Creator of this app and the “Bibly-Thumper” app records call with Apple:
iSlam Muhammad apparently depicted images of the prophet Muhammad (forbidden by Islam) and outlined disturbing passages from the Qur’an. It’s surprisingly similar to BibleThumper, a Christian-bashing app that remains in the App Store…
What’s disappointing is that this points out Apple’s lack of consistency in approval of apps, as well as their inability to provide recourse to developers who have had apps rejected for seemingly weak reasons.
Yes, the BibleThumper app really does exist, although if there’s an uproar over the double standard here, Apple will likely cave and pull that from the app store too in order to be “evenhanded.” Which is precisely the wrong outcome insofar as it further rewards intimidation by expanding the zone of religious criticism that’s off-limits. That’s a potentially powerful weapon for Islamic zealots, as some believers of other faiths — not all or even most, but some — will take a free ride and applaud businesses for showing greater “respect” for religion by limiting attacks on it. Respect has nothing to do with it, of course; fear is the engine here. But some, in the interests of shielding their preferred belief system, will be happy to pretend.
A teenage Jehovah’s Witness who was crushed by a car refused a blood transfusion before he died.
The teenager was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Smethwick.
A spokesman from Selly Oak hospital said: “There’s not one single policy and not one single law regarding transfusions. There’s no automatic right to override parental wishes or that of a minor. It’s a very complex area that has to be approached on a case by case basis. ”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that passages of the Bible forbid blood transfusions. Members who do accept such treatment can be cast out of the church. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses carry a signed and witnessed advance directive card absolutely refusing blood and releasing doctors from any liability arising from this refusal.
Clive Parker, an elder at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses where Joshua and his family worshipped, said: “I believe he was conscious enough after the accident and he made a stand on the blood issue. He made the choice personally.”
There is some good back-and-forth comparison of Muhammad and Jesus here.
Mosab Hassan Yousef was born in Ramallah, in the Palestinian West Bank in 1978. His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, is a founding leader of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and responsible for countless suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israel. Yousef was an integral part of the movement, for which he was imprisoned several times by the Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service. He withstood torture in prison only to discover Hamas was torturing its own people in a relentless search for collaborators. He began to question who his enemies really were–Israel? Hamas? America? While in an Israeli prison, Yousef was approached about becoming a spy for the Shin Bet. Initially, Yousef accepted it with the idea that he would betray them and in hopes he could use the role to protect his father and family. Later, as Yousef saw the hypocrisy within Hamas and became a Christian, he used the position to save lives on both sides of the conflict. Yousef worked as a double agent within Hamas for nearly 10 years. He became a vital intelligence asset for the Israeli government while Yousef served side-by-side with his father within the upper ranks of Hamas. After a chance encounter with a British tourist, Yousef started a six-year quest that jeopardized Hamas, endangered his family and threatened his life. He has since embraced the Christian faith and sought political asylum in America. His story was revealed in the 2008 Fox News documentary “Escape from Hamas.” Yousef ‘s first book Son of Hamas, written with Ron Brackin (SaltRiver), releases March 2, 2010. In Son of Hamas, Yousef reveals new information about this dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth behind his own secret role. He describes his surreal journey to a new faith that instructed him to love his enemies. And he tells the story of the agonizing decisions that led him to walk away from his family, friends and homeland. For blog updates from Yousef, visit:
Here is some thought on extreme Primitive Baptists. Buckle your seat belts.
I was asked by a friend to give some input on Primitive Baptists and in his and I’s search we have come across some interesting reasons as to why this group may tend towards an unhealthy vision of theology and history. I will be commenting on topics I am not an expert in but merely an arm-chair apologist/theologian, so bear with me. This topic cuts close to the debate between the hard-predestinationists, which are what Primitive “hardshell” Baptists are, and complete free-will theologies. So I will have to tread lightly here while at the same time stating my position on some of the topics dealt with here.
I find in Scripture a wonderful mix of man making choices in a limited way and God “blessing” or “cursing” (so-to-speak) these choices depending on if they are in accordance with His will or not. (More on “cursing” later.) For instance, God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh hardening his own heart is a great example of these two extremes of God working all things together for His glory — as hard as this is to understand for us finite beings. As wonderful as this may sound, my main understanding of this dilemma is that it is not fully solved. Nor will it be until we can see like we are seen. The Reformers had the greatest compilation of thinking as compared to that of Catholic theology (some of which always existed as a stream of thought from Christ’s day to ours). This being said, the Reformers theology isn’t divine, neither the above apologists. Neither are James White’s or Norman Geisler’s theologies… though both may be reservoirs of sound thinking for the Christian.
