Persecuted Christians who fight back

Christians worldwide have been facing intense persecution.  But now some of them are fighting back.  Pakistani churches have been subject to periodic attacks for decades.  But last time that happened, when an attack on a worship service killed 14 and wounded 70, some 4,000 Christians staged a riot of their own, lynching two suspects.  Authorities are worried that Pakistan, already torn by conflicts between Sunni and Shi’ite Islamic militants, will descend into full-fledged religious war if the Christians get involved.

Some Iraqi Christians have organized a militia to fight ISIS.  In central Africa, Christian militias have been attacking Muslims whose militias have been attacking them.  Lebanon has long had a formidable Christian militia organization.  After the jump, an excerpt and a link about what is happening in Pakistan.

What do you think about this?  Should Christians facing persecution accept martyrdom or fight their persecutors?  Or does it depend on the situation, and, if so, what are the situations? [Read more...]

Presbyterians (USA) give strong endorsement for gay marriage

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has formally expanded its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.  It becomes the largest denomination to affirm gay marriage in the strongest possible terms, upholding same sex marriage even in states where it is not legal and applying to all congregations (though pastors will be allowed to decline to participate).  After the jump, an account of the change and a summary of the position of other mainline liberal Protestant denominations and how they are different.  (The ELCA, for example, allows pastors to preside at same-sex services without formally changing the definition of marriage, as the PCUSA has done.) [Read more...]

The actual war against Christianity

As Christians are preoccupied with the thought that the culture is carrying on a war against them, an actual war is being waged in the Middle East that exterminating whole populations of Christians.  And yet, not the American government nor even American churches are doing or even saying much about it.  An article in Foreign Policy, excerpted and linked after the jump, tries to understand why.

It would seem that Democrats are concentrating on improving relations with Muslims and Republicans are so committed to Israel that they overlook Mideast Christians, who tend to be anti-Israel.  I would add that both Western Catholics and evangelicals often find these ancient sects to be alien, asking “but are they really Christians?”  In the meantime, this article accuses ISIS/the Islamic State of the “g” word:  GENOCIDE. [Read more...]

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day, which is today, is not to honor Ireland but to honor missionaries.  But we can honor Ireland too, which–thanks to St. Patrick and the church he brought to that island–saved civilization.  To celebrate the day, don’t just wear green.  Read this meditation by St. Patrick, which has been turned into a hymn and one of this blog’s most popular posts:  Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me.

[Read more...]

Not secularism but pluralism

Several decades ago, sociologists were writing about how modernization was accompanied by the rise of secularism.  Today, so-called “secularization theory” has been abandoned, including by its former advocates such as Peter Berger.  I came across a trenchant quote from him that defines the new issues.  From Eboo Patel in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The 1960s-era academics who advanced secularization theory confessed their errors long ago. As the sociologist Peter Berger told The Economist in 2007, “We made a category mistake. We thought the relationship was between modernization and secularization. In fact it was between modernization and pluralism.”

[Read more...]

How they hate us

We saw the movie The Kingsmen this weekend, a throwback to the over-the-top James Bond style “gentlemen spies.”  It was mostly entertaining, and lots of conservatives like it because the villain is a global warming fanatic who wants to exterminate the human race to save the planet.  But it included a scene in which the hero goes into a crowded church and just slaughters everybody, men and women alike, the bodies heaped up on the pews and in the chancel.

This was supposedly a “racist” church, though among its members’ crimes was being opposed to abortion. And the hero was supposedly sent on his rampage by the villain’s mind-control devise, and a couple of characters said how awful it was.  But the scene of church ladies getting shot in the face, the minister getting impaled, and crosses and a Bible used to kill people, was played as entertainment–not as shock–and there were just too many laughs in the movie theater.  It struck me just how much many people in the world hate Christians–just HATE us–and how what happens in the fantasy of the imagination may well happen some day in real life.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X