Few Christians Have A Biblical World-View

I’ve been seeing a few different reports on this survey today. Although based in the U.S., I suspect that results would be similar in Australia. I’m not sure whether to throw up my hands in despair or just try harder and make sure my own flock know who the Shepherd is.

 

From Relevant Magazine:

Research: Only 17% of Christians Actually Have a Biblical Worldview

BY RELEVANT GOD MAY 11, 2017

A new joint study by Barna and Summit Ministries looks at the worldviews of practicing Christians. The results aren’t flattering. Among other things, it found that only 17 percent of Christians have what the researchers consider a biblical worldview. For that definition, Barna these markers: “believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”

Among other things, it found that only 17 percent of Christians have what the researchers consider a biblical worldview. For that definition, Barna these markers: “believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”

The full article is here

Massive Pro-life Petition Stuns NSW Parliament.

 Some really great news from lifesitenews.com

Massive pro-life petition stuns parliament in New South Wales

Abortion , Abortion Law Reform , Australia , New South Wales , Parliament , Petition

SYDNEY, Australia, May 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Legislative Council (upper house) of the New South Wales parliament was brought to a shocked silence as one of the largest official parliamentary petitions in its history was tabled by the Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC.

The petition with 56,559 signatures opposed the Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016. The Bill aims to “repeal offenses relating to abortion, to specify a ground of unsatisfactory professional conduct by a medical practitioner with respect to abortion, and to establish exclusion zones in order to prohibit certain behavior near premises at which abortions are provided.”

Having announced the number of signatories as part of the tabling process, Donnelly rose to read the content of the petition to the parliament. MPs looked away from their phones to pay attention and immediately noticed two of Donnelly’s staff bringing in large document boxes containing the petition sheets. An audible gasp filled the chamber.

Pro-lifers in the parliamentary gallery to witness the petition being tabled described it as “truly a ‘William Wilberforce’ moment” as the whole room was silent while Donnelly read out the petition.

The petition was the culmination of a two-week effort by the pro-life community. It contained signatures of residents from Sydney and throughout regional areas in New South Wales.

“It was much bigger than expected. I never thought we would get that many. We were really hoping to get 10,000” said petition coordinator Rebecca Gosper from Youth For Life.

The author of the Bill, Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi‏, was not present when the pro-life petition was tabled. She has her own official petition in favor of the Bill, running since November 2015, which is yet to be presented to the parliament. An unofficial online petition sits at 2,028 signatures.

Gosper, a university student who studies Human Sciences, combined with a few friends and created a page on Facebook for the pro-life campaign. What she expected to involve a dozen churches quickly took on an organic life of its own and evolved into 160 churches, sporting, and general community groups getting involved.

The campaign was not limited to the churches, as pro-abortion activists like to claim. “People were really receptive in that regard and were keen to do something practical to make a difference in New South Wales” Gosper said. Even shop owners in country towns became involved.

A mere 48 hours before the first church visits were scheduled, Gosper found herself flooded with messages from volunteers offering to collect signatures from various groups. She ended up working 18 straight hours just to stay on top of the messages and coordinate the flood of volunteers.

After the first weekend, she estimated that there would be a healthy 15,000 to 20,000 signatures. As they were counting, the petition forms kept arriving and the estimate was revised to between 30,000 and 40,000. Then, on Monday with just 48 hours to go, she received a text message from a volunteer that they had 49,000 signatures. Also, there were more that needed to be counted in addition to the petition forms waiting at Parliament House that arrived at network drop-off points.

Gosper says the two-week time frame was motivating for people and the short length didn’t turn out to be an issue. “It was amazing to see how well people responded when they were given the chance,” she said.

Faruqi‏’s Bill looks like it will have an uphill battle to pass the upper house before moving through to the lower house of parliament. LifeSiteNews has learned that even pro-abortion MPs are planning to vote against the Bill due to its extreme nature, similar to what was attempted with the Pyne bills in Queensland. It is also understood that Liberal party leaders are planning to vote against the bill to prevent it from making it to the lower house and becoming an issue in the lead-up to the next election.

Faruqi‏’s office was contacted for comment but did not provide a response. The bill is scheduled to be debated Thursday.

How to Win The Argument

face-pie

So a grumpy looking man plants a lemon meringue pie in Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s face to make a statement. The media didn’t mention what it was about, and to be fair, it wasn’t immediately obvious.

