Cardinal: Western Society has ‘Embraced the Craziest Ideologies’ and is ‘More Destructive Than the Terror of the Islamists’
The Guinean prelate of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Robert Sarah, has made some bold remarks at a mass which formed part of the annual Paris-Chartres pilgrimage. Speaking on the moral and spiritual decline of the West to some 15,000 Catholics at Chartres Cathedral, Sarah said our modern culture .....MORE
Trapped Kachin Christians reach safety in dramatic elephant escape in Myanmar
Barnabas Fund contacts report that although they are now free and safe, many are still in desperate need and thousands of Kachin have taken
shelter in churches. There is also the threat of further attacks by the military: “Please continue to pray for the Kachin....More
Turkey Returns Confiscated Syriac Church Property Deeds
Syriac Orthodox Christians have welcomed the Turkish government’s return of 55 title deeds, representing nearly half of their ancient church
properties in southeast Turkey, which had been confiscated by the state in recent years. .....More
End time headlines
What is the secretive Bilderberg gathering? Are they plotting the New World Order?
The secretive Bilderberg Group gathers for its annual meeting next week, which this year takes place in Turin, Italy. A collective of elite North American and European politicians, business leaders, financiers and academics, the group has attracted a good deal of suspicion.....More
Are You a Worrier or a Warrior? (Here’s How to Tell)
My oldest daughter, Kate, is a lieutenant in the US Army. As her mom, I love that my oldest girl is both a woman and a warrior. One of the things I admire most about her life as a soldier is the daily discipline in preparing for battle. Her life as a soldier has ...More
world watch monitor
Nationalism: religion as a form of belonging – and exclusion
Amid rapid, transformative globalisation, many Asian nations have in recent decades found nationalist voices coming to the fore. Religion can
be co-opted into national identity. But where any one religion is made part of national identity......More
Generation Z, Social Justice, and the Gospel
Many members of Generation Z are choosing justice over the gospel, but
they don't have to. They can choose both. Generation Z—roughly those young
people born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s—is known for a lot of
things: its technological savvy, its commitment to social justice,....More
Senior Christian leaders meet to discuss Code of Conduct
At a meeting convened by The Evangelical Association of South Africa (TEASA) and South African Council of Churches ( SACC) on Wednesday May 23, a broad cross-section of senior Christian leaders met in Kempton Park to discuss the key issues raised by the CRL Rights Commission’s Report on the “Commercialisation” of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems. This meeting followed meetings....More
The Christian Post
Biblical Principles Pay Off
At Watered Gardens Gospel Rescue Mission, I've met many men and women
who've traded the freedom of God-given work for the chains of government
-sponsored welfare. Decades of failed welfare policies have led many of them to believe they are better off not working, ....... More
NEW ZEALAND: Same-sex blessing vote could split Anglican church
Conservative Canterbury Anglicans could leave the church after it voted to allow blessings of same-sex married couples. Rakaia vicar Al Drye, of St Mark's church, and Shirley vicar Jay Behan, of St Stephen's church, have both resigned from the Anglican general synod and are looking at ways to leave the church. The synod last week voted to pass a motion allowing same-sex blessings in Anglican churches. The motion was was an attempt to compromise on the issue in order to keep the church united..........More
“Suffering for Christ is Part of Our Faith”
—Vladyka, tell us please, how and when you did you learn that the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny had been attacked? I was in the Republic of Ingushetia Saturday night, in our New Sinai-Holy Protection Monastery, serving the All-Night Vigil. They came up and told me during the service that a shootout was going on in Grozny....More
BLIND FAITH, INTELLECTUAL ASSENT, AND SALVATION
In response to a “test” from a Pharisee (a leading sect of Jews in New Testament times who were focused on a lot of rules) Jesus said “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38.
The bit that intrigues me is “all your mind.” I think that there is an idea out there that says in order to be a Christian you have to turn off your brain and refuse to grapple with issues such as evolution and metaphysics. Another passage in Matthew (18:2-4) says that we will never enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become like little children, and this is sometimes used as a reason for settling for blind faith.
But I don’t think kids have blind faith. They are curious, they ask questions – any parent of a 4 year old will tell you that “Why?” is their little one’s favourite sentence starter. Kids soak up learning and want to grow up as quickly as possible to be more like their Mum, Dad, or older sibling. I do think that they are trusting and accepting of their parents and teachers, and are likely to believe what they are told. But sometimes you can almost hear the cogs grinding away in their heads as they absorb their new nuggets of information and work to fit them in with their existing knowledge and experience.
So I reckon that loving God with all our mind involves engaging the brain he created in us to work through issues and challenges to our faith. I want to know what Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, and many others say about our world and about my faith. And like the kids I want to go away and let the cogs whir away until everything falls into place. Sometimes my brain hurts! Sometimes, I encounter an issue that I cannot reconcile with my faith. When this happens, I am comforted by a story told by Paul Little in his book “Know Why You Believe.” He relates that in 1861 the French Academy of Science published 51 scientific facts that controverted the Word of God. But today, no scientist in the world believes a single one of those “facts.” I believe that one day, maybe on the last day, every scientific fact or theory that currently casts doubt on the existence of God will be explained.
However, “all my mind,” an intellectual assent to the evidence for the Christian faith, is important but not sufficient. I have to also love God with all my heart and all my soul. My heart is a metaphor for my emotional engagement with God – relationship building, awe, adoration, love, worship. My soul as used in the Bible is really my whole being. My body, my intellect, my emotions, my social-ness, my spirit, all need to be aligned in an active full-on faith, a willingness to grow and learn, and a determination to hold on in the face of strong challenges. And like the kids, trust The Teacher when He answers my questions.
My report card says “Christopher could do better and needs to improve. He should pay more attention in class and work harder to apply learnings in his daily life. Luckily, he does not have to pass this test in his own strength.”