28 May 2005

Love that country music!

Can you hear this?

Thank God I'm a Jewish boy.

Corby in Indonesia

What do you think about Schapelle Corby, the 27 year old Aussie who was convicted of drug smuggling? Is 20 years right for her sentence? Should she have gotten off free?

Of course, you have to think like a person who runs his own country. You have to think as an Indonesian, and as a judge, looking at court evidence. You cannot think as a private citizen. You cannot be mindless of the drug cartels and the hundreds or thousands of deaths every year in Indonesia caused by drugs.

Can you think outside your own box?


18 May 2005

Mary, Nice Jewish girl or Queen of Heaven?

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article, trumpeting the agreement between Catholics and Anglicans, calling Mary, "not a Saviour." Well, that's good to know! The report does say, however, "an international ecumenical body has reached a historic agreement about the role of Mary, Mother of Jesus: she is the Lord's handmaiden and sinless, but not the source of eternal salvation."

Wait a minute, whoa cowboy! Who thought this 'sinless' thing up? Who said Mary was "sinless?"

"The committee of 18 bishops, clergy, religious and laypeople from 10 countries" says the article.

Oh, I see, but did anyone ask a Jewish believer? Of course, we are very proud of Mary. She was a nice Jewish girl, destined to lead a quiet and peacable life in Israel in those days. She was a woman of noble and historic heritage, from the tribe of Judah, but 'sinless?' I don't think so.

"The committee says certain papal teachings governing the Assumption - Mary's ascension to heaven "body and soul" - and the Immaculate Conception - Mary's state of original sinlessness - can be seen as consistent with scriptural teachings."

What a bunch of narishkeit! Somewhere along the line, there is impurity. Now I understand that these 18 people are trying to determine how Jesus could be sinless, and pure even though there is shmutz somewhere back in his ancestry.

I guess they are trying to sort out the Incarnation. This is the tenet that Christians believe that God became human in the person of Y'shua. So what to do with sin, and a sinless Saviour like Y'shua. How did he come to be 'pure?' Problem is they have to figure out how a sinful person like Anne, the grandmother of Y'shua had a pure child, like Miriam. See, somewhere back in the pack is someone who is not sinless, someone with sin. Sin is the real problem for these 18, for the multitudes, for Miriam, for you and for me. Sin is a disease that has crippled millions throughout the world. And it's to deliver us all from sin that Y'shua came into the world. (Daniel 9.24, John 3.16)

He died for our sins, to remove the shmutz and to give us eternal life. No need for a female Saviour, no queen to take a message to the King on our behalf. We have access to the Father now; he loves us and sent Y'shua to sort out the sin problem. Thanks be to God for Y'shua. No substitute necessary.

To see the whole article click Mary

10 May 2005

Hostages in Australia

From the website http://members.aol.com/bobmendo/thisweek.html

Hostages (Hobart prison, Wood in Iraq, Willis new movie)

Hostage situations are front and centre in the news in Australia. 63 year old Aussie engineer Douglas Wood is in jail in Iraq, held by extrremists.

Canberra responded to the Wood abduction by sending the emergency taskforce to Baghdad and by enlisting the aid of governments around the world. The Wood family in Canberra has begun a campaign of media messages it hopes are being picked up by Arab television so that their appeals will reach Wood's captors or move would-be intermediaries to action.

It was Sheik Hassan Zadaan, a tribal chief and former general of Saddam Hussein, who said he established contact with Wood's hostage-takers, an insurgency cell calling itself the Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Iraq, by last week. Intimating that he had seen the Australian hostage, Sheik Zadaan said Wood was alive, was in good health and was being well cared for about 30 kilometres outside Baghdad.

The Rev Fred Nile, CDP Senate candidate, has condemned the silence of Muslim clergy, so that the blood of the innocent hostages is on their heads in Iraq.

"The Muslim clergy must speak up loud and clear as they condemn the brutal beheadings of innocent hostages who are engaged in humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq," said Nile. "If they remain silent then the blood of these innocent hostages is on their heads".

The Muslim Muftis of Iraq must issue an Excommunication Order against these murderous terrorist, that they will be banned from entering Paradise and condemned to hell," said Nile.

Perhaps that is why Senior Aussie Islamic leader Sheik Taj El-Din al-Hilaly is on his way to Baghdad today to meet with the captors and hope for an appeal. He is taking with him some bad press and cash from the Wood family. They say it's not a ransom, but rather a donation to a charity. The bad press came from an ABC report, as al-Hilaly told the hostage takers "we value your jihad and your efforts".
But the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, who was present during the appeal, dismisses the former translator's criticism, saying Sheik Hilaly simply wanted to express sympathy with those trying to liberate Iraq, not their tactics.

Meanwhile in Hobart, over the weekend a hostage crisis lasting 40 hours ended at Risdon Prison. Prisoners took hostage one prison guard and three inmates in an effort to improve prison conditions. But the siege ended when prison officials fed the hostage-takers.

Mr Barber agreed to a list of demands by the inmates, which included providing more job opportunities inside the overcrowded prison.

There would also be possible increases in prisoner pay, he said.

But the final sticking point in negotiations between police and inmates last night was the delivery of pizzas to a group of inmates who were occupying the jail's reception centre.

Bruce Willis stars in a new movie a la "Die Hard" this time entitled "Hostage" which opened in the US in April. When three delinquent teenagers follow a family home intending to steal their car, they get more than they bargained for. The trio finds themselves trapped in a multi-million dollar compound on the outskirts of town with no way to escape. Panicked, they take the family hostage, placing the Willis character in a situation that he never wanted to face again. He is forced to take on a role he abandoned where the stakes quickly evolve into a hostage situation far more volatile and terrifying than anything he could imagine.

For us who live in Australia, hostage taking is illegal and just plain wrong. We want a world where people can live in peace and harmony. We want a messianic age of tolerance and kindness and as such, stealing people is over the top. But how do we get such a world?

For those of us who know the Messiah Y'shua, this 'next world' reality of kindness will be ushered in by Y'shua's return. The last days began when Y'shua was taken hostage by some thugs in Rome-controlled Israel about 2,000 years ago. It was Passover and after the seder some soldiers arrested him and tossed him in an overnight holding cell.

Without anyone's paying his hostage price, Y'shua (Some call him Jesus) paid it himself, in dying for us. And freeing all those who are slaves of sin to live in righteousness and kindness, in a better world which he initiated by rising from the dead three days later.

And that's the GOOD news from Sydney this week.