THE PILGRIM’S SIGNIFICANCE 1


John Bunyan is a major figure in the seventeenth century’s English Puritan movement. Many factors have contributed to make Bunyan as famous as he is today, factors such as his unique conversion experience, his devoted ministry, which led to his persecution, and some of the sixty books he authored during his life. Nonetheless his unique book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1, is the main cause of his prominent fame. This specific work is regarded as one of the most important contributions to Christian thinking.[1]

Bunyan was born in November, 1628, to a father who worked as a tinker.[2]  While John was still a young man he joined the parliamentarian army and participated in the English Civil War.  During the war years he married. After the war, he went through a long process of  Christian conversion (1650-1655). Soon after his conversion, he became an active preacher, and because of his faith and ministry, Bunyan was detained and put into jail for twelve years (1660-1672) for preaching without a license from the Church of England. In the course of his long imprisonment he was able to write many books including his masterpiece, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

[1]Catholic University of America., New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. II (New York,: McGraw-Hill, 1967), 886.

[2]Vera Brittain, Valiant Pilgrim : The Story of John Bunyan and Puritan England (New York: Macmillan, 1950), 41.

Not to Be Surprised


Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religious groups.Yet one cannot predict who out of the followers of this specific religion would be born from below. By”born from below,” I simply mean the exact opposite of the  biblical term “born from above” or in other translations “born again” (John 3).

While this term might sound weird for most of non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because if  Christians  believe that God through His Spirit can transform their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for them to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite transforming experience  from their own.

To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but more specifically sincere and serious Muslims, who are certainly  transformed by an evil belief system of  hate and deception. This system of faith is simply evil since it comprises clear elements of hate, and violence. A belief system that justifies bloodshed of infidels, Jews, and Christians. All this, can be found , not only in the Koran, but also in the Hadith, in the history of interpretation, and in their practices of faith along more than fourteen centuries.

By experience, this transformation can span from few days to years, also it can never be completed to a full transforming experience in the life time of a Muslim (which  is in fact more common). Yet when this “born from below” experience occurs, and his/her mind is activated and saturated/ indoctrinated with a seriously strong jihadic  belief system. The consequences  conform to Hell, and people are astonished or rather stunned by this acts of Jihad .

  Nonetheless,  Christians  shouldn’t be appalled by these acts of evil, because we also have a belief system that is good, and we not only believe that our good God exists, but also we belief  that Satan exists, and  that he is active in this fallen world (Eph 2:2). We can understand that there can be an evil transforming religious experience, when people truly believe in bad doctrines.

Moreover, we also know that our  ultimate hope is not in the wisdom of this age, nor in an earthly savior who is a smart politician or a good statesman (although these are needed to restrict evil in the world), but our real  hope is in Christ and God’s Kingdom.  In fact without faith in God, His Word, and His Christ, there is no real ground for logical goodness.To him be Glory and the final victory over all these evils, and over Satan himself (Rev 20:10).

The Word of the Lord

Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religions.Yet one cannot predict when or who out of the followers of this specific religion would be born from below. By”born from below,” I simply mean the exact opposite of the  biblical term “born from above” or in other translations “born again” (John 3).

While this term might sound weird to non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because if  Christians  believe that God through His Spirit can transform their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for them to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite experience  from their own.

To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but more specifically sincere and serious Muslims, who are certainly  transformed by an evil belief system of  hate…

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Not to Be Surprised


 

Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religious groups.Yet one cannot predict who out of the followers of  Islam would be born from below. By the “born from below,” I simply mean the exact opposite of the  biblical term “born from above,” or in other translations “born again” (John 3).

While this term might sound weird for most of non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because we Christians believe that God through His Spirit  transforms their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for us to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite transforming experience  from our own.

To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but to clarify the wickedness of  serious and true Muslims, who are certainly  transformed by an evil belief system of  hate and deception. This system of faith is simply evil since it comprises clear elements of hate, and violence. A belief system that justifies bloodshed of infidels, Jews, and Christians. All this, can be found , not only in the Quran, but also in the Hadith, in the history of interpretation, and is practically manifested by their long history of intolerance toward different non Muslim faiths for more than fourteen centuries.

By personal observation, this transformation can span from few days to years, also it can never be completed to a full transforming experience in the life time of a Muslim (which  is in fact more common). Yet when this “born from below” experience occurs, and his/her mind is activated and indoctrinated with a seriously strong jihadic  belief system.

The consequences  conform to Hell, and people are astonished or rather stunned by this acts of Jihad. Nonetheless, Christians  shouldn’t be appalled by these acts of evil, because we also have a belief system that is good, and we not only believe that our good God exists, but also we belief  that Satan exists, and  that he is active in this fallen world (Eph 2:2). We can understand that there can be an evil transforming religious experience, when people truly believe in bad and evil doctrines.

Moreover, we also know that our  ultimate hope is not in the wisdom of this age, nor in an earthly savior who is a smart politician or a good statesman (although these are needed to restrict evil in the world), but our real  hope is in Christ and God’s Kingdom.To him be Glory and the final victory over all these evils, and over Satan himself (Rev 20:10).

Torah


“Torah is not merely a collection of prohibitions, rigid strictures and boring observances. Rather, it is a narrative of the blessings and promises of God initially offered to one person and family, but through which the whole world will ultimately be blessed.” Walter C. Kaiser JR.

old-sefer-torah

Responsibilty or Irresponsability


” the kind of freedom implied by the thought that we humans completely determine our reality leaves us with a gnawing sense of the relative insignificance of our choices. I think it leads not to total responsibility but to careless irresponsibility, both with regard
to ourselves and with regard to other humans, not to mention to the world. And, paradoxically, it leads not to a deeper sense of [communal or individual] identity and dignity but to a disheartening lack of it.”
Excerpt from: Esther Lightcap Meek, Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People
(Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2003).

Devotion from Psalms 60, 61


Victory is not mainly determined by your preparation for it, nor by your strength to accomplish it, but it is mainly determined by the One who can lead you to the rock of your salvation.

This is  the mighty God who is stronger than both: you, and your enemies. If He is with you, then yours is the victory; He is your one and true victory in this life.

Why I donot support Sisi


For many Egyptian Christians, Sisi is worth to be supported for several political and ecclesiastical reasons. Moreover, for completely different reasons, some conservatives in the West seem to prefer a stable and strong military leader in Egypt. Nonetheless, from mere Christian perspectives, supporting a lunatic tyrant shouldn’t be warranted.

Sisi might be fighting terrorists, but certainly not terrorism in the broader sense. On the contrary, his unjust policies will lead to an insurgence of terrorism.

If Christians would betray their principles of love, justice, and equality for political and security reasons, what a shallow and shaken faith they posses. I believe the Word of God, I take it seriously, and I cannot justify the deeds of an evil, liar, and lunatic tyrant- who torture, jail, and kill people, for the sake of temporary peace.

A true Christian should be true to Christ and his Word, not to a pope, or patriarch, or any earthly leader, and he/she is in no way obligated to support what violates his faith and conscience. Any Pharaoh will eventually perish, while the Lord will reign forever.

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