- Peter Hammond's excellent reports on Africa have given you glimpses of the Islamic persecution and enslavement of Christians in southern Sudan, the black and Christian area, by the northern Sudanese, Arab and Islamic. Southern Sudan became Christian by the 6th century A. D., as the Nubian Kingdom. More than once since then, Christians have been enslaved and persecuted by Islam to the point of obliteration, but the Nubians' faith has revived. As Peter Hammond has pointed out, the three great enemies of Christ in Africa are Islam, Marxism, and witchcraft. No group has been more dedicated to the slave trade in Africa than Islam. It is ironic that Black Muslims can see Islam in favorable terms. (The Islamic slave trade in Europe ended only in the late 1800s.) European involvement in the slave trade came with the Renaissance and a weakening of the Faith.
- Much is said nowadays about child-rearing, as though there were one common U. S. practice, which is false. Every immigrant group had its own rules; among some, arranged marriages still prevail. In my background, faith and family were paramount: church attendance, prayer, Bible reading, and parental authority were taken for granted. One result: an almost non-existent crime rate prevailed. Moving from rural California to urban Detroit in 1925-1931, I found myself in an American setting, a strange experience. Perhaps someone has written on the weird Anglo-American child-rearing of those years, but it was very strange. It was believed by too many fathers that a boy's needs were cold showers and frequent enemas! Honestly, what those kids went through was horrible to imagine, but it was true. The enema was seen as a cure-all, and boys feigned hearty health to avoid the cure. As for the cold showers, it all seemed sadistic to me. Later on I found that some physical education instructors also believed in cold showers, and I developed an abiding dislike of them all! Ah, the perils of growing up American! Thank God for immigrant parents who never heard of child-rearing "experts."
- Thank God for intelligent, very wise doctors, like mine. Among the foods now forbidden to me is the eggplant! Eggplants grow so well here, that it seems everyone grows them to give away. Do you want to get rid of your pastor? Grow a garden and give him vegetables he detests! His thrifty wife will insist that the family must eat them, and father must set a good example! Finally, when the children mature and leave, it is no longer necessary to set a good example for them. Of course, wives never need a good example set for them!
- The Christian Observer, May, 1998, pp. 19-22, has an excellent account by Parker T. Williamson on "Return of the Feminists—Re-imagining Revival." A Minneapolis conference of 900 persons included c. 200 Presbyterians. The conference program cited this quotation: "I found God in myself, and I loved her. I loved her fiercely." One woman declared, "We are the light of the world. What we do with our experience makes us light to the world." These "lights" are fighting for solidarity with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons.
One woman, a professor of ethics at a seminary, held that "capitalism destroys religion," and the right-wing churchmen are therefore destroyers of religion. Another woman seminary professor held all sexuality to be sacred and clean: "In the heart and soul of the deities, we are all loved, and it doesn't matter who we're sleeping with." Another speaker described the removal of a cross from the sanctuary as "life giving," and another speaker's denial of Jesus Christ's uniqueness as the Son of God brought forth a standing ovation.
But the key question is this: How can anyone stay in a church which tolerates this kind of thinking? It is easy to point to errors in other churches and to wink at those in our own. In some of our smaller and ostensibly orthodox denominations, a loose view of Genesis chapters 1-11 is tolerated, and in the name of theories which can be used to reduce much of the Bible to myth—and little or nothing is done to fight these views.
It is easy enough to call attention to the early medieval church's pornography era, and to a pope who actually denied Jesus to worship Venus. What about the false beliefs in our own church? Will God judge us godly if we condemn ancient Sodom and Gomorrah while tolerant of our own towers of Babel? To be an expert in condemning the sins of others while forgetful of our own is the mark of a Pharisee, and the Pharisees are now much more in evidence on all sides.
These new Pharisees, like those at Minneapolis, want to "reform," above all else, God himself, not other people, and least of all themselves. This is what modernism is at heart all about, how to reform God and to justify yourself and your sin. The modernists want to reform God and hence their extreme self-righteousness and self-justification. These Pharisees want their sin to become the new righteousness. And yet some "evangelical" seminary professors long to have the same "respectability" as the modernists! Be sure of one thing: we here at Chalcedon have no use for such respectability, nor for those who hunger and thirst for it.
Topics: Church, The,
Family & Marriage