Thanks to Canada for accepting Asia Bibi

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Persecuted Christian Asia Bibi Arrives in Canada After Leaving Pakistan

Breitbart informs us through an 8 May 2019 article that Asia Bibi has escaped the death threat of her country for the asylum of Canada.

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy against Islam before she was freed last year, is now safely in Canada and reunited with her family, her lawyer has said.

“It is a big day,” Saiful Malook told the Guardian. “Asia Bibi has left Pakistan and reached Canada. She has reunited with her family. Justice has been dispensed.”

Pakistani TV channels Geo and ARY, citing unidentified sources, also reported Bibi had left the country.

Roman Catholic Bibi was acquitted of her religious crime last year but has since faced death threats in Pakistan and was offered asylum by multiple countries including Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada. The latter has finally provided her with safe haven.

The British government turned her away, allegedly to appease “certain sections of the community” at home and Islamist terrorists who might be inclined to attack British embassies abroad.

Everyone, please thank Canada for their help in this matter of providing asylum to Christians.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; (Romans 12:10 NASB)

A sad day for many American Christians


The Shocking Speech Wheaton College Doesn’t Want You to Hear

In a 11 January 2019 Black Community News article, Ryan Bomberger provides perspectives on two speakers at Wheaton College.

This is the tale of two lectures at Wheaton College, a Christian evangelical college in the suburbs of Chicago. One was given in September 2017 and the other in November 2018. Though only a year apart, the responses to the two presentations were universes apart. The reaction is very telling and tragic for those who believe that a Christian education is different than a secular one.

The first speech was given by Dr. George Yancy, a philosophy professor at Emory University (huge thanks to Jamie Dean at World Magazine for excellent article on this and uncovering actual audio recording). It was sponsored by Wheaton’s Philosophy department and held in the esteemed Billy Graham Center on campus. It was entitled: “A Post-Racial America? White Gazes and Black Bodies”. It can only be described as an expletive-laced, pornographic, racist, anti-biblical screed. His theme? “To be white is to be racist.” Listen to these shocking excerpts from that speech here.

There was no backlash from Wheaton’s leadership. There were no letters sent out by any staff or student government leaders denouncing him or raising concerns about the hostile, f-bomb-laden speech. There was only internal praise by the school’s own Wheaton Record.

Then there’s that second speech. Wheaton College Republicans courageously invited me to speak about abortion and race. Keep in mind, there’s never been anyone—ever—to address racism and the abortion industry at Wheaton. In fact, no one has addressed the issue of abortion at their thrice weekly chapels but once (briefly) in many years. Wheaton, founded by slavery abolitionists, doesn’t lead whatsoever on the abolition of abortion. One would think a school that (sort of) espouses a prolife worldview, at least in text on its website (“followers of Jesus Christ will uphold the dignity of human beings, from conception until death…”), would encourage students to put that into action by attending the March for Life Chicago or volunteering at a local pregnancy resource center.

Needless to say, I did not speak in the center named after the school’s most famous alum. But I did speak to a standing-room only audience in another Wheaton lecture hall. My multimedia talk was entitled “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb”; it was an expletive-free, fact-based, statistics-driven, Biblically-rooted, deeply personal and grace-filled discussion on the systemic racism of the abortion industry and the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion #BlackLivesMatter movement. As an adoptee and adoptive father who was conceived in rape, I challenged students to see the most vulnerable, the most marginalized, and the most powerless among us as having equal intrinsic worth and God-given Purpose.

Six days later, I was severely denounced by a campus-wide email sent out by two Wheaton staff members and signed by three student government leaders. My entire message was branded as “offensive rhetoric” that made “many students, staff and faculty of color” feel “unsafe” on their campus. And now, the school has cancelled the College Republicans’ next event, because leadership claims their speaker approval process needs to change so Wheaton students aren’t exposed to such factivism (aka truth) again.

