Friday, January 8, 2010

“If the World Hates You . . . “

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." (John 15:18)

"3 Malaysian churches attacked in Allah dispute” - Associated Press, 2010-01-08

Religious tensions in Muslim-majority Malaysia turned violent Friday with firebomb attacks on three churches following a court decision that allows Christians to translate God as Allah. "Allah is only for us," said a poster waved at one of at least two protests outside mosques in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, the Muslim holy day. Many Muslims are angry about a Dec. 31 High Court decision overturning a government ban on Roman Catholics' using "Allah" for God in the Malay-language edition of their main newspaper, the Herald. . . .

Since the court ruling, hateful comments and threats against Christians have been posted widely on the Internet, but the attacks in suburban Kuala Lumpur, the capital, mark the first time that the Allah controversy has resulted in vandalism. In the worst incident, the ground-floor office of the three-story Metro Tabernacle Church was gutted by a firebomb thrown by attackers on motorcycles, police said. The upstairs prayer halls were undamaged. Two other churches were attacked hours later, one suffering minor damage while the other was undamaged. At least one other church canceled its Friday Mass and locked its doors, fearing an attack. "We never know what might happen because the situation is so tense," said the Rev. Father Paulino Miranda of the Church of Divine Mercy in Shah Alam, the capital of Selangor state.
"Q & A: Brit Hume" - Christianity Today, 2010-01-06

Fox News analyst Brit Hume received backlash this week over his suggestion that Tiger Woods should turn to Christianity.

"Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think is a very open question," Hume said on the show Fox News Sunday. "The Tiger Woods that emerges, once the news value dies out of this scandal, the extent to which he can recover, seems to me, depends on his faith. He's said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
"Why Brit Hume Comment on Tiger Woods is Creepy, Wrong" – U.S.. News and World Report, 2010-01-08

It takes a religious zealot to strap explosives around his or her waist and, murmuring prayers, blow up a CIA facility in Afghanistan, or take down an airplane over Detroit, or steer a jet into the World Trade Center. Or, for that matter, to treat the world to Crusades and Inquisitions and the kind of faith-based savagery we've seen in places like Belfast, Bosnia, Beirut, and Jerusalem. That is what made Brit's comments so creepy: the self-certainty that "my god is better than yours." Hume has the right to yak. People get paid to say all sorts of provocative things these days. I have no doubt that some of his best friends are Jewish, or Buddhist, or of a different Christian denomination. I am sure he loves all wogs, in his way. But, jeez, what a stupid thing to think.
“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (Mark 13:9-13)

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