Apparently on this day in 1528, Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, published a book entitled Liber Vagatorum (The Book of Vagabonds and Beggars). In it, he argued for the abolition of begging and vagrancy by the establishment of a social welfare system coordinated by the civil magistrates. Interestingly, before this treatise, no one would have (or could have) imagined that the State could match the efficiency of the church in caring for the poor. And why is that? Well the church's system of care was so comprehensive and effective, having been honed over centuries of charitable work practiced the local level (hence fitted to various contexts + ensuring accountable charity contra today's welfare system). So my question is what on earth was Luther thinking? Why the slip in biblical reasoning? I suspect that the newly formed Reformed church was struggling financially but is that a good reason to embrace pragmatism while promoting faux compassion? To riff off Mr Knightly in Emma: Badly done Luther. Badly done.
Monday, 10 March 2014
Thursday, 6 March 2014
The Guardian recently published a story about the archaeological discovery of incontrovertible evidence that the Carthaginians sacrificed infants to the gods. Although everyone in antiquity knew that the Carthaginians were baby-killers, this was not enough for modern researchers: the establishment dismissed the stories as "black propaganda" by ancient rivals. And although archaeological evidence to support ancient tales had been found during the 20th century, this still was not enough to satisfy academia. Here are the key paragraphs of the article:
Argument has raged on the subject since cemeteries known as tophets – after the biblical account of a place of sacrifice – were excavated in the early 20th century on the outskirts of Carthage in modern Tunisia, and then at other Carthaginian sites in Sicily and Sardinia. The graves held tiny cremated bones carefully packed into urns, buried under tombstones giving thanks to the gods. One has a carving which has been interpreted as a priest carrying the body of a small child. Some archaeologists and historians saw the finds as proving ancient accounts of child sacrifice; others insisted they showed tender respect for cherished children who died before or soon after birth.
"Then there is the fact that the animals from the sites, which were beyond question sacrificial offerings, are buried in exactly the same way, sometimes in the same urns with the bones of the children." Although hundreds of remains were found, there were far too few to represent all the stillbirth and infant deaths of Carthage. According to Quinn, there were perhaps 25 such burials a year, for a city of perhaps 500,000 people.
The Roman historian Diodorus and other ancient historians gave graphic accounts of Carthaginian child sacrifice: "There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus, extending its hands, palms up and sloping towards the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire."
That last detail is particularly striking. It echoes the abominable practices of the Canaanites, who killed babies and built foundations on the bodies of sacrificed humans (Could the Canaanites be related to the Carthaginians?). Apparently their god - Moloch - was in the form of a humanoid oven with a fire-pit for a belly and arms upon which you placed the baby so that it would roll into the fire.
Now here is the interesting part dear reader. We Westerners would have no hesitation condemning the Carthaginians for their barbaric and wicked practices. In fact part of the reason that the debate in the academy has been so intense is because many do not want to believe that people were that wicked. Nevertheless, and this is very interesting dear reader... how can we - we the 'civilised' people of the West - consider the Carthaginians awful, when we routinely offer up hapless infants to the god Abortion. This really is about us. You and me. How twisted and demented have we become that we can scoff at the Ancients whilst condoning the travesty of little infants being decapitated daily in our midst? Where is the straight thinking in that? Is that why showing pictures of dismembered baby parts is not that exciting to abortionists? Does it make their terribly incoherent logic crumble when the awfulness of their evil is made apparent?
Kyrie Eleison. Lord have mercy.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
How should young men treat their pastors/ministers/elders. Bryan Lorrits, a black pastor ministering in the US writes suggests the following:
1. [...] Don’t call him by his first name until he gives you permission to do so.
2. Because of his status, assume that his time is way more valuable than yours. Therefore don’t waste his time. Show up early. Beat him to the meeting.
3. Bring something to write with. Taking notes sends the message that you value his time and what he has to say.
4. Unless you are taking notes on your phone (and if so let him know you are, so he doesn’t think you’re fooling around), turn the phone off.
5. If you didn’t do so before the meeting, within the first five minutes let him know exactly what you want to talk about, and have well thought out questions prepared to ask.
6. I don’t care how broke you are, your mama may have had to give you bus fare to get to the restaurant, offer to pay for breakfast (and pray he turns you down!). It’s just good manners.
7. Thank him profusely for his time.
8. And if you want to really go the extra mile send him a thank you note when it’s all said and done.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Over at The Federalist, Rachel Lu writes expressing her concern at the recent crazy weather and asks:
Why is God smiting us? Also, why aren’t more people worried about this?
Part of her answer:
Let’s be honest here. Is there anyone left in this country [USA] who doesn’t think we have some affliction coming to us? We may disagree wildly about the disease and the symptoms, but a quick read through the news will affirm one point of agreement between left and right: our nation has fallen into a moral sinkhole of epic proportions. Repentance is clearly in order. Hearty shoveling seems like a good place to start.
FAB - Forthright; Astute; Biblical-ish. Read the full thing here.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
I’m not sure if Tolkien would fully agree (we’ll find out when we get to glory) but if ever I have a pre-marriage counselling room, the verse I want hanging all around the walls is the comment by Gimli, moments before he (and Company) depart Rivendell:
Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens
These words come in respond to Elrond having given the Company (bar Frodo) permission to abandon the quest if at any point they feel unable to continue:
You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows. The further you go, the less easy it will be to withdraw; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.
To this Gimli responds with that challenging yet profoundly biblical line: Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens. Isn’t that precisely what the Christian marriage wedding vows get at with it's sobering:
For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer
In sickness and in health
To love and cherish
TILL DEATH DO US PART
May God by His grace enable us to stay faithful to Him and each other to the very end. Amen.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Watch Ravi Zacharias' quick witted response below, where he not only managed to bring some humour to a serious subject but demonstrated the emptiness of Atheistic thinking...
Monday, 17 February 2014
I’ve recently been having some child protection training so as that apparently, I can be up to speed re the latest wrinkle of the safeguarding bug. In my most recent training session there was a module on neglect (which according to the NSPCC is the most common reason for children being the subject of a child protection plan)
Now get this, neglect (according to HM Government among others) is defined as:
the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development.
Furthermore, neglect occurs when:
parents and carers are unable or unwilling to meet a child's needs [and] may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
Now can someone help me: if those definitions are true how is it that we permit abortions?