As we arrive at this historic day, it's important for us to remember that 50 years ago, on August 28, 1963, people were marching for jobs, for decent housing, for justice, for better education.
Now in the 21st century, 50 years later we see people adding special interest groups or causes. For instance, we heard Planned Parenthood speaking at the march last week. We heard the homosexual community advocating their agenda. For me, what was missing were appeals for the unborn, requests to put prayer back on our schools, a push for restoring the work ethic and those types of things.
Of course we understand that causes divide us. Yet, may I point that it is the love of Christ that unites us. As to our causes, it is truth and not bickering that sets us free. Because people perish simply for lack of knowledge, I am committed to speaking out more truth in love. more >>
After Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi was recently removed from power in Egypt, Islamic radicals went to work in that country. First came the red graffiti that was splashed on Christian churches, homes and shops. Then came the attacks. Since August 14, at least 47 church buildings and monasteries have been set ablaze or looted, including one Coptic Church that had just been built after 13 years of haggling for construction permits.
Christian schools, homes, and shops are continuously besieged by Brotherhood supporters who have killed several Christians in recent days as they protest the deposing of their Islamist leader. Up to now the Obama Administration has not condemned the anti-Christian persecution that has swept that country. Congressional response has been muddled: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says that aid to Egypt has been halted because of the riots, but the Pentagon says that is not true. But open discussion about the anti-Christian animus in that nation is regularly avoided.
Regardless of the intransigence of leaders in Washington, private citizens are saying, "enough is enough." In the West, an online public petition is calling for national leaders, including President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, to demand an end to anti-Christian violence in Egypt. more >>
In a bipartisan op-ed in the Washington Post, Robert P. George, Republican chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and Democratic Vice Chair Katrina Lantos Swett, urged the Obama administration to renew its concern about six countries with serious religious freedom problems.
"Although religious freedom is a pivotal human right, critical to national security and global stability, key provisions of the landmark International Religious Freedom Act are being neglected," George and Swett wrote on Tuesday. This 1998 law, which set up USCIRF, requires the State Department to review and designate "Countries of Particular Concern," or CPCs, where religious freedom is being violated, so the U.S. government can take possible diplomatic or economic steps.
"Unfortunately, neither Republican nor Democratic administrations have consistently designated countries that clearly meet the standard for offenders," George and Swett continued. Since the designation only lasts two years, countries designated CPCs in August 2011 must be reviewed and classified by the end of this month. more >>
In a major policy change, one of Canada's largest ministries, Christian Horizons, will no longer force all job applicants to sign a "Statement of Faith" acknowledging the Gospel. The ministry announced, in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) – a group which successfully sued them for discriminating against a homosexual worker – that they will open jobs to non-Christians.
"I am skeptical that this Evangelical Christian ministry would be making this change without the pressure being placed upon it by the Ontario Human Rights Commission," Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., told The Christian Post in a Wednesday interview. "It's irrational on its face and it is discriminatory in its effect."
Sprigg recounted the story of Connie Heintz, who worked at Christian Horizons until she was pressured to quit after engaging in a homosexual relationship. As a term of her employment, she signed a "Lifestyle and Morality Statement," by which she vowed to abstain from immoral behavior, including pornography, pre-marital, extra-marital, and homosexual activity as a condition of her employment. She later sued the organization. more >>
An Egyptian Christian, who is a research fellow at an institute for religious freedom in the U.S, says last week's attacks on Christian churches and believers in Egypt are the worst in 700 years and believes Western media has not covered the chaos accurately.
"Egypt has not witnessed this size of an attack on Christians, on churches [current reports of up to 50 churches damaged or destroyed] since 1321," said Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, to The Christian Post on Tuesday.
Tadros said the news of these attacks has been stifled by confused coverage rather than intentional Western media bias appearing to support the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the violence that included hundreds of deaths on August 14, many Christians including the Coptic Orthodox Church, have denounced the news coverage. Also, the scholar argued that foreign journalists have a tendency to focus on events in the capital, Cairo, rather than those throughout the region. more >>
In the Bible, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was instructed to sacrifice one goat for the forgiveness of sins (for a year). He laid his hands on another goat and confessed the sins of the people, and then banished it to the wilderness.
This second goat we have called the "scapegoat" in English, ever since the phrase was coined by the first major translator of the Bible into English (from the original Hebrew and Greek), William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536). (Wycliffe translated it from Latin.) Much of Tyndale's work was used in the King James Bible (1611) and thus popularized all over the world.
Christians view Jesus' death as fulfilling all the ceremonial sacrifices, including that sacrificial goat and the scapegoat---and the Passover lamb and everything else. more >>