March 31, 2010

Congressman Cantor received death threat from Muslim convert

Pamela Geller posted an interesting blog piece at that probably has not been reported widely.

Apparently, U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) was issued a death threat by Muslim convert, Norma Leboon.

According to Geller's piece, Leboon stated in his YouTube video, "Remember Eric…our judgment time, the final Yom Kippur has been given. You are a liar, you’re a Lucifer, you’re a pig, a greedy [expletive deleted] pig. You’re an abomination. You receive my bullets in your office. Remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer’s abominations."

CIA says Iran can now produce nuclear weapons

The Washington Times published a story yesterday that is quite chilling. According to the piece, the CIA in its annual report to Congress stated, "Iran continues to develop a range of capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so."

The piece also noted that Iran "producing more capable medium-range ballistic missiles remains one of its highest priorities. Three test flights of a new 1,240-mile-range Sejil missile were conducted in 2009, the report said, noting that assistance from China, North Korea and Russia 'helped move Iran toward self-sufficiency in the production of ballistic missiles.'"

March 28, 2010

US researchers postulate Israeli tactical nuclear strike on Iran

Debkafile has a very informative piece today regarding the ongoing Israel-Iran conflict.

According to the Debkafile piece, "Scenarios of a potential Israeli attack on Iran - usually without Washington's assent - abound in leading US media in the last 24 hours....Debkafile's military sources point in particular to the work of two eminent experts on Iran's nuclear program, Anthony Cordesman and American-Jordanian Abdullah Toqan for the Washington Institute for Strategic Affairs, who report the belief in some American military circles that '…nuclear weapons are the only weapons that can destroy targets deep underground or in tunnels'… In their latest work, the two researchers find that 'Ballistic missiles or submarine-launched cruise missiles [such as those with which Israeli Dolphin submarines are armed] could serve for Israeli tactical nuclear strikes without interference from Iranian air defenses.'"

Certainly no one knows who will initiate the next clash in the ongoing Israel-Iran conflict, but it is for certain that the conflict is becoming a big concern to many people and it seems almost a given that the conflict will erupt into a major military battle probably sooner rather than later.

March 20, 2010

Skeptic Challenges Famous Guru to Kill him on TV

The UK's Times Online had an interesting story yesterday.

Apparently, famous tantric guru, Pandit Surender Sharma, said in a television interview that he could kill another man using his mystical powers. Skeptic, Sanal Edamaruku, answered the challenge from the guru requesting him to use his mystical powers to kill him. According to the Times Online, "First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic’s hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man."

The incident is still on Youtube.

March 17, 2010

Israel's Ynet News: US shipping arms ahead of strike on Iran

Ynet News in Israel has an interesting story today.

According to the Ynet News piece, the Scottish newspaper, The Herald, reported that "
the American government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures."

The Ynet News piece also said, "
The report quoted experts as saying that the bombs are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the newspaper, although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The report said Superior Maritime Services, a shipping company based in Florida, , will be paid $699,500 to transport many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia. The cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs, said The Herald."

March 13, 2010

Christian Minister turned Atheist Activist

The Age published an interesting story about Dan Barker, the co-President of the atheist group, Freedom Religion Foundation.

Barker was a Christian and a minister for 19 years of his life until 1984 when he announced to his friends that he decided to be an atheist.

The Age piece paints a not so surprising picture of how Barker went from Christian minister to atheist activist. The piece states, "Exposure to more liberal Christians pushed him from preaching hellfire and damnation. Then, in his early 30s, he studied theology, philosophy, history and science. Slowly, his beliefs began to unravel."

March 8, 2010

Southern Baptist Church Hosting Point-Counter-Point Dialogue Between a Muslim and a Christian

Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas will be hosting a most interesting event. On Sunday, April 11 the church will host a point-counter-point between Christian apologist and President of Watchman Fellowship, James K. Walker and Muslim and CEO of the Muslim Legal Fund of America, Khalil Meek. The point-counter-point will deal with Jesus, the cross and the resurrection.

Senior Pastor of Grand Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Jeff Crawford, announced the event on his blog today saying, "For two hours, on April 11th, James Walker and Khalil Meek will go head-to-head, each sharing their story and then engaging in a point-counter point dialogue over the topic: Jesus, the Cross, and the Resurrection (remember, this is the week AFTER Easter.) We have already received word from groups within an hours driving radius that are interested in coming to this event. We will be inviting the congregations of both Islamic Centers in Fort Smith as well as the Mormon community. Needless to say, I am extremely excited that Grand will be hosting this unique event where the clear message of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed."

This could be an event that many Evangelical churches would be interested in hosting for their city.

The church has also produced a TV commercial of the event that is being broadcast on the local stations.

March 7, 2010

Is Joel Osteen the New Face of Christianity?

The UK's Guardian has an interesting story today about American Christianity. The Guardian apparently believes Osteen is the new face of Evangelical Christianity.

According to the Guardian, "Powerful politicians from both parties crave to be seen with him, just as in the past they paid homage to Billy Graham (who has endorsed Osteen). The Republican governor of Texas, Rick Perry, made sure to attend the grand opening of Lakewood in July 2005; Osteen in turn led the prayer during Perry's inauguration two years later. But Osteen doesn't pick political favourites; when Houston elected its first openly gay mayor this year (a Democrat), he said the prayer during her inauguration. The Clintons like to be seen worshipping at Lakewood when they're in town, and John McCain was happy to sing the praises of Osteen while campaigning in 2008. And while Obama is yet to pay a visit, last December he found the time to receive Osteen at the White House. These disparate and often opposed politicians recognise one thing: if anybody is the face of evangelical Christianity in America today, it is Joel Osteen."

The way the Guardian article begins, however, is most interesting. The piece says, "Forget Billy Graham and Jimmy Swaggart – the most popular and influential pastor in the US is Joel Osteen. On the surface he is modest and quietly spoken, but his belief in the 'prosperity gospel' is changing the way people pray."

It's interesting that the piece notes Osteen's Word-Faith theology because that may be something about Osteen that many people are unaware of.

March 6, 2010

Has Emerging Church Leader Brian McLaren Endorsed Homosexuality?

In the January 23, 2006 edition of Christianity Today's, Emerging Church leader, Brian McLaren, made this statement in regards to whether or not homosexuality is immoral, "Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we'll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they'll be admittedly provisional. We'll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we'll speak; if not, we'll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out. Maybe this moratorium would help us resist the "winds of doctrine" blowing furiously from the left and right, so we can patiently wait for the wind of the Spirit to set our course."

Evidently, McLaren's 5-year moratorium is over in less than 5 years. In a piece in The Washington Post, McLaren said, "Since I come from an Evangelical background, most of my good friends sincerely and passionately hold the strict conservative view on homosexuality with which we all were raised. They can't understand why I don't stand side by side with them on this issue any more."

Psychic Charged with Investor Fraud

Sean David Morton, a self-proclaimed psychic who calls himself, "America's Prophet" was arrested recently and charged with investor fraud. Apparently, "America's Prophet" says he was able to predict stock market changes and therefore could bring a great profit to his clients.

According to the ABC News piece, Morton said, "I have called all the highs and lows of the market, giving exact dates for rises and crashes over the last 14 years." But he apparently could not foresee that the SEC was going to catch him.