in Old English, more specifically, literary English for accuracy. The grammar and sentence structure resembles Greek and Hebrew better than modern English. Those that whine that we don’t talk like that anymore should know that they did not talk that way then either. Regional English then was as poor and corrupted as modern English.
The part people complain about is the blessing! The literary English is better than modern English. Not only because it uses more and more accurate verb tenses, but because of those Thees and Thous. We struggle in modern English to express the difference between You (singular) and You (plural). In Texas they use Ya’ll for plural. You’s Guys in New York, You’ins in some states. What a mess! In literary English there is no mess. Thee and Thou are singular. Ye and You are plural. One might think that it doesn’t matter much, but in makes a large difference in many critical areas.
It usually takes a couple of weeks to get used to the Old English, then, … you’re hooked!

Pakistan (MNN) ? Muslim extremists are blamed for the murders of five Christians in Pakistan in less than a week.

Greg Musselman, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says 22-year-old Latif Masih was shot to death shortly after he was granted bail in a “blasphemy” case. He was accused in early November under Law 295c — the infamous “Blasphemy Law” in which the two militants claimed he burnt pages of the Qur’an.

On November 18, Masih’s accusers caught up with him and shot him to death near his home in Godhpur,  village 111 kilometers (69 miles)

22-year-old Latif Masih | Photo by Compass Direct News

northeast of Lahore. Days earlier, on November 12 in southern Punjab Province, police say Lashkar-e-Taiba militants killed four family members because of their Christian faith.

There are concerns that the violence against Christians will continue. The marked increase in these cases has created a renewed call by human rights watchdog groups for an end to the blasphemy law. The support couldn’t come at a better time. Musselman says, “Christians are always under this kind of law.  In recent days, it’s received international attention because of some of the other cases that are happening. The international community is saying, ‘This is ridiculous. You can’t have these kinds of laws.’ There’s a lot of pressure that I believe will be put on Pakistan.”

This part of the criminal code has come under fire for its vague writing and broad interpretation. Under it,  Musselman notes, “We’ve seen many cases where Christians are really under this law in the sense that it can be used against them. These Muslims often use it for convenience to take over businesses or these kinds of things.”

It seems this is what actually motivated Latif’s murder, rather than fervent faith issues. Musselman says, “It appears that he was actually killed because he had a motorbike shop that these guys wanted to take over.”

A Compass Direct News investigation supports this idea, citing an interview with Latif’s brother, Junaid Masih, who claimed Latif’s killers were associates of a Muslim man who had filed the blasphemy charge.

Human motives aside, Law 295c is a dangerous weapon in Pakistan’s criminal code. Musselman explains that “the blasphemy law, for the most part, is used to intimidate Christians from evangelizing. They need to know that we’re praying for them [and] encouraging them.”

Pray for the families of the murder victims. “The Bible tells us that if one part of the body suffers, we all suffer, so we should be concerned about that,”says Musselman.

Pray that Christ’s Body in Pakistan will continue to be a bold testimony of His love and grace. Ask God to help Christians in Pakistan to respond in a Christ-like manner to injustice and oppression.

Click here to learn how to be voice for those who have none.

Article source: http://mnnonline.org/article/15028

Posted on Nov 4, 2010 | by Erin Roach

BAGHDAD, Iraq (BP)—Al-Qaida in Iraq has declared that Christians in the Middle East are “legitimate targets” for violence, after the group carried out an unprecedented attack on a Baghdad church.

The Islamic State of Iraq, with ties to al-Qaida, released a message Nov. 3 saying, “The Ministry of War of Islamic State of Iraq declares that all the centers, organizations and bodies of Christian leaders and followers have become legitimate targets by the Mujahedeens, wherever our hands will reach them,” according to a CNN report, which the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom circulated to its e-mail list.

Richard Land, a USCIRF commissioner and president of the Southern Baptist Ethics Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press members of al-Qaida have shown themselves to be murderous barbarians.

“This is just further confirmation that they operate outside the rules of civilization. They should be condemned by every civilized people and every civilized faith,” Land said. “This is an excellent opportunity for the too often silent Muslim community in the United States to condemn these threats against Christians and to condemn the atrocities that are being committed in the name of their faith.”

The Islamic State of Iraq claimed that its declaration targeting Christians was brought on by a dispute regarding women they allege are being held captive by Egypt’s Coptic Church, and they attributed their anger over the situation to prompting the attack on a Baghdad church that left nearly 60 people dead Oct. 31.