(Read more at Black Community News)

While this shows that at least one Christian college has gone full-bore liberal instead of full-bore Christian, this will not be the first time a faithful Christian and pro-lifer has been discriminated against. For examples, refer to my blog posts in

Since Wheaton College so flagrantly contradicted the examples of the Old Testament and the commands of the New Testament, maybe a review of how Christians must not discriminate racially and must not discriminate among Christians is in order.

Galatians 3:28 tells us that “(t)here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, there are no divisions between Christians (no matter the gender, race, or financial status) due to the uniting properties of Jesus Christ. Let me be more clear: Christ makes all Christians into one body. We must not discriminate against the other parts of our own body any more than the mouth should denounce the nose.

In the Old Testament, we receive the example of a leader who did not consider skin tone and a God who stood by his prophet. In Numbers 12:1, we find …”Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married” … In verses 9 and 10, God shows his backing for Moses when we see …”the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow.” From this, we see that God stood against Miriam’s bigoted disapproval of Moses’ black wife. Not only that — God punished Miriam for her bigotry.

Additionally, Christians are commanded to “(b)e devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” We should love other Christians like brothers and put the needs of other Christians over our own. Similar commands can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11; John 13:34; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2 and 32; 1 Peter 4:8; and 1 John 4:7.

An Old Testament example of a man who was devoted to his fellow believers comes to us through Joseph, who — when presented with a chance to get back at people who sold him into slavery and thereby caused him to go to prison — said “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

More offerings from Bible Lens in 2018


Psalms 121:8 — The Lord will guard

The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
Psalms 121:8 NASB

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during March 2018.

Hebrews 11:10 — the city which has foundations

for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:10 NASB

Bible Lens_1547260931219.jpg

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during June 2018.

Galatians 5:22-23 — The fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during January 2018.

My most important tweets of December 2018


December tweets on the verse of the day from the YouVersion app and the Bible Eye app

As I prepare to study my Bible, I generally review the verse of the day (that usually has up to 6 illustrating images) by the YouVersion app. When I find it moving (which is most of the time), I tweet the verse along with the image that most moves me.

At other times, I see a scene that makes me think of a particular Bible verse. Now that the Bible Eye app has been modified to allow the user to pair an image with a verse, I have started doing that.

31 December – James 1:5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

This is one of several images created through the Bible Eye app.

31 December – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

This, like most of the verse-of-the-day images, came from the YouVersion Bible.

30 December – 1 John 4:15

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

29 December – Luke 6:35-36

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

29 December – 1 John 2:6

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

27 December – Matthew 4:4

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘ man shall not live on bread alone , but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God .'”

27 December – Colossians 1:16

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.

25 December – Isaiah 9:6

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

24 December – Luke 2:14

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

22 December – Matthew 1:21

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 December – 1 John 4:9

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

22 December – John 3:17

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

19 December – Isaiah 26:9

At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

19 December – Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

16 December – Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

15 December – Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

14 December – Matthew 5:17

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

13 December – John 4:20

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

12 December – Mark 8:34

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

10 December – Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

9 December – Proverbs 5:21

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

9 December – Proverbs 13:6

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

6 December – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

4 December – 1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

2 December – Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

1 December – Romans 8:37

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Some American mainstream Christian denominations are not declining


The truth is that churches must live the basics or die

This 4 January 2017 story by the Washington Post provides an account of how several liberal denominations were drawn away by one of their own intellectuals (John Shelby Spong). However, first it provides the backdrop of a 2015 Pew study pointing to the extent that the liberal denominations have fallen.

“Mainline Protestant churches are in trouble: A 2015 report by the Pew Research Center found that these congregations, once a mainstay of American religion, are now shrinking by about 1 million members annually. Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy members, but also less income for churches, further ensuring their decline.

Faced with this troubling development, clergy members have made various efforts to revive church attendance. It was almost 20 years ago that John Shelby Spong, a U.S. bishop in the Episcopalian Church, published his book ‘Why Christianity Must Change or Die.’

