Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods' apology totally misunderstood.

You may recall, Brit Hume offering Tiger Woods to leave Buddhism and find Jesus, on Fox network at the beginning of the year. Therein lies a core motive, which grants Tiger's apology sincerity.

Tiger's apology (CNN Video) is motivated by more than a few absolutes the media should understand and report empathetically, rather than exploit Woods for the sake of a story. Let's start with Richmond Times Dispatch, and work our way back to Brit Hume's statement......Continue to editorial page for the rest of the story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nazarenes concerned for Nazarene University pagan and mystic practices

A well known Nazarene college has taken on some unusual practices, for the holiness doctrine, denomination.

Richmond Evangelical Examiner (R.E.E.) attempts to follow up with reader concerns or interest. One reader, emailed a web link to a page on a web log site entitled, 'Reformed Nazarene (click here to read the article)'. The title of the article immediately draws concern or indifference.

R.E.E. followed up with Pastor Wynne Lankford of Southside Nazarene Church in Southside Richmond, Virginia for an opinion on the article and submitted an opinion from another Nazarene minister, Scott Marshall......Continue to editorial page

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lindsay Lohan controversial Purple Fashion Magazine with video

For Evangelicals, Pop-Culture must be engaged or the great commission becomes nothing more than a suggestion. Who would Lindsay Lohan have to offend if Christians were not doing the job Christ appointed us to?

At first glance, Purple Fashion Magazine's summer 2010 cover photo is disturbing. There certainly must be a message here, but what is it?.....continue to editorial page to read the rest of the article and view the video.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Presbyterian U.S.A. denomination evolving

A denomination of the Presbyterian Church having 2.5 million members releases a report, every three years, highlighting points of concern or interest.

Presbyterian U.S.A, Research Services published their last report in 2008 revealing only 39% of the denomination’s congregation believes Jesus is the only way for salvation. 35% of the denomination’s pastors strongly agree of the same statistic....Continue to editorial.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How God plans for a wedding during a snow storm

Sentil and Devon Walker of Hopewell have a story book wedding of comedy, drama and God’s providence.

Snow was in the forecast on their wedding day. Generally, one would not consider having a wedding under inclement conditions. After all, that would be very inhospitable and we want our guest to have a good time.

Typically, February in Richmond does not involve snow. We Richmonders usually have the privilege of seeing budding trees and crocus plants about this time of year. So, you can imagine Sentil not wanting to change a thing, scale back the plans or even postpone the wedding.
Post pone a wedding?

The day came. Can you imagine the emotions? Devon and Sentil were nervous, they had concern for the safety of their wedding guest, traveling in snow. And, as anyone would be, the couple were a bit disappointed that they would be getting married in front of a sparse crowd.

Devon was noticing many of his guests were not arriving on time for the wedding at the Crown Plaza Hotel. As Devon made himself visible in the lobby, to greet guest, he noticed quite a few people were loitering in the hotel lobby. Devon ventured to talk to some and discovered they were the cast of The Broadway Show, ‘The Wedding Singer’. What the heck, invite them.....Continue to editorial.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This case has more ups and downs than a yo-yo.

Yesterday, February 1, 2010 Richmond Evangelical Examiner reported some sketchy details coming from Columbus Dispatch. What makes the claim of Rifqa Bary being re-unified with her family appear to be a possibility is the headline in the Dispatch and the urgent language the author uses in the article. The author from Columbus Dispatch also reported a counseling clause in the dependency agreement from last December. And, by all appearences, Omar Tarazi was justified in filing an emergency motion stating there had origionally been an order prohibiting Rifqa Bary to have contact with Blake and Beverly Lorenz which he claims has been violated....continue to my editorial.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rifqa Bary is Betrayed/ Urgent Appeal for a New Legal Strategy

Jamal Jivanjee and Rifqa Bary need your help. The following is a message from Jamal. Video at Editorial page.