“The sword of slaughter will not be lifted off the necks of their followers until they denounce what the dog of the Egyptian church has committed, and until they show the Mujahedeens their serious endeavor to pressure the combatant [Coptic] church for the release of our Muslim sisters, who are captive in the prisons of their [monasteries],” the militant group said Wednesday.

Mike Edens, professor of theology and Islamic studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary who ministered in the Muslim world for 25 years, said to understand the accusation against the Coptic Orthodox Church, one must understand that historically claims have been made against Christian churches in the Middle East that they are comforting and protecting women who are identified as Muslims.

“Frequently these women have come from a Christian background and they were secured as a wife by a Muslim and were forced to convert or chose to convert, and then they’re seeking to convert back,” Edens told Baptist Press.

“They don’t have the freedom to do that, and they seek the protection of the church and they may even take vows to be a nun and be in a convent or a monastery. There is an element of factual basis to the claim, but it’s more complex than the secular news media is capable of helping us understand.”

The claim that al-Qaida in Iraq is making, Edens said, is a red herring because the jihadists make it seem as if they would accept a Christian presence among them if the women were not being held by the Coptic Church.

“That is not true,” Edens said. “Unlike the general Islamic population, members of jihadist Islamic groups, members of al-Qaida in particular in this case, have committed to an ideology that is opposed to all Christians in their midst. Not only that, they are opposed to all other religious expressions including expressions of Islam that are different from their own.”

Al-Qaida has killed more Muslims than Christians, Edens said, and they are antagonistic and belligerent against anyone who holds a different worldview than the jihadist ideal, which is the establishment of a global Islamic republic that is ruled by nothing but the Quran.

“They were clearly attacking this Syriac Catholic church, which is not connected with the Coptic Orthodox church, to try to mute the effect of the Christian Gospel and the Christian church,” Edens said. “Ideally, they would like the church to be removed from their presence. They see the church as an obstacle to their objective of having complete political power.”

Al-Qaida will give various reasons for opposing Christians, but the bottom line is that unlike the majority of Muslims, the jihadists are ideologically opposed to Christianity, Edens said.

“It was clearly an attack against vulnerable Christians to try to encourage them to emigrate out of Iraq, to reduce their voice in Iraq, to intimidate them,” he said. “I think also that contrary to the popular view, Islam is not a monolith, and the few people who were engaged in this assault represent a very small minority of Islam.”

The jihadists, Edens said, are trying to eliminate voices of peace, moderation and cooperation, and the Christian church is “a large voice in that choir” of making a better society.

“We as Christians who are in freedom need to pray for our brothers and sisters not just in Islamic countries but in much of the rest of the world who are suffering for their identification with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Edens said. “We have freedom to pray for them and to intercede for them and to learn of their plight and to send missionaries to walk alongside of them, and we need to be faithful in that.”

Southern Baptists have a strong heritage of religious freedom and a strong evangelical witness, Edens said, and believers must continue the mission even amid real threats of violence.

At Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., associate missions professor Eddie Pate said news of the “legitimate targets” statement can help believers in the West understand the intense pressure that Christians in the Middle East have lived under for many hundreds of years.

“Their life has never been easy,” Pate, a former mission worker in North Africa and the Middle East, told BP. “The church in the West could learn from and take courage from their faith and commitment under pressure. We should pray for them and support them.”

Pate noted that in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, churches and mosques exist on the same street with their members interacting in daily life. The leaders of those countries, while often Muslim themselves, typically feel more of a threat from fundamentalist Islam than from Christians, he said.

Also, the situation in Egypt has been tenuous in the past 50 years with an uneasy peace existing most of the time between the Coptic Church and fundamentalist Islam.

“This peace is broken from time to time in often violent ways,” Pate said.
–30–
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press. For Baptist Press’ initial story on the attack against the Syrian Catholic church, Our Lady of Salvation, in Baghdad, go to http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34004

Staff Writer, George Henson for the Texas Baptist Standard | Thursday, October 21st, 2010

DALLAS (ABP) — Helping a team of amputee soccer players get to their World Cup venue might not seem like disaster relief, but Dick Talley with Texas Baptist Men said that is exactly what it is.

“We see this as an extension of our disaster-relief ministry,” Talley said. “In Haiti, if you have [a choice between feeding] a dog and a handicapped person, you feed the dog because it has value.

“How do we change the way the people of Haiti look at an amputee or handicapped person? We’re trying to do that through sport. In the eyes of the people of Haiti, we are elevating the value of these people.”

