Archive for 01/30/2012

New Bible Yanks ‘Father,’ Jesus as ‘Son of God’

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

1 John 4:15, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

John 15:5-6, “I am the vine, you [are] the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw [them] into the fire, and they are burned.”

Altering God-inspired Scripture and its intended meaning in an effort to be more “appealing” to Islamic sensitivities carries with it the serious risk of leading many into an apostate form of “Christianity.” As the article below demonstrates, such efforts have done precisely that. Although I understand what these publishers are attempting to do, this is not the right way to do it. In a day and age where spiritual darkness increasingly engulfs the Muslim world, it is not the Biblical text that needs to be altered, but rather the Islamic misconceptions of some of the most basic tenets upon which Christianity is built. His Word is a lamp unto our feet. It is a light unto our path. And the original words chosen by the Spirit should be left as the Spirit intended. Anything else may simply cause them to stumble …

By Joel Richardson – “In the world of questionable and sometimes downright silly Bible translations, one would think that it couldn’t get any worse.

After all, we’ve seen the ‘In da beginnin’ Big Daddy created da heaven an’ da earth’ Ebonics Bible, as well as the ‘Apostle’s Log’ Star Trek English paraphrase Bible. In a more serious effort, the New Oxford Annotated Bible was created in part by pro-‘gay’ and feminist scholars in order to set forth a more ‘gay’ revisionist interpretation of Scripture.

But now there is a major controversy developing as the latest altered Bibles are being created by organizations that most would think of as being more conservative and reasonable. At the forefront of the controversy are the Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, all of which are producing Bible translations that remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims.

That’s right: Muslim-friendly Bibles.

Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as ‘Father,’ to Jesus as the ‘Son’ or ‘the Son of God.’ One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this:

‘baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’

to this:

‘cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.’

A large number of such Muslim-sensitive translations already are published and well-circulated in several Muslim-majority nations such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.

According to Joshua Lingel of i2 Ministries, ‘Even more dramatic a change is the Arabic and Bangla (Bangladesh) translations. In Arabic, Bible translations err by translating ‘Father’ as ‘Lord.’ ‘Guardian.’ ‘Most High’ and ‘God.” In Bangla, ‘Son of God’ is mistranslated ‘Messiah of God’ consistent with the Quran’s Isa al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah), which references the merely human Jesus.’

In response to these translations, many within the evangelical missions movement as well as many former Muslim converts and indigenous Christians from countries where these translations are being used, are Read more…

Does Psalm 83 Describe the Next Mideast War?

01/30/2012 33 comments

I have also believed for some time that any answer to the prayer of Psalm 83 could only be observed at the conclusion of Israel’s final battle, brought to a decisive and irrefutable end through Divine intervention at the Second Coming of Messiah. It is good to see some prominent pre-trib adherents reconsidering Psalm 83 and any prerequisites needed to satisfy its fulfillment, as pointed out by Richardson below. Now they just need to re-examine the details surrounding Gog-Magog

By Joel Richardson – “Throughout the Christian church, an idea that has gained much traction in recent years holds that the next major Middle Eastern war is described in Psalm 83. According to this view, a contingent of Arab nations that immediately surround Israel will soon make an attempt to invade her, only to be utterly defeated by the Israeli Defense Forces. Many even believe that as a result of this great victory over her neighbors, Israel will literally come to occupy the nations of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This growing view also holds that after this period of victory and peace, another massive war, this time described in Ezekiel 38 and 39, will follow. If one peruses several of the larger online Bible prophecy discussion forums, it will quickly become apparent just how widespread this view truly is among prophecy students.

But few of these students of prophecy are aware of the many problems with this view. For the past few years, I’ve been highlighting several of these problems, but recently, both Dr. Thomas Ice, the executive director of the Pre-Trib Research Center, and Pastor Mark Hitchcock, another very well-accomplished prophecy teacher and author, have also articulated several of the problems with the popular interpretation of Psalm 83.

The first problem is that most scholars reject the idea that Psalm 83 is even an actual prophecy, but is simply, ‘a national prayer of lament.’ Such a Psalm would not be considered a prophecy in the sense of that which was uttered by the biblical prophets.