Know that I am not here talking about the major doctrines concerning God’s nature and revelation, Christ’s divinity and sacrificial work, or the working of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Body of Christ being. I am not that “loose” in my theological stance like a Tony Jones in his non-stances (see pic of Toni’s blog to the right). What I am saying is that Free-Will Baptists and Primitive Baptists (PB) may have it a bit wrong and they need to meet somewhere in the middle-right somewhere. Well, the middle being a bit more Calvinist than not. The Christian faith is deep and broad beyond these essentials making many positions applicable to whom we are and the serving situation we find ourselves. All these interpretations should, however, gather around some referent, which makes some defined lines for us to be able to test ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5).
Personally, I enjoy James White’s input on many topics, having most of his debates on DVDs. In one of these debates James White points out that Geisler may be a bit too Armenian in his theology, more than I previously thought. Both men are saved however. Many Primitive Baptists may not be able to say even this… as this theology can lead (IMHO) to some extremes, the Westboro Baptists as an example:
Phelps and his followers call themselves “primitive Baptists.” They believe in predestination, the idea that God already has selected those who will go to heaven and that everyone else is irreversibly doomed to hell.
Their mission, members say, simply is to spread this news.
“We don’t strive to change your hearts or minds,” Phelps wrote in a letter to the Capital-Journal. “Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t make you believe the truth.
“Every person who is predestined for hell will remain in darkness.”
– Kansas anti-gay church embarrasses Topekans, The Oakland Tribune, Nov. 4, 2002
These extreme Baptists also do not realize — I think — that Scripture is given by inspiration by a Being that is outside the time-space continuum by speaking to finite being’s hearts. Hardshell Baptists do not note that all of time lays before God, creation to the New Heaven and Earth, and beyond, in their reciting and formulating its theology. So when we read verses that state the Lamb (Jesus Christ) was slain from the foundation/creation of the world (Revelation 13:8), we understand that Christ had been slain before Adam and Eve were created. It is analogous to an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven piece of paper representing all of space and energy created. Drawing a line then from one end of the paper to another and marking it with Genesis on one end and Revelation on the other shows what we are looking at analogously. Granted, a horrible analogy, but it will work for our purpose here. That line is what God sees because He is not in what He created (the time-space continuum). He is the “I AM” (“I AM” Exodus 3:14: from a Hebrew verb “to be,” denoting His Infiniteness/Existence as the source of finite existence) outside that piece of paper.
So when God speaks about knowing and predestined event n our life, He is explaining a layer of ideas that shouldn’t be viewed as two-dimensional. God removing His Spirit from Samuel, or Samuel’s paganism removing God’s blessing:
What we see in these passages follows a pattern. When God removes His protective hand, he often turns the person over to Satan for destruction or to an evil spirit for torment. The devil and the evil spirits do the work, but God has allowed them to do what come natural to them for His own purpose. I know that some will have trouble with this concept, but it is thoroughly established in scripture. God does not commit wickedness, but He uses the wicked for His purpose. In the end, God will have His glory. How much better it is for us to submit to Him and obey Him willingly. (Source)
God destined all of history, but we are not automatons walking around, God gave his Gospel and told us to preach it to impact the world. Since God knows who will respond to His tugging on their hearts, He allows them the understanding to know his grace through all eternity:
Concerning the intent or purpose of the atonement, most patristic authorities held that Christ died for the sins of the world. Athanasius maintained that in the divine scheme of things “death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid.” Cyril of Jerusalem affirmed that “Jesus truly suffered for all men.” While not speaking clearly on the issue, Augustine seemed to suggest that Christ died for the world, although the cross is effectual only for those who believe. As for John Calvin, several recent scholars believe that although Calvin held to double predestination he also taught a doctrine of unlimited atonement. In his Institutes Calvin wrote, “It is certain that the Lord offers us mercy and the pledge of his grace both in his Sacred Word and in his sacraments. But it is understood only by those who take Word and sacraments with sure faith, I just as Christ is offered and held forth by the Father to all unto salvation, yet not all acknowledge and receive him.” In his later commentaries Calvin more clearly postulates an unlimited atonement. With regard to Galatians 5:12 Calvin affirms: “God commends to us the salvation of all men without exception, even as Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world.”