Dear friends and supporters of Rifqa Bary,
As you might have heard, Rifqa Bary has been betrayed yet again. It has not yet been two weeks since Rifqa’s parents and their C.A.I.R. appointed attorney agreed to Rifqa’s dependency.
On Friday January 29’th, it was reported in the Columbus Dispatch that Rifqa’s parents, under the strict instructions of their C.A.I.R. advised attorney, have backed out of the very deal that they made through filing motions claiming the deal was made under “misrepresentation and fraudulent inducement.” This is an absolutely false and baseless claim that gives them the excuse of backing out of the deal that they had no intention of keeping in the first place.
The point of this article is not to talk about how bad it is that the C.A.I.R. advised attorney betrayed their word and is stepping up their attacks on Rifqa Bary. No, we already know that C.A.I.R. and the Muslim machine is out to utterly destroy Rifqa Bary. It should be no surprise that they would use every tool in their arsenal to attack. We should know by now that they have no intention of leaving her alone.
The point of this article is to question the legal strategy that Rifqa’s attorneys have been using. To be blunt, the only word that I can think of that describes Rifqa’s attorney’s legal strategy is ‘asinine’. Please know that I do not say this lightly. It has not been easy for me to come to this conclusion, but for the sake of truth and Rifqa’s well being, I am not able to keep silent about this horrendous legal strategy that has been employed. It cannot and must not continue. After learning some disturbing things over the last several days, and this latest incident that happened last Friday Jan. 29’th, I am not able to keep silent anymore. What strategy am I talking about?
Rifqa’s attorneys have been pursuing a strategy of trying to obtain dependency for her so that she can become a dependent of the state of Ohio and be protected in foster care until she is 18 years old. I applaud this strategy. I desperately desire that Rifqa would become a dependant of the state. That is the legal goal, and I do not question that. What is completely unacceptable, however, is the legal strategy of trying to make deals with a completely untrustworthy and blood thirsty enemy to obtain what legally belongs to Rifqa Bary. There are several reasons why this latest deal that Rifqa’s own attorneys made with the Muslim side should NEVER have been made. I will list them here:

1. The first reason that this deal should never have been made is because C.A.I.R. and Rifqa’s parents are untrustworthy. This is not the first deal that they reneged on. Rifqa’s current attorneys have been warned about this. When Rifqa was still in Florida, Rifqa’s parents were ordered to turn over immigration documents demonstrating that they were in the U.S. legally. They refused to turn over the documents, and as a result were in danger of being thrown in jail for contempt of court. Knowing this, the parent’s former attorneys in Ohio convinced Rifqa’s former guardian ad-litem in Florida, and the Florida juvenile court judge to drop the order for Rifqa’s parents to prove their legal residency status if they (Rifqa’s parents) agreed to not interfere with Rifqa’s quest to become a dependent of the state of Ohio. This sounded like a win win for everyone involved, so the unfortunate deal was made.

As soon as Rifqa was put on a plane for Ohio, Rifqa’s parents followed a premeditated plan devised by C.A.I.R. They promptly fired their attorneys who made the unwritten deal, and then hired Muslim activist C.A.I.R. approved attorneys to begin the active fight against Rifqa’s quest to become a dependant of the state of Ohio. This should have been a learning experience for Rifqa’s legal team, but it clearly was not. There is a common and wise saying that should be remembered…fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Because of this latest deal that was made, we have now been fooled twice.
2. The second major reason this latest deal for dependency should never have been made is because of the stated goal of the deal.
Do you know what was the stated goal of this most recent deal?
Was the goal of this latest deal to give Rifqa permanent dependency until she turns 18? NO! (That is what Rifqa’s supporters were led to believe, and is why we initially celebrated the deal that was made, but I have since discovered that is NOT what the stated goal actually was.) The STATED goal of this deal that Rifqa’s own attorneys initiated was reunification with the parents that she fled from! Consider this statement that was reported in the Columbus Dispatch’s report about the latest deal that was made:
“…Children Services will keep temporary custody, so she will remain in foster care. The family is following a case plan with the goal of reunification, meaning Rifqa would move back home.”
If anyone would dispute that this was the goal of the latest ‘deal’ that was made by Rifqa’s attorneys, I would urge them to take a look at the ‘case plan’ put together by Franklin County children’s services that was the underpinning of the ‘temporary dependency’ agreed to by both sides. This ‘case plan’ is horrendous and puts Rifqa in grave danger by pursuing reunification with her parents. It is absolutely unacceptable that Rifqa be forced to follow a ‘case plan’ that has a CLEAR & STATED goal of reunification with the very parents that threatened her life because of her faith in Jesus Christ. Her attorneys should be vehemently opposing this horrendous ‘case plan’. This is not just empty words stated in an obscure ‘case plan’, this is the very real intention of Franklin County Children Services.

Since the deal was made with Rifqa’s parents agreeing to temporary dependency, she was given permission to speak on the phone with Blake & Beverly Lorenz, the pastors in Florida who saved her life by taking her into their home when she fled. Rifqa’s parents are objecting to this contact with the Lorenz family by their 17 year old daughter. Do you know why? Because they feel that it interferes with the stated goal of the ‘case plan’ that they all agreed to. Consider this assessment by Mohamed & Aysha Bary as to why they object to this recent contact with the Lorenz family that Franklin County Children Services just allowed after Rifqa was granted temporary dependency:

“Children Services is endangering the family’s chance at reconciliation (reunification) by allowing Rifqa to have contact with the people who helped her run away.”