Second, even if one does consider Psalm 83 to be a prophecy in the proper sense, the primary reason many have come to accept this two-war scenario is because of the differences between the nations listed in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 and 39. While Psalm 83 lists what are often referred to as the ‘inner circle’ of nations that immediately border Israel, Ezekiel 38 and 39 lists a series of nations that form a larger ‘outer ring’ around Israel including Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya and, many argue, Russia. But a closer examination of both texts reveals that it is far more likely that these two passages speak of the same war.

If one examines the list of nations in Psalm 83, few analysts include the nation of Turkey. Yet Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, mentions that ‘Assyria’ (v.8) will join this coalition. When this Psalm was written during the reign of King David, the Kingdom of Assyria included portions of modern-day Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Analysts of Psalm 83 have included both Iraq and Syria in their coming invasion scenario, but never Turkey. Yet the reality is that the Assyrian Kingdom during the time the Psalm was written included quite a bit more of modern Turkey than Syria. This is significant, of course, because Read more…

The Fruits of an Arab Spring: Persecution of Christians Rising in Islamic Countries

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

Daniel 7:25, “And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Revelation 13:15, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

By Tzippe Barrow – “JERUSALEM, Israel — With Islamists poised to take over governments overthrown during the ‘Arab spring,’ Christians and other minorities may soon be subject to Sharia (Islamic) law.

Some say assurance by Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis, and Ennahda, that non-Muslims would not be mistreated under Sharia is, at best, questionable.

In Egypt, attacks on Coptic Christians have increased exponentially since the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime last year.

Egyptian Christians have been beaten, shot and stabbed to death, and their homes and churches have been fire bombed by angry Muslims.

On Monday, Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament held its first session. The Muslim Brotherhood now holds 47 percent of the seats, and the Salafist al-Nour party 25 percent.

Syrian Christians have also come under increasing persecution.

‘The Christian community in Syria has been hit by a series of kidnappings and brutal murders; 100 Christians have now been killed since the anti-government unrest began,’ the Jerusalem Post quoted the Pakistan Christian Post.

According to the report, two Christians were gunned down recently at a bakery. In a separate incident, three attackers killed a Christian as he drove with two young children in the car.

In Libya, Muslims staged a demonstration Friday, demanding that legislation in the post-Gadhafi government would be based on the principles of Sharia, not secular, law.

‘We as a Muslim nation have taken Islamic Sharia as the source of legislation,’ National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said in October, according to Reuters.

Jalil added that ‘any law that contradicts the principles of Islam is legally nullified.’

Many experts wonder if Sharia law can support ‘genuine’ democracy. Last July the American Thinker re-posted the ‘Top ten reasons why Sharia is bad for all societies,’ originally published in August 2005.

According to that report, under Sharia, an apostate — anyone who leaves Islam for any reason — can be put to death if they refuse to repent. Criticizing the prophet Mohammed, the Koran or Sharia law is also punishable by death.” Read more.

The Religion of Misogyny – Police Say Afghan Man Who Wanted a Son Killed His Wife for Giving Birth to Girl

01/30/2012 1 comment

“KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he had hoped for, police said Monday.

It was the latest in a series of grisly examples of subjugation of women that have made headlines in Afghanistan in the past few months — including a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by in-laws and a female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery.

The episodes have raised the question of what will happen to the push for women’s rights in Afghanistan as the international presence here shrinks along with the military drawdown. NATO forces are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2014.

In the 10 years since the ouster of the Taliban, great strides have been made for women in Afghanistan, with many attending school, working in offices and even sometimes marching in protests. But abuse and repression of women are still common, particularly in rural areas where women are still unlikely to set foot outside of the house without a burqa robe that covers them from head to toe.

The man in the latest case, Sher Mohammad, fled the Khanabad district in Kunduz province last week, about the time a neighbor found his 22-year-old wife dead in their house, said District Police Chief Sufi Habibullah. Medical examiners whom police brought to check the body said she had been strangled, Habibullah said.

The woman, named Estorai, had warned family members that her husband had repeatedly reproached her for giving birth to a daughter rather than a son and had threatened to kill her if it happened again, said Provincial women’s affairs chief Nadira Ghya, who traveled to Khanabad to deal with the case. Estorai gave birth to her second daughter between two and three months ago, Ghya said. Officials did not have a family name for either Sher Mohammad or Estorai.” Read more.

