Archive for February 24th, 2009

Seven States Pushing for ‘Personhood’ Rights

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

It’s about time…

The personhood movement is designed to establish that conception is the point at which a human’s life begins. North Dakota’s House last week made progress on establishing that as law, although further action by that state’s Senate is needed.

“The language, in fact — basically in laymen’s terms — just says that all humans are people,” shares Keith Mason of Personhood USA, who adds that North Dakota is just one target in the nationwide campaign.

“This signals a growing movement of people who are advocating for the personhood of the preborn child,” he asserts. “And so it’s very exciting to us, and it proves that as we’re consistently pushing forward [that] we’re almost guaranteed victory.”

Original Link.

Jews Facing Increased Challenges and Threats Worldwide

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Representatives of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI) briefed the cabinet at its weekly meeting Sunday on their 2008 assessment, presenting a particularly bleak forecast.

According to the assessment, Israel and the Jewish people are facing a wide array of challenges and threats, including a new US administration, a continuing erosion in the US’s global position, the strengthening of Iran, the use of Israel as a pretext for the dissemination of a new anti-Semitism, and the economic crisis and consequent blow to Jews’ economic status.

The report pointed to the overall decline in the United States’ status during 2008 as impacting worldwide Jewry.

The simultaneous strengthening of an axis advocating the annihilation of Israel, led by Iran, is threatening the image of the Jewish state as a haven for the Jewish people, the report said.

“Israel is becoming a mainstay for the proliferation of ‘new Anti-Semitism,'” it stated. “This harms Israel’s ‘soft power’ and the image of the Jewish people as a whole.”

Additionally, the report said the global economic crisis may challenge the political power of Jews in the West.

“The assessment is not particularly encouraging from the socioeconomic point of view,” the report went on to explain. It noted that “the economic crisis has dealt a serious blow to Jewish wealth and, along with the Madoff fraud, has severely damaged philanthropist activity and has exacerbated the danger of rising traditional anti-Semitism. Budgetary problems could adversely affect the ability to manage community life and education systems in various locations abroad, given intensified competition over allocations and the channeling of donations outside the community.”

Original Link.

More Churches “Falling Away”, Rejecting the Bible

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and (C)will turn away their ears from the truth and (D)will turn aside to myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (New American Standard Bible).
See our article “”Falling Away” of the Church” here.

In Michigan, the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan is an ordained Zen Buddhist. Northern Michigan’s Episcopal congregations and delegates overwhelmingly elected the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester at their convention on Saturday.

The diocesan website says Thew Forrester “has practiced Zen meditation for almost a decade,” and the Buddhist community welcomed his commitment by granting him “lay ordination.” The website also says Northern Michigan’s new bishop “resonates deeply” with “his own interfaith dialogue with Buddhism and meditative practice.”

Meanwhile, Presbyterian Church (USA) representatives in Arkansas and central North Carolina have endorsed amending the church constitution to allow non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained as ministers, elders and deacons. The votes were taken at regional presbytery meetings on Saturday.

Original Link.

“The Palin Parable — Bristol Says Abstinence ‘Not Realistic At All'” by Albert Mohler

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, made headlines last summer when it was revealed that she was about to become an unwed mother. On December 27, she gave birth to a baby boy named Tripp. Now, Bristol Palin is back in the news again — and this time by her own choice. She granted an interview to Fox News Channel’s “On the Record.”

At the same time the pregnancy was made public last summer, Bristol’s mom had just been announced as Sen. John McCain’s choice to be his running mate. This put the pregnant teenager into the glare of national publicity. Many were impressed and thankful as Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson, her fiance’ and the baby’s father, made a commitment not to have an abortion but to welcome the baby. They lived up to that pledge, and baby Tripp seems to be doing quite well.

Bristol’s parents also affirmed the sanctity of human life when they made a similar commitment during Gov. Palin’s pregnancy with a child with Down syndrome. The vast majority of unborn babies identified as carrying the marker for Down syndrome are now aborted, but the Palins said they never even considered aborting their baby. Little Trig Palin, soon to be a year old, was seen by millions of Americans during the course of the campaign. That one baby became a testimony to the worth of every single human life.

Bristol Palin is back in the headlines, and some Americans may be shocked. Bristol told Fox News that teenagers should not have sex. However, she also said that sexual abstinence for teens is “not realistic at all.”

These comments seem contradictory, but the national media immediately leapt upon Bristol’s apparent rejection of sexual abstinence as an expectation for teenagers. To her credit, she maintained a clear pro-life perspective, even as she admitted the difficulty of being a teenage mother. But the rejection of sexual abstinence as “not realistic at all” caught many off guard.

