Saturday, December 13, 2008
See article at the Sun here
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We often take our liberties for granted, and freedom of religion is arguably the most important.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"He wanted to use his decision and his death to demonstrate what actually happens, so that people could see it was very peaceful, that it was a rational decision on his part."
from the BBC
I've been blessed enough to not have to deal with serious pain or suffering, so it's difficult for me to put myself in this man's shoes. What I will say is:
1) The last moments of life are sacred-even mysterious. It should be approached with fear because life itself cannot be restored once it's gone. Broadcasting a suicide on national television is a sign of a coarse and unfeeling society.
2) "Coming to grips with death?" I thought doctors were in the business of saving lives? We Christians resist the power of death over us as death has been triumphed over by Christ; and we belong to him. I paraprase GK Chesterton when he said that, suicide isn't simply the killing of one's self, but from the suicidal person's perspective, the complete murder of the whole world.
The words of George Bernard Shaw need to be remembered when reading such articles i.e., “most people do not pray; they only beg”. Would the unchanging and Almighty Lord be less powerful if He had not moved the heart of the parishioner to open his wallet? The lives of the saints are the strongest reminder that our prayers are to bring us closer to Him, not closer to worldly gains. As we read in Luke 9:25, what is the benefit of gaining all the wealth in this world if we lose our salvation?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
"Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident," a distraught Dong Yun Yoon told reporters gathered near the site of Monday's crash of an F/A-18D jet in San Diego's University City community. "He is one of our treasures for the country," Yoon said in accented English punctuated by long pauses while he tried to maintain his composure.
Many question God when tragedy occurs, but this man's trust in God is truly an inspiration. May God grant him strength and our prayers for his entire family.
“Botros has been hosting Truth Talk since 2003. The weekly show grew out of an internet chat room attended by thousands where the Coptic priest engaged Muslims on the inherent contradictions of their own religion and found that he was leading many to faith in Jesus Christ. As the geographic scope of the show has grown, so has its reach into the lives of Muslims. It is broadcast in Arabic, and this year began also to be translated for Turkish audiences and into Farsi to be aired in Iran.”
Religious conversion is a sensitive topic in many places in the world (Indian Christians can attest to this). I am of the opinion that rather than being hostile to those who are proselytizing, religious leaders should seek to better educate their own flocks. This holds to be especially true as far as the Indian Orthodox church's struggle with charismatic groups is concerned. Rather than harboring hatred for these groups, we should seek to educate our laity so as to make the church "impervious" to such attempts at conversion.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Although not a sign that the world is ending, its clear we live in an age where the electronic media and communications continue to out-date paper media reminiscent of the decline of the railroad and other industries in the past. This "new" media democratizes the distribution of information and will present new challenges to spread the message of Christ ... but at the same time it also makes available access to numerous sources of true information on the pre-denominational Church.
Sadly, Playboy's declining business had absolutely nothing to do with renewed Christian morals, but rather the cheaper and wider reach of Internet-based pornography.
Evangelicals seem divided on how "Christian" Obama truly is, with some optimistic and others seemingly convinced he is not really a Christian. Catholics are also engaged in these discussions because of the issue on abortion. And of course the misinformed who labeled Obama a Muslim because of his color and name.
As citizens of the United States, we exercised our right to vote on November 4th. Regarding the continuous debate on the quality of Barack Obama as a Christian, we have been reminded our place is not to judge (Matthew 7:3) and like the famous icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent our Christian duty is to always push ourselves to be perfect like God is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Recalling the wisdom of CS Lewis, "if they are wrong, they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules that is common to (Christianity)"
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Russian Orthodox Christians flocked to pay tribute to Patriarch Alexiy II on Sunday as he lay in state in a Moscow cathedral, thanking him for the revival of the faith after decades of communist repression. Alexiy II, enthroned in 1990 a year before the demise of the Soviet Union, died of heart failure on Friday. He was 79.
Reviving Russia's main faith, he oversaw the construction of thousands of new churches and raised the prominence of Orthodoxy across the vast nation by building closer ties with the Kremlin.
During his 18 years as leader of the world's largest Orthodox church, Alexiy helped heal an 80-year rift with a rival faction of the church in the West which had been set up by monarchists fleeing the atheist Bolsheviks.
If communism was so great, why did the Church in the Soviet Union suffer so much? That's an interesting question for those who try to harmonize Orthodoxy with Marx.