Fred Sorrells of First Baptist Church in Kingsland, Texas, worked with handicapped people in Haiti even before the Jan. 12 earthquake there

Members of a Haitian amputee soccer team proudly display a shirt bearing both the Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief insignia and their team logo. TBM will train the team members in water purification techniques and basic disaster relief before they return to Haiti.

swelled their numbers.

“In Haiti, to be disabled is to be castoff. The general feeling is, ‘Why don’t you just go off somewhere and die?’” he said.

Recognizing the importance of sports in Haiti, he began searching the Internet for a viable sport for people with disabilities and came across the World Amputee Soccer Association. As he began to inquire about it, Sorrells said, he essentially was told there was no way he could get a team together in time for the association’s World Cup.

Along about that time, Sorrells learned that Haiti’s national soccer team was in Texas, and he went there to see if he could enlist some help.

“I just showed up and asked if there were any Christians on the team and learned their captain was a very devout Christian,” he recalled.

Team Captain Pierre Bruny immediately was interested. Upon his return to Haiti, Bruny began visiting hospitals to invite amputees to try out for the team.

Texas Baptist Men Executive Director Leo Smith (2nd from right) enjoys time with (left to right) Dick Talley of TBM, Fred Sorrells of First Baptist Church in Kingsland, a Haitian pastor and the soccer team captain.

After several days of tryouts, the Haitian national amputee soccer team was selected Aug. 14.

The next major hurdle involved securing birth certificates, passports and visas in a country were so many records had been destroyed, but eventually all were obtained.

Texas Baptist Men paid for the air transport of the team from Haiti to Dallas. FC Dallas, the city’s professional soccer team, put them up in hotel accommodations and provided meals and transportation.

Local media reported on the team, and donations began to come in, but still the team did not have the funds necessary to fly to Crespo, Argentina, for the World Cup where they would play teams from Argentina, Japan, France and Ukraine in their opening pool. In all, 14 teams are competing for the title.

Texas Baptist Men agreed to step in again when the team did not have the money for the flight.

“People are starting to donate, but not fast enough to get them to Argentina, so we are guaranteeing the tickets, and then we will reimburse as the money becomes available,” Talley said.

But he was quick to not take all the credit for the team’s getting the opportunity to play. While TBM had handled this hurdle, others had helped at other points along the way.

“There are several groups that are helping, we’re just a spoke in the wheel,” Talley said.

Sorrells said he expects TBM to be fully reimbursed.

Members of an amputee soccer team from Haiti practice in Frisco before journeying to international competition in Argentina.

“We’re doing it as a step of faith that people will hear about this team and make a donation. We really believe we’ll be able to pay every penny of what they’ve given us back,” he said.

In amputee soccer, players can only use a non-amputated limb to strike the ball. Field players must be missing some portion of a leg, and goalies must be missing some portion of an arm.

“Because some may only be missing a hand or foot while others may have lost much more of the limb, only the whole arm or leg can be used to touch the ball,” Sorrells explained.

Field players use crutches that wrap around their forearms for their mobility. For more information and video of the game, see here. There also are opportunities to contribute on the site.

“We know we are the David among the Goliaths, because we have not played an official game yet,” he said.

Sorrells’ organization, International Institute of Sport, focuses on helping the handicapped be as involved in athletic competition as they wish. He particularly is involved in the Paralympic Games and Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Sorrells believes the Great Commission is not only in Matthew 28. It also is in Luke 14:21-23: “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’”

“That’s what I’m trying to do — help the poor, crippled, blind and lame to know Jesus Christ,” Sorrells said.

Seven of the Haitian amputee team now are Christians. Once their World Cup experience is completed, Talley said they will be trained in water purification so that they can help in future disaster-relief efforts.

“The first casualty of a disaster is hope,” Talley said. “They’re going to be able to tell other earthquake survivors that there is hope, that there is life after an earthquake, and they are proof of it.”

USA (MNN) ? Christians in Muslim-dominated countries are facing increased persecution. Over the last month, churches in Indonesia have been attacked and forced to close. A mob of Pakistani Muslim extremists shot and beat dozens of Christians, including one cleared earlier of “blasphemy” charges.

These Christians, and many more worldwide, are not free to believe.

Open Doors USA is launching an advocacy campaign called “Free to Believe.” The campaign will focus on helping persecuted Christians who currently do not have religious freedom like Christians do in the United States.

