Tag Archives: Apostate

Republican speaker John Boehner urges Iran to spare Christian pastor

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Middle East Map

From AFP.

Full text:

US House Speaker John Boehner urged Iran on Wednesday to spare the life of an Iranian pastor reportedly facing execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith and return to Islam.

“I urge Iran?s leaders to abandon this dark path, spare Yusef Nadarkhani’s life, and grant him a full and unconditional release,” Boehner, a Republican and the number-three US elected official, said in a statement.

Nadarkhani, now in his early 30s, converted from Islam to Christianity at the age of 19 and became a pastor of a small evangelical community called the Church of Iran.

He was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death for apostasy under Iran’s Islamic Sharia laws, which however allow for such verdicts to be overturned if the convicted person “repents” and renounces his conversion.

After his conviction was upheld by an appeal court in Gilan province in September 2010, Nadarkhani turned to the supreme court. His wife, who was initially sentenced to life imprisonment, was released on appeal.

In July, Nadarkhani’s lawyer told AFP that Iran’s supreme court and overturned the death sentence and sent the case back to the court in his hometown of Rasht — but fresh media reports this week said a provincial court in Gilan had again sentenced him to death.

“Religious freedom is a universal human right,” Boehner declared, saying the prospects Nadarkhani could be executed “unless he disavows his Christian faith are distressing for people of every country and creed.

“While Iran’s government claims to promote tolerance, it continues to imprison many of its people because of their faith. This goes beyond the law to an issue of fundamental respect for human dignity,” said Boehner.

He’s the top Republican, so his voice carries weight.

Iran prepares to execute evangelical Christian pastor for apostasy

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Middle East Map

From National Review.

Excerpt:

The American interfaith delegation — Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Episcopal bishop John Bryson Chane, and Council on American Islamic Relations director Nihad Awad — who made headlines when they traveled to Tehran and secured the release of the two American hikers last week should pack their bags again. They need to make a return trip. And they better hurry.

As early as this week, the British-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports, Iran may execute Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani for refusing to recant his Christian faith.

As my colleague Paul Marshall recently wrote, evangelical Pastor Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for apostasy because he converted to Christianity. He had been tried and found guilty a year ago, even though the court also found that he had never been a practicing Muslim as an adult. Nadarkhani, from Rasht, on the Caspian Sea, converted to Christianity as a teenager.

Iran’s Supreme Court, which upheld the verdict in June, ordered that the pastor be given four chances to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. Two hearings for this purpose took place yesterday and today. Two more are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Pastor had been arrested in 2009 when he tried to register his church with authorities. His defense lawyer Mohammed Ali Dadkhah was himself sentenced in July to nine years imprisonment for “actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.” He is now appealing.

I think the solution to this is to take a tougher foreign policy stand against Iran’s Muslim theocracy.

It is funny to me how many Americans make a fuss over executing convicted cop-killers, but no fuss at all over innocent Christian pastors getting the death penalty. Whenever stories like this come out, I think about how much ink is spilled by Western journalists crying about the convicted criminals, and how little is written about the plight of Christians facing persecution for their faith abroad. But I guess they don’t want to portray Christians as victims, otherwise that might interfere with their “Christians are evil, Muslims are good” narrative.

Jay Richards investigates whether George Soros is funding Jim Wallis

In this post on National Review. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

In World magazine on July 17, Marvin Olasky called on “progressive evangelical” Jim Wallis to come clean and admit that he is not a non-partisan, as he likes to claim, but rather a devoted man of the Left. Olasky reported that Wallis’s organization, Sojourners, had received grants from George Soros’s foundation, the Open Society Institute (OSI), and had lent Sojourners’ mailing list to the Obama campaign.

[…]Among the documents I now have are pages from the OSI website that list two grants to Sojourners — one for $200,000 in 2004, “To support the Messaging and Mobilization Project: Engaging Christians on the Importance of Civic Involvement,” and one for $25,000 in 2006, “To support a branding assessment” for the purpose of merging “Sojourners and Call to Renewal into one organization.” I have physical copies of these pages, which is good, because these pages seem to have disappeared from the OSI website (I’m sure that’s just a coincidence).

[…]But there’s more to it. In two blog posts at Patheos published over the last week, Tim Dalrymple reported that he, too, was looking into Olasky’s charge, and in a thoughtful, unbiased interview published on August 9, he asked Wallis himself about Olasky’s charges.

Before responding directly, Wallis launched into bizarre invective against Olasky, claiming (among other things) that Olasky believes in a “sinless market.” This caricature is practically surreal to anyone familiar with Olasky’s actual views — actually, it’s beyond surreal, since surreal art has some illuminating connection to the original. Olasky is a Calvinist, which means he places particularly strong emphasis on human depravity in every area of human experience, including the market.

Wallis continued:

It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for a living. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’t receive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits, maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.

So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books are totally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians who support us and who read Sojourners.

Well, as I said above, I’ve got physical copies of what appear to be grants to Sojourners from the Open Society Institute website, which have since been taken offline. Dalrymple does, too. In fact, until Wednesday, August 11, Dalrymple’s second blog post at Patheos had accompanying PDFs of the OSI webpages.

