Posts belonging to Category Current Events

Google Is Not God

“Google is not God.”   Well, I’m glad we got that squared away.

6 World Vision Workers Killed in Pakistan

Some sad news out of Pakistan today. From Reuters:

Suspected Islamist militants stormed an office of a U.S.-based, Christian aid agency in Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six Pakistani aid workers after singling them out and then blowing up the building … Seven members of staff were wounded and one was missing, the agency said in a statement, adding that its relief and development work in Pakistan was conducted by Pakistanis. “Those who kill humanitarian workers must be reminded that they are not only killing their own country’s residents, but also people seeking to improve the lives of victims of poverty and injustice,” it said.

Here is a statement from World Vision:

World Vision today is mourning the brutal and senseless deaths of six members of our staff in the Mansehra district of Pakistan, following an unprovoked attack by gunmen. We are seeking to confirm reports that gunmen first set off bombs or grenades, then opened fire on the office, located 65 kilometers north of the capital, Islamabad. In addition to those killed, seven employees are hospitalized with injuries. No threatening letters were received prior to the attack.

World Vision’s relief and development work in Pakistan is conducted by local citizens. All of World Vision’s operations in the country have been temporarily suspended. World Vision remembers those staff who have died as dedicated people seeking to improve the lives of people affected by poverty and disasters.

Please pray for the wounded, for World Vision, and for those who lost loved ones in today’s attack.

Updated 3/16/2010: 7th World Vision Staff Dies after Pakistan Attack

Barack Obama on Health Care Then and Now

I have stayed pretty quiet about politics on this blog for the past year, but in light of the White House’s current initiative to push Health Care Reform through the Senate with only 50-plus-one votes, I thought it worthwhile to revisit President Obama’s words on health care in the past.

Barack Obama on health care in 2004:

My understanding of the Senate is is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats have to ask the question: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward [emphasis mine], not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?

Barack Obama on health care in 2005:

A change in the Senate rules that really, I think, would change the character of the Senate forever … And what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers, the House and the Senate, but you have simply majoritarian, absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the Founders intended.

Under the rules, the reconciliation process does not permit that debate. Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes. In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning: A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked.

Barack Obama on health care in 2006:

Those big-ticket items, fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives, and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion, is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we identify our core base, we throw ’em red meat, we get a 50-plus-one victory. See, Karl Rove doesn’t need a broad consensus because he doesn’t believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizeable majority.

Barack Obama on health care in 2007:

[Health care reform] is an area where we’re going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We’re going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk that is not just a 50-plus-one majority….

You gotta break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory with 50-plus-one but you can’t govern. You know, you get Air Force One and a lot of nice perks as president but you can’t deliver on health, we’re not going to pass universal health care with a 50-plus-one strategy.

So, how does one reconcile (no pun intended) these past statements with the administration’s current plan to push health care through the Senate with a simple fifty-plus-one majority vote?

Related posts:
    • Abortion and The Health Bill
    • Congratulations Senator Barack Obama!
    • The Obama Burger

Stop Praying!

Here is a great church sign for all my friends up north:

Whoever is praying for snow - please stop!

Do I hear any amens?

HT: Pure Church

Lenten Series in Paper

The Norfolk Examiner picked up my Lenten Series in an article today. Here is the link: How can Protestant grandparents help grandchildren understand the Lenten season? Thanks, Cindy, for a nice write-up!

Focus on the Family’s Pro-Life Ad with Tim Tebow

Focus on the Family’s 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow is stirring up attention all over the place — and it hasn’t even aired yet! Focus on the Family Vice President for Pastoral Ministries H.B. London shares the inside scoop:

Would you believe all the commotion and publicity the 30-second Super Bowl® ad sponsored by Focus on the Family has received?

By our estimates — and they are pretty accurate — the pre-Super Bowl hype of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad has registered to date 2,265,490,170 impressions. That is “billion” with a “B.” Amazing!

The interesting thing about all of this is that no one in the media has seen the ad. And, unless there is a big leak before Sunday, no one will see it until it is shown during the Super Bowl pre-game show and the first quarter of the game itself.

Another interesting phenomenon is that, even those in the liberal media who have opposed us before — and disagree even now with most of what we stand for at Focus on the Family — are defending our right to run the Super Bowl ad.

On February 2, 2010, The Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote, “I’m pro-choice and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the ‘National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women all the time’ (referring to the group NOW). They aren’t actually ‘pro-choice’ so much as they are pro-abortion.”

She continues, “If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.”

Interestingly enough — a little inside stuff here — our Super Bowl ad never mentions abortion. Also, as we have reported in other columns, not one dollar was spent from our regular operating expenses at Focus on the Family to underwrite the cost of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad.

You can read the Sally Jenkins article mentioned here: Tebow’s Super Bowl ad isn’t intolerant; its critics are. And don’t forget to watch for the commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday. It will air twice: once during the pre-game show and then again during the first quarter.