 

Given the clips of the incident followed by Joyce returning and laughing it off with some jokes, and the angry disposition of his attacker who will you have more sympathy for?

 

It turns out that the assailant is a Christian. He chose lemon meringue because it was soft and wouldn’t hurt him- so compassionate.

 

He is also a member of the Nationals.

 

Later he produced a statement apologising but stating that he was protesting about the way that Joyce and a few other corporate types are abusing their position to bully corporations and individuals to accept same sex “marriage.”

 

Clearly not the way to go. For one thing he did not get the message across at all, except to a small number of news nerds. Maybe there was better coverage in WA where the event took place.

 

Also, unless you are promoting a “progressive” cause you will probably get bad press for this sort of antic. Much better to get a mob together and hold some signs up so people really know what you are protesting.

 

But for christians, called to imitate Christ, it is particularly a bad idea. We have to always walk in the ways of Christ. That means discussing respectfully rather than going the face pie route, being winsome and loving our enemies whether real or ideological.

 

So no pies in the face. Not even soft lemon meringue pies. Not even when you disagree with your pastor.

Anne Voskamp: The One Cure For Burnout

Anne Voskamp writes about the one cure for burnout

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So this symphony lover invites me to a concert, a box seat, up over the orchestra.

It’s cold. Chicago. The violinists warm up. The whole northern hemisphere keeps trying to warm up to spring.

From anywhere in the building, you can see the guy up front, the conductor.

Somebody’s ironed his black threads pretty smooth. His hair – not so much. It’s this perfect balance of grace.

The lights dim, papers stop rustling. A thousand smart phones are rendered dumb. The conductor raises his arms and in one moment it’s like he’s pulled a million strings and the music rises — and there it is, clear as a spotlight:

The only way to lead a symphony is to turn your back to the crowd, the critics, the court.

Something inside me unhinges.

Read the full article here

Intolerance Growing in Indonesia

This is a very worrying trend in a nation which has, in the past, been verytolerant of diverse beliefs.

From persecution.org

Survey Finds 59% of Respondents Carried Out Acts of Intolerance Toward Non-Muslims

ICC Note:

The Wahid Foundation, an organization that promotes tolerance in Indonesia reports on acts of sectarian violence. The former first lady of Indonesia, Sinta Nuriyah Wahid, cited some alarming statistics from the Foundation’s research saying that, “Only 11 per cent of respondents expressed strong rejection of the idea of establishing an Islamic nation,” and adding that, “59 per cent of Indonesians who responded to the survey carried out acts of intolerance towards non-Muslims.” Indonesia has been under the growing influence of conservative Islam which is resulting in more acts of intolerance against non-Muslims.

4/25/2017 Indonesia (Asia News) – Sectarian acts against non-Muslims are rising fast, this according to a study by the Wahid Foundation, an organisation that promotes a tolerant and multicultural society in Indonesia.

The Wahid Foundation was set up to support the humanitarian vision of Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), a moderate Muslim intellectual and a former president of Indonesia, who, during his political career, promoted an inclusive version of Islam. As president, and as leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama, a Muslim movement, he promoted the rights of minorities, non-Muslims and Indonesian Chinese.

His widow, Sin Nuriyah Wahid, raised the issue of intolerance during a television interview on 10 April. The former first lady cited the Foundation’s study to warn her fellow citizens and her words continue to echo. The results of local elections in Jakarta on 19 April, which saw the victory of Anies Baswedan and radical Islamist groups, re-ignited the debate.

[Full Story]

3 Reasons to Not Believe

Some satire from “The Babylon Bee”

Here Are 3 Totally Solid Reasons To Believe Jesus Came Back From The Dead, But I Don’t Believe Them Because I’m Not A Weak-Minded Moron

 

It’s that time of year again—sheeple everywhere are celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. Religious simpletons who choose to regurgitate the blind faith their parents hammered into their skulls when they were children are gathering in church buildings and worshiping their magic sky fairy who has “come back from the dead.”

It’s interesting that the Christian religion sort of hinges on this event, and I’ll admit that there are a number of reasons why it actually makes sense to believe that the resurrection of Christ is a historical fact. I would probably even believe it myself, if I were a low-brow, dunderheaded flat-earther.

Well, just for fun on this Easter weekend, I thought I’d go over a few of these rationales. So here are three totally solid reasons to believe Jesus came back from the dead, which I don’t believe because I’m not a weak-minded moron.

