Saturday, January 3, 2009

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like … The First Century

It seems that the more of the 21st Century that we experience the more it seems that we are living in the past. Bob Webber author of the ancient-future series used to say that the future is found by traveling through the past. He encouraged his student and readers to recognize that today the western Christianity faces many of the same obstacles that believers did during the first three centuries. The plurality of religions and the duality that has crept into Christianity all point to similar circumstances with the early Christians.

Now to start the New Year comes yet another similarity with the first century. Hamas has legalized crucifixion for enemies of Islam. For centuries this form of execution that been called the most brutal of all capital punishments was outlawed. But that no longer is the case.

This announcement was reported in the Jerusalem Post. You can read the entire article at

“On Tuesday, Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Shari'a criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, it legalizes crucifixion.

Hamas's endorsement of nailing enemies of Islam to crosses came at the same time it renewed its jihad. Here, too, Hamas wanted to make sure that Christians didn't feel neglected as its fighters launched missiles at Jewish day care centers and schools. So on Wednesday, Hamas lobbed a mortar shell at the Erez crossing point into Israel just as a group of Gazan Christians were standing on line waiting to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas.”

Isn’t interesting, we have not heard any news reports outside of the Middle East about the reinstitution of this punishment. I wonder when the first sanctioned crucifixion will be carried out. Will the Western News outlets carry it? It makes you feel like we are slipping back in time as we travel into the future.

Jesus said that in this world we would know persecution and if they hated our master why would we expect to be treated any better?

Enjoy the New Year but never forget that our job is to live out our King’s command to spread his message of shalom to a world that hates our King and fights against the shalom that he offers to all who follow Him

Happy New Year may His shalom live in your heart throughout this coming year!

Grace to you

Pastor Val

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