How do things really work when it comes to truth and lies?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
(my favorite quote by the Rev. Martin Niemöller)


(Getty image)

I don’t always understand how things work,
especially here at our beloved Word Press.

Take for example one’s “reader”…
In one’s reader, as one happily scrolls down the list of post’s written by those that one
has chosen to follow, WP will have a brief intermission by offering a post or two that “they”
think might pique one’s interest.

Kind of like a commercial or ad…but not…

It’s more like a recommendation of some other sort of post that one would assume would
be perhaps related to a followed post…
or not.

Maybe it’s about a recipe post or maybe a sports post…
Maybe it’s a post relating to the one you’d written earlier with a similar or like subject matter…

Or maybe it’s a post just to get your goat.

A post goading you into clicking, reading while getting you all riled up as you
roll up your sleeves readying to head over to the comment section…
This as your ire is now raised and you’re gunning to set the record straight with the individual
who WP so kindly thought you would enjoy visiting.

So I ask, why were they offering me a Hispanic / Latino-based posting, complete with
Hispanic subtitles (I don’t speak Spanish) along with a black and white photograph of WWII Nazis
with superimposed ICE labels on their backs with the title words boldly professing
“Trump is out to destroy families.”

I’ve not written or read anything about ICE, deportations, immigration, Nazi’s,
Hispanics or Trump today.
Thank goodness.

I did read a post about the book of James and the lesson on how to tame our tounges…
so maybe it was all just a test…hummmm

I felt as if WP was sadistically luring me into jumping into a fracas.

Where were the fun posts about the chocolate cake recipes or the ones with
the day’s funny cat memes??

Yet you should know, I was restrained.
I didn’t click.

I didn’t join in where I would just have just gotten mad and made others mad…
As all of that benefits no one.

And so that was what I was met with when I went to read my friend,
the Wee Flea’s latest posting.
And maybe it was due to the Flea’s words that brought parts of Pandora’s box
screaming my way.

It would be par for the course—

Caustic liberalism countering a conservative Christian view of things…
What’s new?

Tit for tat I suppose…
Equal time for the Ying and Yang of life…
As our society is all about equal…and yet….not really…

Our Wee Flea friend David Robertson was musing about an article which has now appeared in
the Scottish newspaper the Courrier, not one day, but for three days running…
all circling around like buzzards around the same dead story.

It seems that a certain Christian school Chaplin is coming under intense criticism
for being in opposition to Same-Sex Marriage of which, in turn, equates to homophobia
and thus is regarded as being hateful toward the LBGTQI communities.

Is it just me or are we adding new letters to that anachronism daily?

I’m sorry, did being in opposition to or of something have anything to do with hate?
Opposition simply means to oppose…as in not supporting, wanting, or dare we say, liking…
There is nothing there about hate.

I am opposed to black-eyed peas.
I don’t hate them, I just don’t want to cook them or eat them…
But I do cook them, despite my opposition because my husband likes them.

Same thing with banana pudding…I don’t hate it, I’m just opposed to it as my
dessert of choice—I prefer cherry pie instead…
I don’t hate bananas, or Vanilla wafers or meringue…
I’m just opposed to it all being put together as I don’t care for the taste…

You get the point.

David explains in his post that the articles regarding this Chaplin are all actually
quite false and he goes as far as to use the word ‘lie’ when referring to the articles
that have been written.

Never has this Chaplin said anything in the way of hatefulness or ugliness or derogatory
rhetoric toward any member of the aforementioned communities…
but perhaps it is merely his Christian beliefs that hold to the notion that such
aforementioned lifestyles run counter to God’s word.

I happen to agree that they do run counter to God’s word.

I don’t hate those communities, I just think they are choosing to live counter to the
word of God…
This as they do their darndest to convert the general populace into believing that
everything about their choices and lifestyles is all simply great…
Their stance is either ‘who cares what God has to do with anything’ or
‘let’s just rewrite what God has said in order to suit what we want.’

David writes…

But perhaps most chilling is the way that TIE (Time For Inclusive Education)
and the gay activists are prepared to use children to enforce their doctrine.
It is reminiscent of the way that Mao created the Little Red Guards,
in order to ensure that all of society conformed to his dictate.
This Maoist doctrine is precisely what is happening in Scotland today –
and few politicians, journalists or teachers are prepared to challenge it.

