Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ya Just Gotta Laugh!

From this month's Larknews,

Mergers and Legal Notices

The following people and/or institutions have merged:
  • Rebecca St. James Dobson
  • F.F. Bruce Wilkinson
  • Philip K. Dick Eastman Curtis Chapman University
  • Olivia Newton John Hagee
  • Jan Crouch & The Disciples
  • Greg Laurie Anderson Cooper Tires
  • Rick Warren Buffett
  • Kenneth Copeland Sports
  • John Eldredge Cleaver
  • Billy Graham Kendrick
  • Badly Drawn Boy George Michael W. Smith Goes to Washington Irving Berlin
  • Bing Crosby Stills Nash & Young Messiah
  • Tiny Tim LaHaye Billy Joel Osteen
  • Creflo Dollar Rent-a-Car
  • Toby Keith Green Day
Most Popular LarkNews Product:
1. "Jesus Loves You! Then again, He loves everybody" T-Shirt and Mug

Articles [Full text of articles with photos can be found at]:
  • Iowa man feels called to Saudi Arabia
    Kevin Watson, a lifelong Iowan, hopes to make a big difference for Christ in Saudi Arabia. He decided to go there while watching a video about Islam in his adult Sunday school class last week. [He] plans to start a men's accountability group and do some street witnessing in Riyadh. "It'll be fun," he says. "I can't wait to see what God does with me there."

  • Altar Egos video game a 'guilty pleasure'
    At a recent board meeting, pastor Darrell Smith of Trinity Fellowship put a video game controller in each member's hands. Soon the 12 men were clobbering each other on an oversized TV screen as they played Altar Egos: Rumble in the Pew, the latest church staff craze. "I haven't felt this good about church in years," said one board member, smiling and sweating.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Terrorism? Naaaahhhh! Revisited

Use of Force or Forgiveness?

Given the comment logged re my previous post, and the following point made to me privately by a dear friend and brother in Christ, I submit this clarification. It involves the ever present tension between living in the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world at the same time.

My friend writes: "In regards to this article, remember we are all killers and capable of doing the same. But with God's grace........."

He is right about each of us being culpable before God and capable of the most heinous crimes. Yes, I am a murderer. And it is only my sin, my murderous self, that stands between me and God and His kingdom -- and only the grace of God in Christ wipes that away, brings me into his kingdom, and empowers me to live a life according to His commands, pleasing to Him and of service to my neighbor.

Furthermore, as a pastor and Layton City Police Department Chaplain, be assured that if this young man had survived, and I was called in the course of my duties to minister to him (terrorist or not, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, atheist notwithstanding) I would tell him that Jesus died for His sin. I would call him to acknowledge his sin -- not only murder, but terrorism meant to kill as many as possible and frighten everybody else into submission -- repent, and receive the forgiveness and salvation of the Lord. If he was taking his dying breath, I would probably even forgo the call to repentance in light of the Law's looming execution and go right to Jesus dying to forgive him and give him life.

Yet given that I do not have that opportunity and am speaking to those who must live their lives in the face of such evil, and how they should treat and prepare for such possibilities, I am compelled to address what God's Word has to say about earthly authorities and their responsibilities to the people entrusted to their care.

While in personal relations with their neighbors, even if they be enemies, Christians are to turn the other cheek and offer forgiveness, still if they have been given the responsibility to protect and serve others by virtue of family, business, or governmental authority in this world they are obligated to "bear the sword" (Rom. 13) as necessary to exercise their duties. Therefore, I would encourage law enforcement officials, who according to their training identify certain characteristics and behaviors, to have no guilt or remorse in identifying a terrorist act as as a terrorist act -- whether a Muslim killing for allah or a "Christian" committing arson at an abortion clinic. Likewise I would encourage every citizen to be vigilant to look for such suspicious characteristics and behaviors, and report or be ready to defend against them with whatever force necessary.

In such things, sanctified common sense tells us that there are certain factors and indicators of malevolence. For example, I would not be overly concerned if people I know happened by my house some Saturday afternoon and just peeked their head in the door and yelled hello. However, if someone did the same thing at two a.m. and was holding a weapon I would be obligated to protect my family by whatever force necessary.

Likewise, I do not think our police need to be concerned about a bunch of teenage Lutheran kids at a youth group function like we attended in Denver last weekend, going as a group to the mall. However, we do know that certain Muslim cells train and encourage young men to do precisely that which happened at Trolley Square. It is very similar to terrorist attacks in Israel going back to my youth. The hard truth is, this is terrorism by definition. This is what our military and law enforcement officials are here to protect us from.

All I am saying is that it is not helpful to pretend a problem does not exist. For the sake of the the prosecution of crime and protection of our people, terrorism cannot simply be masked as mental disease or defect or blamed on the manufacture and sales of guns as has been done with this case. This has not been the first, and will not be the last event of this kind.

Terrorism is terrorism. And it is not to be tolerated -- even in the name of Christianity.

Come Lord Jesus, deliver us from this and every evil, now and forevermore!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Terrorism? Naaaahhhh!

When a person

  • enters a busy public place

  • heavily armed

  • with the intention of killing as many people as possible

  • with no regard for even his own life

  • resulting in six deaths including his own

  • wounding four others

what would YOU call it?

Oh, and this person also just happens to be an 18 year old Muslim.

FBI rules out terrorism; authorities tracing shooter's guns (Laughing Martin is relieved)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
By Paul Foy
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- The FBI said Wednesday it has no reason to believe the shooting spree that killed five people in a shopping mall was an act of Islamic terrorism, leaving a young Bosnian immigrant's motives a mystery.

"It's just unexplainable," FBI agent Patrick Kiernan said. "He was just walking around and shooting everybody he saw."

Sulejman Talovic, 18, fired randomly at shoppers Monday, killing five and leaving four others with bullet wounds before he was shot dead by police. . . .

For the whole story go to

Friday, February 2, 2007

Why Lutheran?

"We are Lutherans for the same reason we are Christians"

by Rev. Edward Brockwell
Jyväskylä, Finland

Last summer, a friend and former classmate of mine, asked if we could get together to talk. He had some questions about the Christian faith. It goes without saying that, it is not every day when someone will ask, "What do Christians believe?" or even, "Why are you a Christian?" I think of the verse from 1 Peter that reminds us to "always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). Actually, when you think about it, "Why are you a Christian?" is one of the most important questions that any of us could ever be asked. Suddenly, and at that very moment, every word that we say becomes a matter of eternal life. . . .

For the rest of this intriguing paper by my good friend and colleague, please go to