‘standing upon a foundation that is unshakable’

vietnamesechristian
 
Friday November 21, 2008

VIETNAM: AUTHORITIES PRESSURE NEW CHRISTIANS TO RECANT

Converts from ancestral animism threatened with violence, imprisonment.

HO CHI MINH CITY, November 21 (Compass Direct News) – In violation of Vietnam’s new religion policy, authorities in Lao Cai Province in Vietnam’s far north are pressuring new Christians among the Hmong minority to recant their faith and to re-establish ancestral altars, according to area church leaders.

Local authorities have warned that on Sunday (Nov. 23) they will come in force to Ban Gia Commune and Lu Siu Tung village, Bac Ha district, where the Christians reside, but they did not say what they would do.

When the authorities in Bac Ha district in Vietnam’s Northwest Mountainous Region discovered that villagers had converted to Christianity and discarded their altars, they sent “work teams’ to the area to apply pressure. Earlier this month they sent seven high officials – including Ban Gia Deputy Commune Chief Thao Seo Pao, district Police Chief A. Cuong and district Security Chief A. Son – to try to convince the converts that the government considered becoming a Christian a very serious offense.

Christian leaders in the area said threats included being cut off from any government services. When this failed to deter the new Christians, they said, the officials threatened to drive the Christians from their homes and fields, harm them physically and put them in prison. READ FULL STORY

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Please pray that God will under gird our Vietnamese brothers and sisters as they stand upon His faithful word.

malachi

‘imagine….. life without Christ’

Vatican forgives John Lennon for Jesus remark
11/22/2008 3:00 PM, Reuters
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s newspaper has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, calling the remark a “boast” by a young man grappling with sudden fame.

The comment by Lennon to a London newspaper in 1966 infuriated Christians, particularly in the United States, some of whom burned Beatles’ albums in huge pyres.

But time apparently heals all wounds.

“The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a ‘boast’ by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll,” Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said.

The article, marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ The White Album, went on to praise the pop band.

“The fact remains that 38 years after breaking up, the songs of the Lennon-McCartney brand have shown an extraordinary resistance to the passage of time, becoming a source of inspiration for more than one generation of pop musicians,” it said.

Lennon was murdered in New York in 1980.

(Writing by Deepa Babington; editing by Keith Weir) music.yahoo.com

The events of the Apostle Paul’s third missionary journey are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In the 19th chapter, we find he spent 2 years in Ephesus preaching the gospel, healing those with physical infirmities and those possessed of demons. The Spirit of God was doing a mighty work.

The word of God tells us that…

“Many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver”.          Acts 19:18-19

This reminds me of what took place in America and South Africa in 1966, when John Lennon made a comment to a British reporter that…. 

“Christianity was dying and that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now”.

Under tremendous pressure from the American media, Lennon apologized for his remarks at a press conference in Chicago on August 11, 1966. One can not know for certain, but it would stand to reason that Lennon’s apology came from a marketing perspective instead of a true spirit of repentance.

I would tend to agree with the spokesperson from the Vatican that Lennon’s comments…

“sounds only like a ‘boast’ by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success”.

Which one of us are not guilty of making stupid comments at that age? So the statement on forgiveness that the Vatican has made public some 42 years after the comment was made is quite admirable from a biblical perspective.

Peter came to Jesus asking…..

“How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Clearly from Christ’s admonition to Peter we can see He wants us to forgive those who do us wrong or sin against us. It the way of the Master, my friend.

What we don’t need to confuse here, is that what the Vatican has done is nothing more than what Christ has exhorted all of His disciples to do… and that is to manifest a forgiving spirit. And that not in word only, but in deed. The fact that the Vatican has forgiven John Lennon for a comment made over forty-years ago may be admirable but is not the crux of the matter. What is paramount is whether John Lennon has found forgiveness by the Christ? 

One can rest assured and find comfort in the fact that no matter how gross the sin or how violent our words against Him, Christ desires that we all come to repentance. His longsuffering is vast and He will abundantly pardon, but there MUST be repentance.

 

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

There is one thing that one does not have to ‘imagine’… there is life after death, and that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgement.

malachi