The hypocrisy from the politicians, media, and academia is appalling.
Are they demanding that Catholic chaplains should be removed because they are opposed to SSM
(Same-Sex Marriage)?
What about Muslims who are also opposed to SSM?
Should they be removed from public posts or would that be Islamaphobia?
(the third great sin of the secular liberals – the second is, of course, transphobia).

When SSM was passed (in the name of tolerance) we warned that one of the consequences
would be the marginalisation and demonisation of those who upheld the traditional
Christian position – and of course, we were mocked and abused as extremists
for suggesting such a ridiculous idea.
Now that we have vigilante groups of pupils attacking their school chaplain
in the media (who quietly acquiesce in this bullying) apparently, the real extremists are,
according to a local politician,
are those who are opposed to SSM;
a sin which makes you unworthy of public office.
And thus in one quick leap, we have moved as a society from tolerating difference
to equating those who oppose SSM with ISIS!
(One can only hope that the good people of Carnoustie have the sense at the next election
to get rid of a councillor who can spout such intolerant, irrational nonsense).

But what about the Church?

Here is an opportunity for the Church of Scotland to stand up for freedom of speech,
liberty of religion and to support one of its own ministers.
But not a word.
Nothing on their webpage, nothing on their social media and nothing to the press –
(unless of course, you know better).
It has been left to the Free Church and Baptist ministers to offer public support.
That tells you a great deal about the Church of Scotland.
It’s a spineless, gutless, Godless organisation,
which signals its virtue all over its own media,
but cannot even have the gumption or courage to stand up for one of its ministers
who is being pilloried in the press for holding a position which, until last year,
was their official position.

I also speak out because I know they will come for me too.

Already there have been a couple of pathetic attempts to have me removed as
a chaplain at the University of Dundee and I dare not reveal in public which schools
I am involved in (how sad that ‘tolerant, liberal Scotland has been reduced to this).
Because of the internet, there are vigilante groups who see it as their life mission to
cleanse the world of anyone who does not accept their agenda.
Most people can’t be bothered with the hassle and so just give them what they want.
I’m so thankful that Mike (like Israel Folau) has not caved in and is prepared to
stand up for what he (and millions of others) believe.
Lord, have mercy!

Scotland’s Little Pink Guards – The Strange Case of the School Chaplain, Time for Exclusive Education and Mob Rule

Lord have mercy indeed…

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.
Mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:13

It is what it is…

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

RSCN1851
(up close and personal with a sheep / Slieve League, Co Donegal, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Maybe I read more news then I should…
Maybe I read the stories that don’t receive the same amount of coverage or
attention as say… those stories which fill and flood our news outlets…
just as excessive rains fill a sewer system…

Sending a sea of garbage filled overflow flooding into all of our lives…
whether we ask for it or not…

For it seems that there are just too many “newsless” stories which seem to overshadow the truly more pressing stories…
those stories that we really should be focusing on…
especially as Christians…

Why as Christians you ask?
Why should I worry myself with the happenings and business of things which take place
“over there”
you muse?

Well…because in a plain spoken reminder, by one who did just that…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that when Christ calls…
when He calls both you and I…
it is a call to die…
to die unto self.

We are united in the faith and fellowship in the single body of Christ,
with our brothers and sisters around this globe…
and when one part of the body hurts and aches,
so does the whole…

It behooves us to be mindful that we have a vested interest in the
honoring of God’s sovereign land of Israel…
of which the US and the current administration has opted not to do…

It behooves us to be aware of the sacrifices made globally
by our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer because of their faith.
Those who are imprisoned, tortured and killed just for worshiping…
What will ever stop that happening say…one day to us…

It behooves us to be mindful that we in the West take for granted the freedom
to walk into our various houses of worship while so many others cannot…

It behooves us to note that if we fail to speak or act on their behalf,
on the behalf of countless others scattered around this ailing world…
then who will remain to act on ours…..

