Thoughts for the Sabbath

Regular readers will know that I am a Christian. They will also know that though I was brought up a Presbyterian and lost my way for a time that a good friend brought me back to God in my darkest years. He is a Seventh Day Adventist and since that time 6 years ago I have every Monday having lunch with a small group of business blokes sharing our experiences and learning about God. It is a journey and it is hugely educational.

My good friend, along with several others in my group are very wealthy people. They attribute their wealth in a large part to several things:

  • Giving, as in tithing. These guys give a huge amount. They have given away more than some people earn in a lifetime of working.
  • Honouring the Sabbath. They do no work on the Sabbath, their businesses close their doors and they do not transact.
  • Only investing in good money projects. Gambling, tobacco, pornography…you get the drift are out.

I have learned a great deal from these guys. Not through preaching, not through bible bashing but through watching and experiencing these Christian men living life well.

Now don’t get me wrong, we are not sooky la-la shadows of men in our group. We are all pretty larger than life, we take no prisoners, there are no sooks in our army of friends. We are also all sinners. There is no finger pointing, no blaming and we maintain a open and frank discussion amongst the team. We have drinkers, rooters, liars, cheaters, swearers, bashers, shirkers and criminals, but we are all working to better ourselves.

Saturday is the Sabbath for SDA members, and so I have been thinking about sharing some of my experiences on the Sabbath. I have been hesitant, but the catalyst was reading yesterday a post on Andrew Sullivan where there has been discussion about Christian sports people being open and proud about their christianity.

There was a quote from Aaron Rodgers, ironically pointed out to me by a non-Christian friend who thought it may be useful one day for a post for me. It resonated with me as it clearly describes my experience of my christianity:

“I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.’ So basically, I’m not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith. I would rather people have questions about why I act the way I act, whether they view it as positive or not, and ask questions, and then given an opportunity at some point, then you can talk about your faith a little bit. I firmly believe, just personally, what works for me, and what I enjoy doing is letting my actions speak about the kind of character that I want to have, and following that quote from St. Francis.”

Anyway, I thought that I would leave my readers with that thought on the Sabbath today. I hope this post lets you understand a little bit more about me and my beliefs.

The tolerance of Islam

Yeah I know the headline is misleading.

A few days ago a French Magazine published this image on their cover:

Their reward for such a profanity? Their office was firebombed, such is the tolerance of Islam, the religion of peace.

The magazine is?undeterred?however and yesterday published an image depicting a Muslim man kissing the cartoonist:

Its offices have been firebombed, its website hacked, its Facebook page suspended for 24 hours and its staff targeted with death threats, so you might have thought the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo would have tried ? just for a while ? to avoid upsetting anyone.

Mais non!?After provoking all the above with last week’s special edition “guest edited” by the prophet Muhammad, entitled Charia Hebdo, which took pot-shots at radical Islam, the publication is set to raise a few more hackles with this week’s edition, published on Wednesday.

On the front page of the latest edition is a drawing of a male Charlie Hebdo cartoonist?passionately kissing a bearded Muslim man, under the headline:?L’Amour plus fort que la haine?(love is stronger than hate)

You couldn’t have got much more offensive (snigger) unless they had drawn him hanging out the back of a goat. Awesome reply to the firebombing.

Sentiment Analysis of the Bible

via Andrew Sullivan:

Pretty cool look at the Bible. They also have a book by book analysis. This is Proverbs:

The Good Book was?charted?using “sentiment analysis,” which marks when positive and negative events occurred:

Things start off well with creation, turn negative with Job and the patriarchs, improve again with Moses, dip with the period of the judges, recover with David, and have a mixed record (especially negative when Samaria is around) during the monarchy. … In the New Testament, things start off fine with Jesus, then quickly turn negative as opposition to his message grows. The story of the early church, especially in the epistles, is largely positive.

Watch out Australia, it’s been predicted

Apparently the world is coming to an end…again:

Newsflash: The world will end on Friday night.

This shocking prediction comes from US Christian broadcaster Harold Camping, the same man who said the world would end on May 21 – and also on September 6, 1994.

…”God had come spiritually to bring judgment upon the whole world.”

He went on to write that “universal judgment” would not be physically felt until the end of the five-month judgment period, which is October 21.

“Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved [the elect], are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period.

“On that day the true believers [the elect] will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.

Fingers crossed that Australia is annihilated by Wales on Friday night. If that happens then their little world of rugby happiness will be at an end.

Why do atheists thank god?