Categories: Radical Islam

The ‘Religion of Pieces’: Minnesota Man Allegedly Tries to Join Jihad in Somalia, Threatens to ‘Chop’ His Sister and Mother ‘In Pieces’

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

By Emily Gurnon – “A St. Paul man who began to get violent after he decided to join jihad and travel to Somalia, according to his family, was charged with making terroristic threats.

The family of Sharmarke Duale, 20, told police he had done well in high school and college until he began attending a mosque on University Avenue, according to a criminal complaint.

The name of the mosque was not mentioned.

‘Since that time, he has been very disrespectful toward the women in the house and has threatened his father to try to get his father to assist Duale in getting a passport,’ according to the complaint filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.

The complaint gives this account of events:

Police were called Tuesday afternoon to the family’s home in the 700 block of Burr Street in St. Paul about an assault in progress.

They were told that a son had stabbed his mother and was trying to get back into the house by breaking a window with a shovel.

Officers arrived to find Duale on the porch wielding a shovel. The mother was inside; police saw defensive stab wounds on her hands.

According to the complaint, the family said Duale was raising money for jihad and told his father, ‘Take me out of this country, or I will show you what will happen; things will not be good for you.’

Duale’s father, Mohamed Duale, vehemently denied telling police that his son was raising money for jihad.

‘We never said these words,’ he told a reporter Friday. ‘This is wrong what they put here; this is not from my family.’

According to the complaint, Sharmarke Duale tried to stab his father but cut his mother when she jumped in to intervene. He also punched his sister.

Duale’s parents said they are afraid of him and want him to get help. He has threatened to ‘chop (his sister and mother) in pieces’ and ‘kill the girls.'” Read more.

Antibiotics Prove Powerless as Super-Germs Spread, Microbiologists Warn Bacteria Could Spark a Pandemic

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

“The pathogens thrive in warm, moist environments. They feel comfortable in people’s armpits, in the genital area and in the nasal mucous membranes. Their hunting grounds are in the locker rooms of schools and universities, as well as in the communal showers of prisons and health clubs.

The bacteria are transmitted via the skin, through towels, clothing or direct body contact. All it takes is a small abrasion to provide them with access to a victim’s bloodstream. Festering pustules develop at the infection site, at which point the pathogens are also capable of corroding the lungs. If doctors wait too long, patients can die very quickly.

This is precisely what happened to Ashton Bonds, a 17-year-old student at Staunton River High School in Bedford County, in the US state of Virginia. Ashton spent a week fighting for his life — and lost. This is probably what also happened to Omar Rivera, a 12-year-old in New York, who doctors sent home because they thought he was exhibiting allergy symptoms. He died that same night.

The same thing almost happened at a high school in the town of Belen, New Mexico. Less than two weeks ago, a cheerleader at the school was hospitalized after complaining about an abscess. Twelve other female students had been afflicted with suspicious rashes. All the students tested positive for a bacterium that the US media has dubbed the “superbug.”

The school administration in Belen believes that the bacterium was spread on mats in the school’s fitness and wrestling rooms. The facility was thoroughly disinfected 40 times, and yet the fear remains.

Fears of a Pandemic

Microbiologists refer to this bacterium as community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or ca-MRSA. The terrifying thing about it is its resistance to almost all common antibiotics, which complicates treatment. And, in contrast to the highly drug-resistant hospital-acquired MRSA (ha-MRSA) strains, which primarily affect the elderly and people in hospitals and nursing homes, ca-MRSA affects healthy young people. The bacterium has become a serious health threat in the United States. Doctors have already discovered it in Germany, although no deaths have been attributed to it yet in the country.

The two bacteria, ha-MRSA and ca-MRSA, are only two strains from an entire arsenal of pathogens that are now resistant to almost all available antibiotics. Less than a century after the discovery of penicillin, one of the most powerful miracle weapons ever produced by modern medicine threatens to become ineffective.

