Islam and politics

Political Islam

Political Islam in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”: sounds scary, doesn’t it? Obeying Sharia law in courts, observing Ramadan in school, banning pork in supermarkets and restaurants: what else is possible? Well, guess what? American Christians who ridicule political Islam are ignorant hypocrites! The Islamic caliphate is little different…

Old and new wineskins

Swept and Garnished

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, ‘I will return into my house from whence I came out,’ and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he and taketh with himself seven other…

2016 Resolutions

People joke about how they break New Year’s resolutions within days or weeks of making them. I kept only one from 2016: losing weight. My goal was 50 pounds. I lost 16 pounds, which is 1-2 clothing sizes. All my slacks and capris are baggy. But at this rate, it will take me two more…

Jacob and Esau: Deception

“Is not he rightly named Jacob? … He hath supplanted me these two times.” – Genesis 27:36[1] Jude, a half-brother of Jesus Christ, warned his readers about “certain men” who had “crept” into the church “unawares” (4). These men “speak evil of those things which they know not. … What they know naturally, as brute…

Silver and Gold: Abraham

Silver and gold, silver and gold Ev’ryone wishes for silver and gold How do you measure its worth? Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth – “Silver and Gold” [lyrics by Johnny Marks] I have fond memories of this Burl Ives song, from the Christmas cartoon Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). Yet silver and…

Judaizers

“If I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” – Galatians 5:11-12 (KJV)[1] After Pentecost, the apostles battled Judaizers – false Jewish converts who preached circumcision for salvation (Acts 15:1, 5). Faith in the atoning…

Righteous Judgment

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” – John 7:24[1] Cain was a farmer, Abel a shepherd (Genesis 4:2). Esau was a “skillful hunter” (25:27). Jacob, a “mild” man, preferred to live in tents (25:27). King Saul was “handsome” and “taller” than the rest of the men of Israel (1 Samuel…

A Great Deliverance

“God sent me before you … to save your lives by a great deliverance.” – Genesis 45:7[1] Joseph spoke these words to his brothers after he revealed his identity to them. Having lived twenty-two years in Egypt, with five years of famine remaining, Joseph knew that “it was not you who sent me here but…