An interesting concept I’ve often wondered about. The latest atheist to thank God is Russel Norman:

Katya is now in good health after a long and serious illness, superbly treated by the public health system. “Thank God ? I mean, I’m an atheist, but thank God for the public health system,” Norman says.

There are a lot of things that I thank God for but a public health system isn’t one of them. Given his?stupendous?public salary why couldn’t he use the private system and reduce the burden on the public health system?

Guide to Islamic Sex

Awesome, I’m sure I’ve blogged on these guys before:

Just months after telling its members to serve their husbands better than prostitutes, prompting widespread criticism, the Obedient Wives Club of Malaysia has stirred further controversy by publishing a guide to Islamic sex.

The 115-page pocket-sized book, which will outrage many Muslims and non-Muslims, says a Muslim man can have sex with all of his wives at the same time.

Under strict Islamic tradition a man can have up to four wives if he can provide for them all.

The club prompted an outcry from women’s groups and Islamic religious authorities when it was established in June, claiming to have 1000 members.

I wonder how you get a copy of the book:

In its foreword the book says studies showed women only gave their husbands 10 per cent of what men desired of their wives’ bodies. It contains explicit sex details, including fondling of a breast, and one chapter deals with ”how sex becomes worship”.

The book says sex is sanctioned by God and is intended to make a new life.

”You (God) have said that all these acts are halal, pure, beautiful and like a prayer (between man and wife),” it says.

In June the club’s vice-president, Dr Rohaya Mohamad, prompted criticism when she advised women to behave like a ”first-class whore” while in the company of their husbands if they wanted their marriage to succeed.

Sounds like great advice. We all need obedient wives.

Mental Health Break

It is the 400th?anniversary?of the King James Version of the Bible.

Here are 100 of the most famous phrases.

No they shouldn’t

This headline is wrong. We don?t need our little boys buggered by doctors as well as priests.

Kick him to touch

It looks like John Key is going to have to have a cabinet re-shuffle.

I have already blogged on this and note I have already called for David Carter’s useless carcass to be flayed.

It should now be booted out the back door after an appalling lack of judgement on his part in ignoring the religious beliefs of one people over the trade interests of another group, ironically with similar religious beliefs around the killing of animals. Not only that he was horribly conflicted in making the decision.

A farming company part-owned by a Cabinet minister was able to give him a briefing about how the Government could protect its lucrative trade with Muslim countries by banning Jewish slaughtering. (shechita)

Agriculture Minister David Carter supported the recommended law change but had to back down days before he was to be taken to court to justify it.

It is the second time this year Crown lawyers have had to leap to the defence of one of Parliament’s wealthiest MPs – and this time in a case in which he was forced to admit getting basic facts wrong.

Carter was being sued by the Auckland Hebrew Congregation for changing the law in May to make traditional Jewish slaughter of animals illegal. The case was set to begin in the High Court at Wellington tomorrow – until an embarrassing backdown by Carter who on Friday overturned the ban he asked Cabinet to support.

Clearly Carter hasn’t passed around the blank envelope, his usual method of hushing up people, because people are squawking.

He has had far too many close shaves and this must surely be the final straw.

Questions surely must be being asked too about the ongoing management inside the Key ministry. These types of woeful decisions-making were nipped in the bud by the over-arching control of?chief?of staff heather Simpson in the Clark ministry. There appears no such controls from the 9th floor under National.

It would seem that ministers under Key are operating in silos, with little or no co-operation with each other. This may well be fine in the corporate sector where talent is spectacularly rewarded and incompetence punished swiftly. It isn’t the same in politics, where the talent pool is car park puddle shallow and getting rid of the idiots and fools not as simple as handing them a rubbish bag and showing them the door.

With Wong, and Simon Power and now Carter seemingly operating willy-nilly with no controls it would point out clearly that something isn’t right in the Beehive. Hell, Simon Power even went and did a deal with Labour to rob us of our freedoms and didn’t even put it to caucus first, at least Labour’s caucus got a say in the deal.

National needs to seriously start looking at its leadership and finding some strength otherwise its jelly like spine may well collapse under the strain. Maybe John Key needs to perform his own shechita on some of his more inept and foolish ministers. I’d cut Simon Power‘s throat sooner rather than later before he costs National the election.

They want sorry, I'll give them sorry

Islamic community leaders have written to Prime Minister John Key demanding Building Minister Maurice Williamson apologise for jokes he made about Muslims.

Humourless pricks. Are Muslims the new poofs? Whining worse than Steve Gray.

They want an apology, you can’t go past the type of apology that Andrew Williams Father Jack gave.