The British medical journal The Lancet warns that the drug-resistant bacteria could spark a ‘pandemic.’ And, in Germany, the dangerous pathogens are no longer only feared ‘hospital bugs’ found in intensive care units (ICUs). Instead, they have become ubiquitous.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

‘Perfect Storm’: In Case You Still Don’t Get It, Here’s Why A Greek Default Should Put ‘Fear In Your Heart’

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

“NEW YORK (AP) — Remember Greece?

It’s been two years since a financial crisis erupted in the birthplace of drama, and the final act is still unfinished. A second week of talks in Athens ended Friday with no deal between the country, the European Union and private holders of Greek bonds.

Remarkably, even after the crisis became such an international worry last year that the leaders of France and Germany were actually referred to as “Merkozy,” the European debt bomb could still explode, with Greece as the fuse.

Economists and investors see a Greek default as the biggest test of the world financial system since the crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment house in 2008.

It is also the biggest threat to what has been a successful start to the year in the U.S. stock market. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has gained 4.7 percent, roughly half its average for a full year, in just four weeks.

‘If talks break down next week and it looks like they can’t reach a deal, it raises all sorts of risks,’ says Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. ‘The stock market could probably lose half its gains for the year.’…

A breakdown in talks could trigger steep losses in stock markets in Europe and the U.S. Just as in 2008, banks could stop lending to each other, and the credit freeze could cause a market panic.

More importantly overseas, it could cause borrowing rates for Portugal and Italy to jump, pushing those much larger countries closer to defaults of their own.

That’s only the beginning…” Read more.

Eurozone crisis: angry Greeks condemn EU plot to control its finances – “Greece has reacted furiously to a German proposal that an EU budget commissioner with oversight of its economy be installed in Athens after mounting speculation that international lenders will have to stump up yet more money for the country. The escalating row threatened to eclipse Monday’s summit after Greece’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, issued a tart response to the suggestion, saying his compatriots were themselves capable of fulfilling the ‘historical obligation’ to take the country out of crisis. The proposal, in a leaked document, argued for the creation of a commissioner with veto powers over the Greek budget, saying Athens’ inability to meet fiscal targets had made the post a precondition of further rescue funds from its ‘troika’ of creditors: the EU, IMF and ECB.” Read more.

Pundits fear ‘perfect storm’ despite official optimism – “Despite attempts by political and business leaders to suggest the eurozone has turned a corner, the prevailing view of pundits is things can only get worse and a “perfect storm” is brewing… Some of the players most closely involved with the crisis since the 2008 financial meltdown insisted there was now light at end the tunnel with European Central Bank president Mario Draghi hailing ‘outstanding progress’… But, in an end of forum debate, experts predicted the break-up of the eurozone, economic malaise in the United States and a rise of militancy — and then there are the consequences of a conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

The USGS Monitors Earth’s Magnetic Field to Prepare Citizens for Magnetic Storms

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

By Christina Nyquist and Jeffrey Love – “Everyone is familiar with weather systems on Earth like rain, wind and snow. But space weather – variable conditions in the space surrounding Earth – has important consequences for our lives inside Earth’s atmosphere.

Solar activity occurring miles outside Earth’s atmosphere, for example, can trigger magnetic storms on Earth. These storms are visually stunning, but they can set our modern infrastructure spinning.

On Jan. 19, scientists saw a solar flare in an active region of the Sun, along with a concentrated blast of solar-wind plasma and magnetic field lines known as a coronal mass ejection that burst from the Sun’s surface and appeared to be headed for Earth.

When these solar winds met Earth’s magnetic field, the interaction created one of the largest magnetic storms on Earth recorded in the past few years. The storm peaked on Jan. 24, just as another storm began.

‘These new storms, and the storm we witnessed on Sept 26, 2011, indicate the up-tick in activity coming with the Earth’s ascent into the next solar maximum,’ said USGS geophysicist Jeffrey Love. This solar maximum is the period of greatest activity in the solar cycle of the Sun, and it is predicted to occur sometime in 2013, which will increase the amount of magnetic storms on Earth.