It was presented as an antidote to the crisis of decline in mainline churches. Spong, a theological liberal, said congregations would grow if they abandoned their literal interpretation of the Bible and transformed along with changing times.

Spong’s general thesis is popular with many mainline Protestants, including those in the United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian (U.S.A.) and Episcopal churches. Spong’s work has won favor with academics, too. Praising Spong’s work specifically, Karen L. King of Harvard Divinity School said in a review of Spong’s book that it ‘should be required reading for everyone concerned with facing head-on the intellectual and spiritual challenges of late-twentieth-century religious life.’ Harvard Divinity professor and liberal theologian Harvey Cox said ‘Bishop Spong’s work is a significant accomplishment,’ and indeed, Cox himself has long been at the task of shifting Christianity to meet the needs of the modern world. Thus, liberal theology has been taught for decades in mainline seminaries and preached from many mainline pulpits. Its enduring appeal to embattled clergy members is that it gives intellectual respectability to religious ideas that, on the surface, might appear far-fetched to modern audiences.

But the liberal turn in mainline churches doesn’t appear to have solved their problem of decline.

Over the last five years, my colleagues and I conducted a study of 22 mainline congregations in the province of Ontario. We compared those in the sample that were growing mainline congregations to those that were declining. After statistically analyzing the survey responses of over 2,200 congregants and the clergy members who serve them, we came to a counterintuitive discovery: Conservative Protestant theology, with its more literal view of the Bible, is a significant predictor of church growth while liberal theology leads to decline. The results were published this month in the peer-reviewed journal, Review of Religious Research.

We also found that for all measures, growing church clergy members were most conservative theologically, followed by their congregants, who were themselves followed by the congregants of the declining churches and then the declining church clergy members. In other words, growing church clergy members are the most theologically conservative, while declining church clergy members are the least. Their congregations meet more in the middle.

For example, we found 93 percent of clergy members and 83 percent of worshipers from growing churches agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb.” This compared with 67 percent of worshipers and 56 percent of clergy members from declining churches. Furthermore, all growing church clergy members and 90 percent of their worshipers agreed that “God performs miracles in answer to prayers,” compared with 80 percent of worshipers and a mere 44 percent of clergy members from declining churches.

Outside our research, when growing churches have been identified by other studies — nationally and internationally — they have been almost exclusively conservative in doctrine. As we explain in our academic work, because of methodological limitations, these other studies did not link growth to theology. But our work suggests this is a fruitful avenue of research to pursue.”

(Read more at the Washington Post)

Admittedly, a number of Baptist and Lutheran (Missouri Synod) churches have seen decline over the past twenty years.  Some could attribute a portion of their decline to the migration from small towns and rural areas.  Many of the same have experienced decline due to the ravages of age among the faithful.   Still, some of these have fallen due to the personal choices of leaders who did not preach a difficult message and membership who have overlooked Bible study, witnessing, and prayer.  Since God does not force himself on us, it is natural that some would not resist the call of the flesh. Pray for our own faithfulness.

Departure from Biblical standards causes churches to leave the United Methodists

Changing standards in the United Methodist Church have prompted some churches to leave the denomination, a phenomenon noticed by OneNewsNow in a 8 February 2017 article.

“Some congregations within the United Methodist Church are thinking about leaving the denominations over social and political issues, including homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage.’ In fact, two in Mississippi made it official this week.

Two large UMC churches in northern Mississippi announced this week their intentions to leave the denomination. In both cases, the congregation-wide vote exceeded 96 percent – and both pastors cited their congregations’ frustration with the UMC’s long and bitter debate over the church’s sexual ethics and teachings on marriage.

During an interview Wednesday on American Family Radio, Buddy Smith – an ordained UMC minister and senior vice president of the American Family Association – said the divide isn’t new and, in fact, has been brewing for many years. He called it a crisis and spiritual warfare.