As reported in the press, Bristol’s statement lacked context. But, many in the media simply reduced the story to her statement about abstinence. Consider this headline from the Associated Press: “Palin’s Daughter Says Abstinence ‘Not Realistic.'”

Many people who admired the way that the Palin family handled their family crisis last summer will be rightly disappointed with this new word from Bristol. But, leaving Bristol’s personal situation aside for now, her comment deserves a closer look.

Is sexual abstinence realistic for teenagers and young adults? Well, abstinence is certainly not realistic when teenagers put themselves or are put into a situation where sexual activity is likely. At some point, sexual abstinence becomes very unrealistic indeed.

The real issue for Christian teenagers and their parents is not to debate whether sexual abstinence before marriage is realistic or not. The larger and more important issue is that sexual abstinence until marriage is the biblical expectation and command. Once this is realized, the responsibility of all concerned is to ensure that expectations and structures are in place so that abstinence is realistic.

The debate over whether abstinence is realistic or not misses the more important issue — abstinence must be made realistic.

Parents and teenagers must make certain that adequate protections and expectations are in place so that sexual abstinence is very realistic indeed. Far too many Christian parents allow their teenagers to be part of the “hooking up” scene of teenage culture. In that highly sexualized context, sexual abstinence would appear unrealistic in the extreme.

Premature pair dating and unsupervised liaisons, set within the supercharged culture of teenage sexuality, can put teenagers into very vulnerable situations. Asking whether sexual abstinence in those contexts is realistic can appear almost irrational.

Those who reject the norm of sexual abstinence for teenagers will leap on Bristol Palin’s statement as evidence for their cause. But the real issue here is our responsibility to ensure that abstinence is made realistic and stays realistic. Anything short of this is truly “not realistic at all.”

Original Link.

Bibi vs. Ahmadinejad – The Confrontation WILL Happen

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The global stage is set for a confrontation reminiscent of Churchill vs. Hitler and Reagan vs. Gorbachev. How long will Benjamin Netanyahu tolerate an Iranian nuclear threat before acting?

When Shimon Peres asked Bibi Netanyahu to form a government on Friday, he also set into motion an inevitable confrontation. Long before anyone else was warning about Ahmadinejad and Iranian Nukes it was the number one issue for the man who will be the next Prime Minister of Israel.

While the naive President of the United States believes that the crazy Iranian President can be talked to, Netanyahu believes Ahmadinejad means what he says. As soon as the means are available the Iranian President will launch a Nuclear attack on the Jewish state. The government that pays for Hezb’allah and Hamas suicide bombers does not care about “mutually assured destruction” they are willing to sacrifice their entire country to Allah. Bibi gets it, Obama doesn’t. A Likud government will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear bomb, and the Clock is Ticking.

Read the rest of the article here.

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Archeology Proves Bible Accuracy Again

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Archeology has proven the accuracy of the Bible yet again. This time it’s proof that King Hezekiah existed (see 2 Kings Chapters 16 through 21, 2 Chronicles Chapters 28 through 33, Isaiah Chapters 36 through 39 and Matthew 1:9 and 1:10).
Archeologist excavating in the city village of Umm Tuba (derived from the Byzantine name, Metofa, which in turn is a variation on the Biblical name, Netofa. The ancient Judean village of Netofa is mentioned in the second book of book of Samuel (23:28-29) as the birthplace of two of King David’s warriors), have unearthed seals for King Hezekiah and from high-ranking administrators Ahimelech ben Amadyahu and Yehokhil ben Shahar.

Seal of King Hexekiah

A routine archeological excavation ahead of private construction in an Arab neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem has uncovered a series of seal impressions from the reign of the biblical King Hezekiah 2,700 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday.

The archeological treasure trove was discovered in Umm Tuba, on the southeastern edge of the city, during a salvage excavation carried out in January ahead of planned construction at the site.

The seal impressions found include those of two high-ranking officials named Ahimelech ben Amadyahu and Yehohail ben Shahar, who served in the Judean kingdom’s government.

Another Hebrew inscription, dating 600 years later than the seal impressions, was discovered on a jar fragment from the Hasmonean period in the second century BCE.

The site also housed a large building during the First and Second Temple periods unearthed during the dig.

The remains of the building included several rooms arranged around a courtyard. Pottery that was recovered from the ruins of the building were used to date it to First Temple period.

The building was destroyed, along with Jerusalem and all of Judah during the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem.

Jews reoccupied the site 600 years later during the Hasmonean period, and the rebuilt structure stood for another 200 years until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE.

Original Link.

Also see Biblical Era Royal Seals Found in Jerusalem Hills.

Hezekiah From Wikipedia.