Magnetic storms, said Love, are a space weather phenomenon responsible for the breathtaking lights of the aurora borealis, but also sometimes for the disruption of technology and infrastructure our modern society depends on. Large magnetic storms, for example, can interrupt radio communication, interfere with global-positioning systems, disrupt oil and gas well drilling, damage satellites and affect their operations, and even cause electrical blackouts by inducing voltage surges in electric power grids. Storms can also affects airline activity — as a result of last weekend’s storm, both Air Canada and Delta Air Lines rerouted flights over the Arctic bound for Asia as a precautionary measure. Although the storm began on the 19th of January, it did not peak until January 24th.

While this particular storm had minor consequences on Earth, other large storms can be crippling, Love said. He noted that the largest storm of the 20th century occurred in March, 1989, accompanied by auroras that could be seen as far south as Texas, and sent electric currents into Earth’s crust that made their way into the high-voltage Canadian Hydro-Quebec power grid. This caused the transformer to fail and left more than 6 million people without power for 9 hours. The same storm also damaged and disrupted the operation of satellites, GPS systems, and radio communication systems used by the United States military.

While large, the 1989 storm pales in comparison to one that occurred in September 1859 and is the largest storm in recorded history. Scientists estimate that the economic impact to the United States from a storm of the same size in today’s society could exceed $1 trillion as a result of the technological systems it could disrupt.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Australia: ‘Black Water Event’ Kills Hundreds of Fish in Melbourne Reservoir Wetlands

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

“A popular wetland in Melbourne’s north has been hit by a ‘black water’ event that has killed hundreds of fish.

A POPULAR wetland in Melbourne’s north has been hit by a ‘black water’ event that has killed hundreds of fish.

Local residents described the water just north of Edwardes Lake in Reservoir as jet black and smelling rotten.

The black water in the Edgars Creek wetlands has again highlighted problems with the health of Melbourne’s waterways, which have been plagued by stormwater runoff and sewage spills after heavy rain.

The Environment Protection Agency says it is still investigating the cause of the black water. Spokeswoman Tanya O’Shea said officers initially observed 30 dead carp – an invasive pest – the largest being 45 centimetres long.

Darebin Council city design and environment director Daniel Freer said 200 to 300 carp had perished in the black water, along with a few smaller fish, likely to be perch.

The EPA says it has instructed the council to clean the dead fish from the wetlands, which have now been partly drained and will be flushed with fresh water.

Black water events – when oxygen is dissolved from the water – are usually caused by dry, hot weather or an abundance of organic matter like leaves being built up or swept into a waterway after rain. Last summer a black water event hit the Murray River, killing hundreds of Murray cod.

But local conservationists are concerned sewage run-off may have played a role in the black water event. Luisa Macmillan, manager of the Merri Creek Management Committee, said there have been previous overflows of sewage into Edgars Creek, and it was an imperative the event be investigated.” Source – Optus Zoo.

Norway: Two Muslim Men Convicted of Terrorism, Plotted Attack Against Danish Newspaper for Printing Mohammed Caricature

01/30/2012 Leave a comment

“OSLO, Norway — Two men were found guilty Monday of involvement in an al Qaeda plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricturerd the Prophet Muhammad, the first convictions under Norway’s anti-terror laws.

A third defendant was acquitted of terror charges but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives.

Investigators say the plot was linked to the same al Qaeda planners behind thwarted attacks against the New York subway system and a shopping mall Manchester, England, in 2009.

The Oslo district court sentenced alleged ringleader Mikael Davud, to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to three and a half years.

Judge Oddmund Svarteberg said the court found that Davud, a Chinese Muslim, ‘planned the attack together with al Qaeda.’ Bujak was deeply involved in the preparations, but it couldn’t be proved that he was aware of Davud’s contacts with al Qaeda, the judge said.

The third defendant, David Jakobsen, who assisted police in the investigation, was convicted on an explosives charge and sentenced to four months in prison — time he’s already served in pretrial detention.

It wasn’t immediately clear if any of the defendants would appeal…

Davud, who moved to Norway in 1999 and later became a Norwegian citizen, also said his co-defendants helped him acquire bomb-making ingredients but didn’t know he was planning an attack.

Prosecutors said the Norwegian cell first wanted to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, whose 12 cartoons of Muhammad sparked furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006, and then changed plans to seek to murder one of the cartoonists instead.

Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd, said the paper and the cartoonist were indeed the targets, but described the plans as ‘just talk.'” Read more.

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