[…]According to Sojourners’ 990s (go here and search for “Sojourners” in “DC”), their total assets went from $513,896 in 2002 to $4,615,468 in 2009. Call me skeptical, but I’d be willing to bet that this windfall didn’t all come from humble readers of Sojourners magazine.

Wallis supports Barack Obama, a radically pro-abortion President. Abortion is the slavery of our age – a political movement based on pure greed, whose aim is to terminate the lives of a weaker class of humans because of the selfishness of a stronger class of humans. And yet Wallis tries to pass himself off as a Christian. So I know exactly who to believe when his testimony contradicts respected Christian scholars like Marvin O’Lasky and Jay Richards.

MUST-HEAR: Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung discuss Brian McLaren’s apostasy

Wow. Brian McLaren has completely abandoned traditional Christianity. Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung analyze his latest book “A New Kind of Christianity”. Hint: It seems to be mostly naturalism and leftist politics.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christianity
Host: Greg Koukl

Guest: Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s “New Kind of Christianity” (00:00:00)
Commentary: Reality vs. Religion? The Modern Upper Story Leap (00:56:39)
Guest: Dennis Prager – Reality vs. Religion (01:52:25)

Caller Topics:
1. How do you prove an attribute of God’s to a non-Christian? (01:18:31)
2. When and how was Adam created on an old earth view? (01:26:37)
3. How do you answer claims of Bible contradictions by Bart Ehrman? (01:41:39)
4. Disagree on take on the Executive Order about funding abortions (02:18:18)
5. If materialism is true, can God recreate us on the Day of Resurrection and will us to be the identical person as before? (02:34:47)
6. Death before the Fall is wrong theologically and scientifically. (02:40:46)

Topics:

  • What is Brian’s view of Creation?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of Scripture?
  • What is Brian’s view of Truth?
  • What is Brian’s view of sin and Hell?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of atonement?
  • How did Brian’s leftist political views infect his theology?
  • How did postmodernism affect Brian’s epistemology?
  • How faithful is Brian in interpreting the text?

It’s a 3-hour national show. Greg has a monologue in Hour 2 which talks about the health care reform bill, Bart Stupak, and the fact/value distinction from Francis Schaeffer, and a short interview with famous Jewish scholar Dennis Prager in hour 3 to discuss the health care reform bill, Bart Stupak, and subjective religion versus objective religion. If you like the show, here’s the RSS feed for the podcast. Greg’s show was among the first things that got me started in apologetics so many years ago. He is a solid, but tolerant Calvinist, and so it’s fun for me to hear a perspective that is a little different from mine.

Please give the podcast a listen.

There’s also a nice blog post about Brian McLaren by Melinda from Stand to Reason, too.

Excerpt:

McLaren doesn’t think the Bible is to be taken literally. For instance, the Garden of Eden story isn’t about sin and the Fall, rather it’s a “compassionate coming of age story.”  Consequently, the whole idea of sin and Hell is a horrible overreaction and has caused the church to offer a violent message and image all these years.  It follows from this interpretation then, that there is no need for the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Those are violent ideas resulting from a bad reading of the Bible.

And a couple of longer reviews are linked.

Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung have written excellent and more in-depth reviews of McLaren’s new book and I highly recommend them.

I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and if you know anyone who is being influenced by the (non) religious left, take a look at the articles, especially the DeYoung article, which is quite good.

Are Democrats sincere when they profess to be religious?

Here’s an article from the American Thinker about the Mormon Harry Reid and the Catholic Nancy Pelosi. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

It is beyond ironic that a Mormon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a Catholic, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, are in charge of passing ObamaCare. If passed, the legislation will federally fund elective abortions in every state. Reid’s and Pelosi’s respective religions, both of which (at least according to the churches’ official doctrines) ardently oppose abortion, are letting them get away with it. Apparently, in this day and age, the powerful are exempt from following God’s laws.

What about Nancy Pelosi:

Nancy Pelosi, purportedly Catholic, has long been an open proponent for abortion and today is the leading champion for nationally funded abortion. Pelosi was granted an audience with the sitting Pope. The Pope merely criticized Pelosi for her position and failed to take any disciplinary action for Pelosi’s open “propaganda campaign in favor” of abortion. Meanwhile, Pelosi’s local priest in San Francisco continues to give her communion — even though the Pope has stated that those who support abortion should not take part in the Catholic sacrament.

Harry Reid has a “Temple-recommend” in the Mormon Church:

Only the most obedient of Mormons are given “temple recommends.” These recommends allow faithful members access to the Church’s sacred temple ceremonies. Harry Reid, despite his vocal and public support for legislation that provides federal funds for abortion, is known to have such a “temple recommend.”

The author of the article condemns the churches for refusing to discipline these two pro-abortionists. But I think the more significant point is that Democrats think that church is just a club. They don’t really go to Church to subject themselves to a set of moral standards and moral obligations – it’s all for show.