Again, Rifqa’s parents are suppressing and twisting the truth. The Lorenz family only responded to Rifqa’s plea for help. They were not the reason Rifqa fled her home. It was Rifqa’s family that caused her to run away by threatening to kill her or send her to punishment in Sri-Lanka because of her conversion to Christianity. Rifqa’s parents know that the goal of the ‘case plan’ is reunification, does Rifqa know that? I wonder if her attorneys actually told her that?

3. The third reason that this deal should never have been made is because it actually goes right along with the strategy of C.A.I.R. and the Muslim machine to keep the truth about Rifqa Bary’s life a secret. In order for Rifqa to become a dependent of the state of Ohio, all she has to do is demonstrate to the court that there was a conflict in the home. This is actually very easy to do. There is a mountain of evidence that has been provided to her attorneys from the last few years that Rifqa has been living a secret Christian life that clearly demonstrates that she was in great fear of her life from her parents due to her conversion to Christianity. This threat can also be traced back to the Noor Mosque who was putting extraordinary pressure on her parents to have their daughter’s apostasy ‘dealt with.’ There is overwhelming evidence for this. Because of this overwhelming evidence, the C.A.I.R. approved attorney has tried to shift the focus and attack the people who saved Rifqa’s life. They know that they cannot win this case when the focus is on Rifqa Bary’s life.

Let’s be very clear. This case is not about Blake & Beverly Lorenz. This case is not about Brian Williams, or anyone else for that matter. This case is about Rifqa Bary, and her courageous faith in Jesus Christ even when facing the threat of death. Muslims who convert to Christianity are clearly prescribed death according to numerous teachings in the Muslim holy books of the Qur’an and the Hadith. By keeping the focus off of Rifqa Bary and on the Lorenz family, or Brian Williams, the truth of this case is not being dealt with at all.
The temporary deal for dependency accomplished those goals for the Muslim side. The latest deal for dependency continued to keep Rifqa from telling the truth about what really happened to her (remember she is under a gag order and without a trial in which she can speak in court, there is no way her voice can be heard!). This deal also forced her to confess to an ‘unruly’ charge for fleeing for her life. While this is happening, the C.A.I.R. attack machine is focusing their attention on the Lorenz family and Brian Williams.

If Rifqa’s enemies are desperately trying to suppress the truth, then the strategy of Rifqa should be to tell the entire truth about her faith in Jesus Christ and the threat that she was and is facing from her parents due to the Islamic faith. The threat that Rifqa Bary is facing is very real. This threat should not to be underestimated by Rifqa’s attorneys or former attorney who have been saying that this is an easy case that will be over soon.

I have been told by these former attorneys of Rifqa that dependency is a foregone conclusion, that this case is all but over, and that her parent’s C.A.I.R. attorney will never take this to trial because he is inexperienced and unqualified. They have been wrong every time. This case has not been easy, this case has been going on for 6 months and is not over yet, Rifqa still does not have permanent dependency, and it seems that we are indeed headed to trial. How long will we wait to question this ‘asinine’ legal strategy? Should we wait until she is sent home and on a plane headed back to Sri-Lanka? I will not.
I believe that God will accomplish victory, but that does not mean that we do not fight for the truth and become passive. Now, the C.A.I.R. approved attorney wants to take the case for dependency to trial. I believe this strategy will actually work against them. Rifqa Bary is the one with truth on her side, we should not be afraid of a trial.
There is no doubt that I will be misunderstood and accused of causing division by writing this article. I hope that is not the case, but I am willing to suffer the consequences nonetheless. At the end of the day I have to look myself in the mirror, and I have to obey God rather than man. Let this be a warning, however to whomever this may apply to. Rifqa Bary needs to be defended not exploited in any way. The last time that I checked, Pro-Bono means free. Rifqa also should not be pressured into any ‘book deal’. She is not an adult yet, and she is still very much in the fight of her life. These attempts to exploit her are downright disgusting. Those who love Rifqa will not sit by if we find out that unethical behavior is occurring. Rifqa will herself be able to make those decisions when she is able.
There is a hearing scheduled for Feb. 16’th to deal with these latest charges by the C.A.I.R. attorney. Please be praying for this hearing. I would like to conclude this article with these passages of scripture that bring me peace when I think about Rifqa’s current situation: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek…For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:16,18)