Updated and made sticky:
Bad Behavior Omnis Networking has added extra security to block disrupting botnet attacks, so you might be presented with an additional and different login prompt. Please read the dialog box. It tells you what to do. The idea is that you can read it, but a botnet cannot.
It is not clear whether everyone will get this extra prompt, BTW, and if you aren’t commenting you don’t need to login.
For more information, see Bad Behavior’s blog article “WordPress brute-force login attacks stepped up”.
Line In the Sand
Poem by John D Carmack
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.
~ Old Irish Blessing
A couple of news articles came from literally different directions today to coalesce into a common theme. Thailand may become the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, and the Boy Scouts of America will now allow openly gay members in spite of their lip service to God and morality. And yet, it should not be that shocking as there is nothing new under the sun. In fact, adherence to God’s ideals in any area of life is a rarity, which should get us thinking about our heritage and why it is so special.
Thailand is a country full of paradoxes. Most people in Thailand are Buddhist, which is a religion/philosophy (and people debate which it really is) that promotes toleration to a fault. In Thailand’s case, I mean that literally “to a fault”. It tolerates sex tourism, and corrupt police often turn a blind eye to underage prostitution. People often let their neighbors get away with stuff because of greng jai, an extreme form of not offending others even as you would not want them to offend you.
Ironically, the predominant form of Buddhism practiced in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, which is rather conservative. In fact, many Thais in their personal lives are very conservative. Yet, these conservative Buddhists exist side-by-side with very corrupt government officials and sex peddlers. A land of paradoxes; a land of extremes.
The Book of Job is an ancient book. Most believe it is the oldest book in the Bible, at least in its completed form. It was likely put together by Moses in conjunction with the Law. Job may have well been a contemporary of Joseph, and EW Bullinger believed he was descended from Esau.
It is an interesting book. It confronts our very sense of justice on so many levels. What is just? What is fair? Was Job righteous? Where did he/Did he go wrong? What did Paul say that Job could have applied? For that matter, what did Jesus tell His disciples (which includes us)?
Job is a very misunderstood book. Far too many look for fault in Job to satisfy their sense of justice. “He was proud,” they will say. “He was self-righteous,” is another claim. By passing unrighteous judgment upon Job, people are risking the wrath of God upon them. Job’s three friends did so, and God required a sacrifice to pay for their presumption.
Religion News Briefs asks, “Did Pope Francis Perform An Exorcism?”
Yes, says a journalist for TV2000, a channel owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference.
No, says the Vatican.
Well, at least, “The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
They have an embedded video, but it’s difficult to know if he actually screamed or not, as the man’s face is blurred out. However, the look on the face of the priest behind the man pretty much says it all.
I wanted to post about a message I heard during Pentecost, but this is not only timely but relevant to that discussion.
I stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh at least ten years ago, probably more. However, someone posted a link to “It Only Took Five Minutes for Democrats to Politicize the Oklahoma Tornado” on Facebook, and there is one item definitely worth taking away from it (almost 2/3 down the page):
Raw Video: Tornado on the Ground in Oklahoma
Fox News is reporting that the funnel cloud that went through Moore, Oklahoma today was 1 – 2 miles across along the ground. One set of farms was totally wiped out, including one that was over 160 acres. One elementary school has been hit, and it is possible there are no survivors.
There is an informal prayer request to stop and pray for Oklahoma at 8 pm EDT today. Of course, any time would be great, but if you read this ahead of time, it would be appreciated if you could join us (in spirit) at 8 EDT, 7 CDT, 6 MDT and 5 PDT to lift up our voices to our Father simultaneously.
A small tortoiseshell butterfly (picture by Uwe H Friese)
“Transformation” – Sounds like a nice $3.00 word, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it sound uplifting, progressive and liberating? And, no wonder! The online dictionary Wiktionary gives as its second definition (the first one being the usual bland “act of… or the state of…” type of reference) of transformation as, “A marked change in appearance or character, especially one for the better.”
There is a lot packed into that one word that, in reality, means nothing more and nothing less than “change”. Think about it! What does the word really mean other than to change from one thing to another? A computer hacker can transform into an IT security specialist. However, we also know that local policemen can be transformed into drug dealers, pimps or agents of harassment. Therefore, we must ask ourselves: What is the beginning and what is the ending? IOW, what is being transformed into what? Is it really a good change? Is it even going the right direction?
Reuters reports “Iran defends post as chair of U.N. disarmament conference”. In rotating chair fashion, Iran is slated to chair the conference beginning 27 May. It is basically a do-nothing conference, and it has “been deadlocked for about 15 years.” However, it is also a very visible position, and some, including the US, are balking at the idea that such a rogue state would take the helm of such an esteemed conference.
What of Iran, anyhow? Who are they? Where do they fit into Bible prophecy?
There really are crimes for which it is hard to fathom, let alone to understand how to deal with. Certainly, genocide is one that comes to mind. The intense hatred for a group of people simply because of their heritage, race or culture is always mind boggling, but it is certain evil when accompanied by violence against an entire group because of these things.
There are other crimes, though, that still shock even on a smaller scale. We’ve had a ton of these in the news in the past year: The Batman shooting, Sandy Hook, Kermit Gosnell and Ariel Castro, just to name a few.
In every case, there have been pundits of various stripes that have espoused all sorts of, *ahem*, creative punishments for some of these individuals:
- “Death is too good for him.”
- “Hard labor is more of a punishment than the death penalty.”
- “He should get what he did to those others.”