The campaign is a response to the United Nations Defamation of Religions Resolution which threatens the freedom of religion and expression for Christians and members of minority faiths worldwide.

This resolution seeks to criminalize words or actions perceived as attacks against a religion, with the focus being on protecting Islam. Passing this resolution would further result in the United Nations condoning state-sponsored persecution of Christians and members of other faiths.

Many of the countries supporting this resolution are the Islamic-majority countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) that persecute Christians and other religious minorities. Members of minority faiths such as Christians or Jews who make truth claims or even evangelize can be accused of “defamation,” and those individuals can be punished under national blasphemy laws as frequently happens in countries like Pakistan. Tragically, the UN resolution provides legitimacy to these countries’ blasphemy laws.

While the Defamation of Religions Resolution has been introduced and passed by the UN in the past–in various forms and under various titles since 1999, support for the resolution has been eroding in recent years. The Open Doors advocacy team has been lobbying countries which have voted for the resolution or abstained from voting on the issue in the past. The resolution is up again this fall for re-authorization.

It is important to encourage key countries to change their vote on this resolution. These countries are not easily influenced by American citizens. But they are more receptive to pressure from our legislators. That’s why we’re asking you to send a message to your legislator, asking him or her to ask key countries to change their vote on the Defamation of Religions Resolution. A sample letter is provided for you to send which includes the necessary information for your elected officials to lobby the target UN country missions.

To send a message, go to www.freetobelieve.info.

“It’s dangerous and alarming that a UN resolution provides legitimacy to national blasphemy laws that are used to persecuting Christians and other minority faith groups,” says Open Doors USA Advocacy Director Lindsay Vessey. “The United Nations Defamation of Religions Resolution in effect amounts to the UN condoning state-sponsored persecution. We as Christians need to speak out against it and do all in our power to stop its passage. Everyone should be free to believe.”

Read more at Mission Network News…..

Joseph Saliba, Baptist pastor, was murdered in Quezon City.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

by Spero News

On  October 13, 9 am Joseph Saliba, 42, pastor of a Baptist church in the Philippines was shot and killed by a gunman in broad daylight while traveling in his car in Quezon City, in downtown Manila. According to information from the local church, the episode has caused deep dismay not only for the death of the Pastor but also because, after the murder, the killer, according to eyewitnesses, “left undisturbed on a motorcycle, as if nothing had happened.” Pastor Saliba, who served the Baptist church in Dagupan City, in the Pangasinan Province (Northern Philippines) died on the spot from the numerous gunshot wounds.

The young pastor was loved and respected in his community. He was known for his work in the field of justice, human rights, as well as for his public complaints against immoral and criminal practices such as gambling. Recently, in the province, a group of bishops, priests, and lay Christians of different denominations, led a civil and moral battle to combat illegal gambling, which is a plague in the Pangasinan area. The province, according to official data, is second in the national rankings for the monthly amount of illegal gambling, which reaches a figure of 240 million pesos (about 4 million Euros).

According to sources in the Philippines, these could be the reasons for the murder that “is added on to the long trail of extrajudicial executions met with impunity in the Philippines.” The Pastor also worked in a food business as director of human resources and police are also investigating on this issue, to clarify the reasons for the murder.
“Precisely on the issue of impunity in the society, the Filipino people expect much from the new government of Benigno Aquino,” said Catholic missionary Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra.

President Aquino had to address the problem from the beginning, due to the murders of two activists – Jose Fernando Baldomero Daguio – which occurred shortly after his election. According to civil society groups, those responsible for these acts are the “death squads” that operate in the country, composed of former military or paramilitary units responsible for the long trail of extrajudicial and summary executions during the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

According to the 2010 annual report of the organization “Karapatan” (Alliance for the Improvement of People’s Rights), in the period from October 1 to 31, 2009, there were 77 extrajudicial killings, primarily of lawyers, judges, human rights activists, religious, and journalists (in addition to the 57 victims of the massacre of Maguindanao, which occurred after the publication of the report).

There were also 1,421 cases of threats and intimidation, and 94 illegal arrests. Overall, in eight years of the Arroyo government, there were 1,118 victims of summary executions, 1,026 cases of torture, 1,946 arbitrary arrests, more than 30,000 assaults, and 81,000 cases of intimidation. Among the recent victims is the Catholic priest Cecilio Lucero, who was killed in September 2009 in the Province of Northern Samar, south of the capital, Manila.

[click to continue…]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...