‘On the face of it, it’s actually political correctness just gone crazy in the church,’ he stated. ‘You’d think that the one place, the one safe haven where Christians should be able to gather and the doctrines of the church and of the scripture be upheld, is the church.

‘But of all places, here we have leadership – because of political correctness [and] underneath that spiritual warfare the devil is just having his day – just going forward in total … open rebellion to the Word of God.’

In July 2016, the United Methodist Church announced that a ‘married lesbian’ had been consecrated as a bishop. Dr. Ray Rooney, Jr. of AFA’s The Stand explained the woman – Karen Oliveto – has always been ‘self-avowed’; and therefore, he argued, she ‘should never have been ordained as a minister, period.’

Rooney recited from The Book of Discipline the UMC’s policy on homosexuality – a policy he said is perfectly clear.

‘[It says] while persons set apart by the church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of human conditions and pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world.’

Rooney, also an ordained UMC minister, continued: ‘The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed, practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church.’

Smith said he thinks a split in the United Methodist Church is inevitable.”

Until Galatians 6:7 miraculously disappears from the Bible, this fallout of the faithful must be expected.  That is, as long as there are Christians who both read the Bible and apply its teachings to their lives, there will be Christians moving to affect their churches or just moving on.

Verses applicable to this post so far

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:16 NASB)

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (1 Peter 3:15 NASB)

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 5:16-18 NASB)

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. (Psalms 116:15 NASB)

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36 NASB)

“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23 NASB)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:15-16 NASB)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7 NASB)

Conservative denominations decline in percentage of US population while rising dramatically in numbers

In a 17 March 2015 article, Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition investigates FactChecker: Are All Christian Denominations in Decline?.

“Are most denominations truly seeing a decline in numbers?

Before we answer the question, we should clarify what is meant by “decline.” We could, for instance, say that Protestantism has been on the decline since the 1970s. That would be true. We could also say there are now more Protestants today than there were in the 1970s. That too would be true.

The fact is that the percentage of people identifying as Protestant has declined since the 1970s while the total number of Protestants has increased (62 percent of Americans identified as Protestant in 1972 and only 51 percent did so in 2010). Yet because of the population increase in the U.S., there were 28 million more Protestants in 2010 than in 1972.

So did Protestantism in America decline since the 1970s? Yes (percentwise) and no (total numbers).

In the case of the SBC, and other conservative denominations, the trend seems to be that they’re losing members to other conservative denominations, especially non-denominational ones. As of 2010, four percent of Americans (12,200,000) worshiped in a nondenominational church. There are almost as many members of nondenominational churches as there are members of the SBC—and almost as many as in all of the mainline churches combined. A decline in a conservative denominational church is often offset by an increase in a conservative non-denominational church.

When tracking changes to gauge the overall health of a denomination, it makes more sense to look at long-term trends. If we look back 50 years (to 1965) we can see a clear and unequivocal trendline: liberal denominations have declined sharply while conservative denominations have increased or remained the same.”

(Read the entire article at The Gospel Coaltion for a list and accounting of declining liberal denominations and growing conservative denominations)

‘The Bible Continues’ Brings Book of Acts to Life


Thanks to NBC for this linked photo of a
scene from AD – The Bible Continues.

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, producers of the miniseries The Bible, have created AD – The Bible Continues.  Based on the book of Acts, the series tracks the development of the early Christian church.

In support of this effort, Dr David Jeremiah will produce Bible study materials that mirror the episodes.  Additionally, the April 2015 broadcasts of Turning Point will delve into the scriptures used in the series.

Neither Downey nor Burnett were new to television when they launched their acclaimed miniseries The Bible.  As most know, Roma Downey gained notariety with the Touched by an Angel series on CBS (1994-2003), hosted It’s a Miracle (2003-2004), and stared in numerous movies.  Mark Burnett earned his stripes with Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Voice before producing The Bible and Son of God.