January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

The following originally appeared as an IRD Weekly E-Newsletter. If you would like to receive future mailings, register as an IRD User today.

Find additional newsletters in the IRD E-Newsletter Archive.

 

I pray God’s blessings on you in 2010. As all years, this year will be full of troubles and challenges, but also hope and opportunities, by God’s grace.

Of course, IRD will continue its ministry of church reform and accountability. Most recently, you may have read about the international climate change summit in Copenhagen, attended by President Obama and countless other heads of state. Many liberals are angry, because, despite the big talk, the assembled governments agreed to no specific reductions in carbon emissions. Groups like the World Council of Churches (WCC) were pushing for a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions in 10 years, which would have crippled the world economy.

Of course, the Religious Left, like the secular far-left, sees Global Warming as a convenient pretext for shutting down capitalism. Many church officials and activists were in Copenhagen, including the WCC, United Methodist Women, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Evangelical Environmental Network, among others.Here’s my article.

As I wrote, the Global Warming cause opportunistically allows the Religious Left to collapse all its favored causes into one issue: hostility to free markets and economic growth; cravings for wealth redistribution; Western guilt; veneration for the earth at the expense of humanity; and aspirations for global governance. And despite Religious Left claims about concern for the poor, shutting down or restricting the global economy would hurt the very poor the most. Draconian carbon reductions would keep poor people poor, and the rest of us stagnant, less able to help others in need. What’s compassionate about that?

Speaking of compassion, you’ve maybe read about an attempt to further criminalize homosexuality in Uganda primarily because of AIDS transmission. Many churches in Uganda are opposed, and megachurch pastor Rick Warren in this country has criticized it while citing his own extensive work against AIDS in Africa. IRD’s Jeff Walton recently attended a U.S. State Department briefing about all this, and here’s his article. What do you think about this?

Meanwhile, some U.S. Lutherans are encouraging some Palestinian Christians in a further condemnation of Israel. Here’s my article. In effect, this statement strives to delegitimize Israel as a nation. The dream for many Palestinians, with their Arab and American supporters, is to eradicate Israel demographically if not militarily, by insisting on an unrestricted “right of return” for all descendants of Palestinians who once lived in what is now Israel prior to its founding 60 years ago.

Finally, here’s a piece by Jim Tonkowich about angels. Enjoy!

 


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