German Home Schoolers Granted Asylum in USA

From The Christian Institute:

A Christian family from Germany have been granted political asylum in the US after facing the threat of prison for home schooling their children. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who are evangelical Christians, were forced to flee Germany as they wished to educate their five children at home.

Home schooling is still illegal in Germany under laws introduced during the Nazi era. The German law means that parents who choose to home school their children can face fines or even imprisonment … The family endured harassment from the authorities, and on one occasion police officers came to the family’s home and forced the children to attend school. The family fled to the US after Germany’s highest court ruled that in severe cases of non-compliance social services could remove home schooled children from their parents.

Describing the case, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman said that “the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate”. He added: “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German Government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore, they are eligible for asylum…and the court will grant asylum.”

The Romeike family were represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

HT: First Thoughts

George Tiller – Murder is not Pro-Life

Whereas I have spoken out freely against abortion on this blog in the past, I thought it was important to share my view on this weekend’s murder of Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Tiller, who built a reputation for his willingness to perform late-term abortions, was shot and killed Sunday while serving as an usher at his church. Although details have not yet been released, it is most likely that he was killed because of his work in the abortion trade.

Murder is not pro-life. It is wrong to take the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, and it is wrong to take the life of the late-term abortionist who takes the life of the child in the womb. There is no justification for murder. Pro-life leaders across the nation have rightly denounced Sunday’s murder as an evil deed that stands directly opposed to the values of the pro-life movement. Please pray for the family of George Tiller even as we continue to work and pray for the protection of human life within the womb.

NH Gay Marriage Bill Stalls Due to Religious Protection Language

I found this news story out of New Hampshire disturbing. I do not believe the definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples, so I should be glad that the New Hampshire House of Representatives did not pass this bill. However, I am disturbed because of the reason why it did not pass.


A bill that would have made New Hampshire the sixth state in the United States to authorize gay marriage stalled unexpectedly Wednesday over concessions to religious groups opposed to such unions.

The state’s House of Representatives objected to language in the bill that would have allowed religious groups to decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies or to offer gay couples other services …

A version of the bill with more limited religious protections passed the state’s House of Representatives on March 26.

So as I understand it, the New Hampshire House of Representatives would have voted to pass the bill if it did not contain language protecting the right of conscience for religious groups. This would imply that they want to use the bill in the future to require religious groups to participate in same-sex ceremonies — even if such participation were to violate their conscience and religious beliefs. That would be a dangerous precedent as well as a violation of First Amendment rights. (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”)

HT: Stand to Reason

National Day of Prayer 2009

National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer for the United States. The purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to gather the people of our country to come together and pray, particularly for our nation and for those in leadership on all levels of local, national, church and educational areas of influence.

Let me encourage you to participate in this special day of prayer for our nation. Over 40,000 prayer events are scheduled to take place this year across the country — at churches, schools, government buildings and other public gathering places. Some local pastors and I will be hosting an event in Agawam, MA during the lunch hour. To find an event near you, click here.

Congratulations Coral Ridge, New City and Tullian!

Tullian Tchividjian

Some of you have been following and praying for the proposed merger between Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and New City Church in South Florida. This morning Tullian Tchividjian preached his candidating sermon at Coral Ridge. The membership of Coral Ridge voted following the service at a special congregational meeting with 91% of the congregation voting to support the call. So, it is now official. The two congregations will unite for their first worship service on Easter Sunday, April 12th.

This is a culmination of many months of meetings, planning and prayer between the leadership of the two congregations. Please continue to pray for a smooth transition for both congregations as they come together to serve the Lord in South Florida. (Note: Coral Ridge was founded and pastored by Dr. D. James Kennedy who went home to be with the Lord in September, 2007 at the age of 76. Tullian will be the church’s second pastor.)

Related post:  Interview with Tullian Tchividjian

Pastor Killed in Church Service

Please pray for the First Baptist Church of Maryville, IL who lost their pastor today when a gunman opened fire during the morning service. Please pray also for Pastor Winters’ wife and daughters at this time of loss.

The Winters Family
Pastor Fred Winters with his wife Cindy and their two children, Alysia Grace and Cassidy Hope

From the church website:

Today, a little after our 8:15 service began, a man entered First Baptist Church and fired several gunshots at our Senior Pastor, Dr. Fred Winters. Pastor Winters was taken to the hospital but died of his wounds.

Please pray for Dr. Winter’s family, our two brave members who were injured when they stopped the assailant, for the assailant himself and his family, and for our church members as they deal with this tragic loss.

In this day, where uncertainty seems to abound creating an environment in which people are vulnerable in doing things they might not do otherwise, one thing is certain, we, as human beings need a foundation upon which we can live our lives. We at First Baptist Maryville, along with other Christian believers, share this conviction: that foundation is God’s Word. In the pages of the Book we call the Bible, we find the pathway for peace, hope, and a quality of living life despite what circumstances we find ourselves in.

To those who believe in the power of prayer, we covet your prayers right now.