The following links are to recent stories…
stories reporting the events taking place in Israel,
the Christian genocide in Iraq by IS, the destruction of churches in China and
how 2015 was a very bad year for Christians worldwide:

http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-says-israels-netanyahu-opted-cancel-visit-211709688.html

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/08/separate-attacks-reported-in-israel-2-security-officers-injured.html?intcmp=hpbt3

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/08/beheadings-imprisonment-made-2015-worst-year-for-christian-persecution-report-finds.html?intcmp=hpbt2

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/catholics-urge-obama-to-use-1382330232389686.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/10/report-details-isis-atrocities-against-christians-presses-state-for-genocide-label.html?intcmp=hpbt1

http://uverse.com/uv/watch/c___Wbh9DOcn41YA?ref=yfp

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Martin Niemoller

Blood of the Lamb

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.

Agnes Dei / taken for the Church of England’s Common Worship)

DSC00301
(watercolor / Julie Cook / 2011)

The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Exodus 12:13

God made a promise to His people that when the plagues descended upon Egypt
as a punishment to Egyptian people and their king, Pharaoh,
who kept the Israelites as captive slaves,
that He would spare the homes that were marked with the blood of
the sacrificial animals. . .the Spirit and Shadow of Death would “Pass Over”
the home marked with the blood,
yet woe to the unmarked homes as the Spirit of Death would claim the first born
of each home…

To be marked by the blood of the Lamb,
To be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb
To be saved by the blood of the Lamb.

I claim that blood today and everyday of my life,
to be marked, once again, on the threshold of my own home.
The sacrificial and saving blood of Jesus Christ.

Last evening, Lara Logan of 60 Minutes presented the story entitled Iraq’s Christians Persecuted by ISIS.
This Iraqi sect of Christianity, whose very inception dates to the 1st century–
to the time of the earliest followers of Jesus crucified,
sits precariously perched on the front lines between madness and annihilation.
The spoken language is Aramaic, the same ancient dialect of Jesus–
the only known group of Christians to still worship in His language.
Only a handful of monks remain in the 3rd century monastic stronghold and monastery
of St Matthews whose vista is a beautiful valley as old as time and yet eerily sits four miles from the Islamic State controlled border.

(click on the link to read and view the full story
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iraq-christians-persecuted-by-isis-60-minutes/ )

These Northern Iraqi Christians, whose existence has flowed out the
fertile Nineveh plains of ancient Mesopotamia for almost 2000 years,
have withstood the kingdoms of Persia, the Ottomans, The Mongols and Kurds,
yet sadly it appears that there is one group who may actually have the final say
in the existence or final death of these ancient Christians…
The Islamic State also known as IS or ISIS or simply in Arabic as Da’esh.

The northern Iraqi city of Mosel now stands front and center as a
symbol of Da’esh occupation.
It is in Mosel, as well as the surrounding villages,
that these ancient Christians have claimed their home for nearly 2000 years.
Within the past several months roughly 125,000 Christians,
as well as clergy and monks, have fled due to Da’esh persecutions.

The homes of known Christians, as well as their churches,
are marked with a red spray painted arabic letter N which is the first
letter of the arabic word for Christian or Nasrani or Nazarene.

Nasrani-N-Twitter
(image taken from the web)

What an interesting irony it is to a different time and occupying force that once identified the homes and worship centers of a different group of people with a single yellow symbol.

eastofsuez_jude
(image used from Virginia Edu.)

Have we not learned?
Does history teach us nothing?

The identified Christians, whose homes are marked,
are told that they must convert, pay exorbitant fees to the occupiers and /
or face “the sword”–the now familiar beheadings of those who oppose IS.
The threat is real as children and wives are often taken as an incentive for
conversion.
IS also states that the Islamic law prescribes that girls age of 10 and older
are to be married off.
Escape seems to be the only option.

The priests and monks who Ms. Logan interviewed are now refugees themselves,
having sought refuge in Kurdistan, as they too have fled their churches.
They left with very little of the holy treasures which have been entrusted to
them for thousands of years which were the very building blocks of their
heritage and faith…which are in turn building blocks to our heritage and faith.

Many articles and manuscripts date back to the 1st century.
Sadly those treasures, those pieces of our global Christian heritage of both
faith and history, which were left behind, have most likely been burned and
destroyed by IS.
Just as we see in the images of the desecration of ancient churches.

171
(This image taken from the web, IJReveiw)

This image from the UK’s Daily Mail shows an IS militant taking a sledge hammer
to the tomb of the Prophet Jonah who Christians, Jews and Muslims all revere.

article-2685923-1F81DA1E00000578-197_634x344

I just don’t know what the World, the global family of humanity, needs to see,
needs as evidence, in order to stand up… taking not merely an interest
but taking a stand, as to what is currently taking place.

