Monday, September 15, 2014

Saint Andrew of Baghdad


The Reverend Canon Andrew White is vicar of St George's Church, Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq. He has thus been dubbed the “Vicar of Baghdad". He is also President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. He was previously Director of International Ministry at the International Center for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral,  England. 

My local paper, The Freelance Star, did a piece on Canon White today.  You can read it here...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's About Time...

The Associated Press is reporting the the United States is now providing arms to the Kurds in their death struggle against the scourge of ISIS/ISIL.  FInally.  

Time and again, we've fumbled the ball when it came to the Kurdish people.  This was evident, particularly, in our failure to call for a Kurdish homeland state following the 2003 Iraqi war.  This single act may have solved a number of issues as well as creating a solid ally in a region where the world desperately needs stability.  Hopefully, this action will build goodwill with the a people who have the iron will to stare down the horde and leave them to be carrion in the sands.

It can't be stated enough that ISIS/ISIL must not only be stopped, they must be completely destroyed beyond an ability to reconstitute or continue.  Their bloodlust will not be satisfied and their is no depths to their dark imaginations as attested to by the imagery coming from the region.  So far, I've not posted any of the graphic images of the their handiwork.  It is hard for even seasoned Marines to view.  This evidence confirms the stories of just what they've done to children.  Hell, and the Lake of Fire hold a special place for the bottom-dwellers who do these things to the Lord's littlest lambs.

I'd invite your continued prayers for the faithful of the region who remain in harm's way. Pray too for the Yazidis and pray for the Kurds.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Rethinking Pop views on Christ's Return

William Lane Craig, in an interview with Charisma News, speaks to the error of Darbyism that sprang up in the Nineteenth Century and is fueled both the Left Behind books series and the soon to be released film.  You can read the article here.  

Make no mistake, Christ is returning.
“You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”

Monday, August 04, 2014

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Hoofbeats

From the pen of St. John on Patmos...
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Rev. 6:1-10 NASB
Out of the Gate, I believe in a literal return of Christ and an eternal establishment of his kingdom as stated in the historic Christian creeds.  He will, as stated in the Nicene Creed "Come again to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end".  And, as the earlier Apostle's Creed simply stated "He will come again to judge the living and the dead".  But this said, I don't subscribe to Darby's view that holds to a belief that Christ would return for his church prior to the seven year period referred to as the Great Tribulation, a seven year period where the Almighty would pour out his wrath and judgement on an unbelieving world.

It seems more and more, that events in our world are becoming darker and seem to be coming out of the final pages of Scripture.  Wars, death, violence, famine, and now pestilence; it certainly brings to mind the 6th chapter of the Apocalypse of John.  There we read of specific judgements being levied against humanity for their persistent unbelief and rebellion against the Almighty.  In this, Four Horsemen are seen being unleashed upon the earth.  A white horse & rider who appeared as a conquering hero.  A red horse & rider who unleashed carnage and death.  A black horse & rider who unleashed famine and economic privation and famine.  And finally a pale horse & rider who brought famine and death. These four horsemen were seen as being responsible for millions upon millions.

Each morning, we wake to read and see news that seems to be lifted right out of the final chapters of scripture.  Whether it's stories of the slaughter of innocents, global catastrophes, or deadly plagues sweeping populations, all of these would seem to point to the closing moments of the age of man.  And, like REM sang, its the end of the world as we know it.  

I'm not about to say that these news stories are scripture being fulfilled before our own eyes.  I'm not a prophet and I've never played one on TV.   I would contend that these point to the terminal sin sickness of our world.  They stand as a reminder that this world is winding down and soon, our redeemer is returning.  These are mere portents and it will be likely become unimaginably much worse before the coda of time.

As easy as the urge may be, we can't look at the end through the pages of the Washington Post, Fox News or even LaHaye and Jenkins. There are websites that have made cottage industries out of this, even to the point of posting a weekly "Rapture Index". 

So when we read of these things and we believe we're hearing hoofbeats of dark horses, we should look up and know that our redemption is drawing near.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Thoughts on Gaza and more...

From the pen of King David, as inspired by the Almighty...
"A Song of Ascents, of David. I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Our feet are standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that is built As a city that is compact together; To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the LORD-- An ordinance for Israel-- To give thanks to the name of the LORD. For there thrones were set for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. "May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces." For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, "May peace be within you." For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good."  Psalm 122
Like many of you, I've been watching the the continuing strife in the mideast, not only the bloodbath in the fertile crescent, but the conflict on Israel's southwest border with the the Hamas-controlled terror state of the Gaza Strip.  The images are hard to look at, especially for us in the west who've been largely insulated from carnage and bloodshed.  I'd venture a guess that the most blood many of us have seen has been at a red cross blood bank.  Yet bloodshed is a fact of life for many on this sin-sick planet.

This morning, there are voices decrying the violence on the Israeli frontier.  They're calling for Israel to cease their military operations, stopping short of accusing them of atrocities against the Palestinians occupying Gaza.  They do this while displaying images of innocent casualties.  Others are calling for Israel to meet Hamas "halfway" in some form of accord.  Even our own Administration is breathing back-handed condemnation towards Israel.  In all of this, I'm finding myself feeling complicated emotions over the situation.

I have no pity for the hell spawn of Hamas.  They started this conflict, they're perpetuating it, and it will cease the moment they stop their murderous activities.  In many ways they remind me of some kids I knew growing up in Coatesville.  These boys found a wasp's nest and thought it would be entertaining to throw rocks at it.  The outcome was anticlimactic and they were stung without mercy.  Like these dopey boys, Hamas is throwing rocks at a proverbial wasp's nest.  They're inflicting damage against the nest and killing a few wasps in the process.  Yet the wasps are completely capable of defending their nest, to the point of interdicting the threat.  And like the wasp, Israel has the moral imperative to, and will defend their borders and citizens.  

I feel pity, washed in scorn for the innocent who are in harm's way.  No sane thinking person can view images of broken, injured civilians without being struck.  Yet these casualties of war have become such due to the cowardice and moral turpitude of the Hamas terrorists using them as human shields.  Only the truly gutless take up firing positions behind children.  Too, these poltroons have no compunction against slaughtering innocent Israeli children (who happen to be arab as well as jew) through their indiscriminate firing of unguided missiles into the Jewish heartland.

Many can't (or won't) see the fact that as part of it's charter, Hamas calls for the complete liquidation of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.  How does Israel meet them half way?  Were Saskatchewan to call for the same concerning our Republic, would we acquiesce?  If rockets were being lobbed into San Diego from Tijuana, would we shelter in place and hope for the best? 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it well when he said something to the fact of "If Hamas were to lay down their weapons, the fighting would immediately cease.  If Israel were to lay down its weapons, Israel would soon cease".  

I continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.  I know though that this will be at best, a temporary peace until Israel's rightful King steps back down onto the Mount of Olives to establish his eternal kingdom.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grist from the Mill of Locusts and Wild Honey

James Gibson, a South Carolina Anglican has a thoughtful piece over on the Locusts and Wild Honey Blog.  Here's just a taste of what Father James is setting forth...
The Anglican Church of North America is American Christianity’s best hope in a state of modern exile. This is because it best understands that the challenges of modern exile do not proscribe the Church’s missionary vocation, instead it encourages it. The ACNA has three things going for it that I’ll explain at length: its missional nature inherited from the Global South, its intellectual seriousness, and a strong, battle-tested respect for biblical and ecclesiastical authority in the face of doctrinal controversy.