Other moderate Calvinists point out that Christ’s saving provision includes many racial benefits, such as the common blessings of life, the restraint of evil, an objective provision sufficient for all, the removal of every obstacle on God’s side for the forgiveness of sins, and the future resurrection of the dead. On the other hand, they seek to do justice to texts that indicate a special purpose for those persons given to Christ out of the world. They point out that 1 Timothy 4:10 indicates a twofold purpose in the cross, namely, general benefits for all people and saving benefits for elect believers. In a sermon, entitled, “General and Yet Particularal,” C. H. Spurgeon maintains that Christ death fulfilled a twofold purpose. “There is a general influence for good flowing from the mediatorial sacrifice Christ, and yet its special design and definite object is the giving of eternal life to as many as the Father gave him.” The observation of Charles M. Horne is instructive: “God’s salvation is one. As applied to non-Christians, it includes their preservation in this life and the enjoyment of certain blessings which come to man by common grace. As applied to believers, however, this salvation extends into eternity. This view would seem to be the best one, because it gives the power force to the word especially [1 Tim. 4:10].“ In a similar vein Robert P. Lightner claims that Christ’s saving provision reaches every member of Adam’s race. Yet its redemptive benefits are applied only to those who believe, i.e., to the elect.” Donald G. Bloesch arrives at a similar conclusion in language colored by the thought of Barth…. (Integrative Theology)
I think CS Lewis is right when he says Hell is locked from the inside. This view combines the universal power I believe the death of God on the cross should be and Scripture shows it to be, but it doesn’t cheapen it in that we must respond… however small and distorted this response may be from fallen sinful creatures, it is made Holy by Jesus’ work, not ours. I guess I would consider myself a moderate Calvinist.
This life and all the good we are given in it come from God’s grace, which is why — I suspect — that when one accepts/is brought to Christ’s finished work on the cross they can look back with their Holy Spirit goggles and we typically hear them saying (ourselves included) God was working in their lives the whole time… bringing them to this point. Blessing from God are also shared by the wicked, at least here in this temporal life it rains on both the wicked and the righteous. Every breath we take, whether saved or unsaved, is a gift from God. The crime and hatred we experience is a lack of God in the world and the rebellion of man, both current and historical. Rebellious man sometimes sees this. Theologian Millard Erickson hints at Nebuchadnezzar realizing this to some extent:
When Nebuchadnezzar comes to his senses, he blesses the Lord: “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?”‘ (Dan. 4:34-35).
This quote shows that even a pagan can be right once in a while like a broken clock is. The saved person has better odds however. Ravi Zacharias does have some valuable input on free-will:
Okay, switching gears a bit I wanted to deal with another belief by these Baptists, it is that they believe they are closest to the early church in their beliefs and practices. This just isn’t true. If one would like to be as close as possible to the early church, become a Messianic Jew. You will notice that they are a very legalistic denomination that Paul spoke out against in Galatians. What they are missing is the mission that includes all aspects of God, one being love. Listen to the hard-Calvinistic positions… even trying to quote T.U.L.I.P
Another example of this bad theology and legalism comes from a PB site. See from one of their own sites:
- Why the name Primitive Baptist?
- What is the difference between Primitive Baptists and other Baptists?
- What is the PB view of the scriptures?
- How do PBs use scriptural precedent to resolve questions of church practice?
- How does the typical PB view his or her role in society?
- Why do PBs refer to their ministers as elders?
- Why do PBs not have schools for training ministers?
- Why do PBs require elders be male?
- Why do PBs use real wine & real unleavened bread in communion?
- Why do PBs wash feet during communion?
- Why do PBs commune only with baptized believers of like faith and practice?
- Why do PBs require baptism by immersion?
- Why do PBs rebaptize persons joining them from other orders?
- Why do PBs not use musical instruments?
- Why do PBs not have Sunday schools?
- Why do PBs not have organized programs for the entertainment of youth?
- Why do PBs not have pictures of Jesus in their churches & homes?
- What is the attitude of PBs on tongues & other miraculous spiritual gifts?
Here one ex-Primitive Baptist preacher talks about his experiences and insights during his time leading a PB church. It is 60-minutes long, but you will come away from this presentation that much more knowledgeable.
Much more can be said on this topic, but prayer and compassion should go to these people, especially the younger generation growing up in this cult like setting. We should all know church history and the rise of this thinking. I have a feeling we will see a growth in this denomination as the country polarizes.
Much Thought, PapaG