The Obama Administration continues to refuse to call the attacks on the Christians
of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, etc as “Christian Persecution”

When asked by Logan, Archbishop Nicodemus Sharaf responded to what could be done,
what could be done by those “good” Muslims…
he stated that they could “Speak up. Of course, there is good people of
the Islam people. There is not all Muslim people [that] are bad.
I believe. But where is the good people? Where is their voice? Nothing.
Few. Few.

He then adds, “They take everything from us, but they cannot take the God from our hearts, they cannot.”

This 60 Minutes story comes on the heels of the latest news regarding the
“US Military Hit List” composed by IS.
It is a list of one hundred military personnel and their families—
names, addresses, personal information…
a seemingly harmless list yet actually a vile and sinister list
as it is a list intended for death.
IS has called upon all jihadists to kill these 100 individuals
and their families.

The information however was not hacked, not stolen but rather gathered
easily from Social Networks such as Facebook and even from Governmental
websites.

I just don’t know what it’s going to take for the free world to take
notice of the fact that the freedoms we all seem to take for granted are
sitting on a very fragile glass table and there are those who stand
ready with sledge hammers to smash the table and all that sits upon
it into oblivion. . .

I will close with a favorite quote I’ve often used before…
it is debated if this quote was first used by Dietrich Bonhoeffer or
by Martin Niemöller–both German Lutheran pastors imprisoned in
the Nazi Death Camps–
Bonhoeffer eventually being executed and
Niemöller being released at the end of the war.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to
speak up.”

–Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

Truth and Love have always won

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

DSCN3172
(a delightful little bowl of color on a bleak January day / Julie Cook / 2014)

It grows ever apparent that faith, the beliefs held by those who strive to live the Word of God and profess the victory of the Resurrection, continues to swirl in the murky waters of political correctness, appeasement, self righteous indignation, ridicule by both big media and the entertainment industry, as well as from the sense of many that it is all quite passé and irrelevant in this age of glamor, glitz, high tech, new fangled, ego filled, self indulgence, and the endless pursuit of self fulfillment.

Covenants and laws proclaimed long ago and most far away seem to have little if any bearing on the living large lives which now seem to be the current trend of the world. The endless consumption of placating food, drink, sex and drug all in the name of “If I want to, I certainly can” continues leading to a path of self destruction which is sadly unrecognizable by the masses. The vortex of self gratification relishes sucking in soul after soul with little if any realization that this is not a positive situation.

Governments vie for control of global markets, as world leaders continue to demonstrate personal bad behavior, claiming that what is done in private, is no one’s business, all as they roll toward the quest of becoming demigods. Terrorism, that overt selfish fanaticism of an alarming growing number of depraved individuals, continues to hold the world at large hostage. The freedom to worship a monotheistic God, which is not so free, no longer is a priority as the smaller gods of technology, entertainment, self, and money all jockey for control.

All of this while the keepers of the Faith are lulled into acceptance. “Don’t rock the boat” the lies are slickly whispered by the insidious ancient foe, “you might as well get on board because it is simply now the way of the world”—“be quiet, don’t say anything because the backlash is tremendous” —“it’s all too old fashioned you know, those antiquated beliefs or yours”. . .”you, with that Faith of yours, are all wrong for having those beliefs of yours, in fact you are no longer entitled to your beliefs because they run counter to the way of this country, this world, this new age. . .

Sounds all rather bleak and Orwellian does it not? Sounds as if you would prefer not to think about it, to turn away, to pretend it doesn’t exist. Why should you bother, just ignore it and hope it will go away, just leave me alone, you say, in my ever shrinking world–

Ok.
That is your choice, your prerogative. But the world, with its current ways, is not going away. It will continue telling you that you are wrong and it is right. Masses will rise up against you. You will be mocked and ridiculed until you decide to be quiet.
Don’t argue.
Don’t disagree.
Maybe it’s ok, you wish upon yourself. Maybe they are right you reassuringly question.
It’s just all too grey, not well defined. As long as people are happy then it’s all ok is it not?

Is it?

Hear the words of Martin Niemöller spoken in a different time and place:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.