1.) The tomb was empty. Jesus was publicly executed and laid in a guarded tomb in the city of Jerusalem. I mean, these are verifiable things that played out in front of people, you know? And with so many authority figures viciously opposed to Jesus, the entire Christianity thing could’ve been squashed right off the bat—all they had to do was produce his dead body (which, you better believe, they tried to do). But nobody could, because his body was gone. The empty tomb is quite a convincing reason to believe in the resurrection, but I never will because I’m not a mentally challenged dolt.

2.) He appeared to lots of people after his death. So tons of people claimed to have encountered the resurrected Jesus. Which is crazy. The Apostle Paul was one of them—and he gave up his enviable life of privilege in exchange for imprisonment, beatings, stonings, starvation, shipwrecks, and traveling thousands of miles to tell people that Jesus had come back from the dead, before being executed. Which would be weird for him to go through if he were just making it all up. And the disciples of Jesus—they all claimed to have encountered the back-from-the-dead Jesus. And they all maintained his resurrection as truth, all the way to their bloody, torturous deaths for claiming so. Which again, you know, wow. They literally could’ve stopped being tortured in horrific ways by denying that Jesus was risen. That’s a legit reason to believe that they were not actually lying, and they had actually seen the resurrected Christ with their own eyes and knew he was Lord and Savior, but I just can’t accept that because I’m not a feeble-minded, Bible-thumping robot.

3.) Christianity totally exploded. Jesus’s death should’ve killed Christianity, you know? Like, OK, no more Jesus, no more Christianity. Seems simple. Especially in that place and time—that population was staunchly opposed to the idea that people came back from the dead, and the idea of worshiping a man, to them, would have been the lowest form of blasphemy. But what happened? Well, starting from the place Jesus was crucified—which is the same place tons of people started claiming he had risen from the dead—Christianity exploded and believers were multiplied exponentially. Now if you think about it, the only thing that can really account for that would be the hundreds, or even thousands of people who told everyone they knew that they had literally seen the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes, and were willing to risk any form of punishment rather than deny what they had seen and knew as truth. Seriously, guys, think about that. I’m so glad I’m not a religulous, room-temperature-IQ-having buffoon, because If I were, I totally might believe that. But then I would be an emotional-crutch-needing dimwit. And people might make fun of me.

So there you have it. Those three reasons are pretty legit, are they not? Told you. They’re super-solid. I feel sorry for you lunkheads who take them to heart. You’re laughably weak-minded and unintelligent. I, on the other hand, am neither—which is why I don’t believe them.

I’m so glad I’m not a brainwashed half-wit, otherwise I’d probably believe all of this sound evidence.

Easter Means We Don’t Need A “Prayer Room”

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Stephen McAlpine writes:

Christian: We Don’t Need No Prayer Room

The decision by the Royal Adelaide Hospital to build a prayer room for Muslims, but no dedicated chapel for Christians, merely a multi-faith room instead, has drawn predictable ire from the likes of Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi.

The Australian newspaper today reported Bernardi  saying he is “sick and tired” of the constant accommodation to a minority group in Australia, to the detriment of Australia’s historical faith.

The report states:

Senator Bernardi said the new hospital’s arrangement was “everything that’s wrong” with the approach to integrate other cultural groups, and the prayer room was “clearly designed for Islam”.

Separate washing areas were “all the symbolism I need that this is tailor-made to accommodate to a tiny minority’’, he said yesterday. “We’re bending over to ­appease a minority for fear of causing offence while undermining our tradition and heritage.

is Bernardi right?  Is that what is happening?

Perhaps.  It’s not beyond the realms of possibility in our secular context, in which Anything But Christianity is viewed ironically, as sacrosanct, that that is the case.

But it’s not the only reason, perhaps not even the primary one.  Other faiths are less demarcated in our culture in the sense that Islam has strong parameters about what it can and cannot do; what it can and cannot abide in the public square.  Provisions need to be made.  Dedicated prayer rooms need to be available.

A multi-faith room for everyone else seems somehow reasonable because no one else seems to care too much about separatism in the way Islam still does.  And let’s face it, the anaemic version of Christianity in the public setting today has been at pains to show how much it is the same as everything else.  Islam, to its credit, is not making that mistake.

Perhaps too Bernardi, for all his railing against the secular system, misses the radical point of Christianity.  For if he understood it rightly he’d realise, we don’t need no prayer room at all!

Read the rest here