Muslim Leaders Apologize for Anti-Christian Violence

Two years after about a thousand Muslims burned down a Christian neighborhood in the Pakistani town of Gojra, destroying 150 homes and businesses, and killing eight to ten Christians, including children, Muslim leaders Pir Israr Bihar Shah and Pir Hafiz Abbul Haui apologized for those acts.

Though the leaders themselves did not participate in the violence, they condemned the actions and asked forgiveness, saying that Islam does not condone murder. The anti-Christian raid occurred on August 1, 2009. Everyone arrested in the violence was acquitted.

Violence against Christians, and forced conversions to Islam are common in Pakistan. While not an official statement, the apology is significant, because the Pirs are well-known and respected in the area. Shah runs a Muslim school and Haui heads a nearby mosque.

Read more about the interfaith dialogue at : http://tinyurl.com/3eabw3s  And at http://www.thebostonpilot.com/Briefs.asp?ID=10416

Read about a rare conviction in the case of a Pakistani Christian murdered for refusing to convert to Islam at: http://tinyurl.com/3f4b929

See video testimony of a Pakistani Christian family whose two-year-old child was brutalized when they refused to convert to Islam. http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/blog/id.8150/blog_detail.asp

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier  http://shevarim.com

Tisha B’Av: Overcome baseless hatred with baseless love

 Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, commemorates the many evils that have befallen the Jewish people (coincidentally?) on this day:

  • 9 Av 2448 (Hebrew date) Spies return from the Promised Land with an evil report, causing Israelites to fear, the LORD’s anger to burn, and the Jews to wander for forty years.
  • 9 Av 3340 Destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians. 100,000 Jews killed. Jews taken captive to Babylon and Persia.
  • 9 Av 3830 Destruction of the second temple by the Romans. 2,500,000 Jews die, over 1,000,000 exiled, and 100,000 sold as slaves.
  • 9 Av 4855 The first Crusades declared by Pope Urban II.
  • 9 Av 5050 The expulsion of Jews from England.
  • 9 Av 5252 The expulsion of Jews from Spain.
  • 9 Av 5702 Deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka concentration camp begins.
  • 9 Av 5754 Bombing of Jewish community center in Buenos Aires kills 86 and wounds 300.

Though the day is inherently Jewish, the message of Tisha B’Av reaches all people. Large-scale acts of hatred do not spontaneously erupt. They begin with individual attitudes, individual choices and individual acts of discrimination.

Tisha B’Av illustrates the result of sinas chinam (baseless hatred). It gives us the opportunity to acknowledge times in our lives when we mistreated one another, or failed to speak or act on behalf of someone else.

Tisha B’Av reminds us that each time we choose to overcome baseless hatred with baseless love, we come closer to knowing God, who loves us even though we do not deserve it.

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Leviticus 19:18, JPS)

Tisha B’Av, occurs this year (2011) from sunset Monday, August 8th to sunset Tuesday, August 9th. For more information, visit:

Judaism 101

Ohr Somayach

Hebrew for Christians

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier, Shevarim.com

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

You know that little voice in your head that says you should think a moment before you press send? I’m begging you to listen to it.

Yesterday, August 4th, the President of the United States celebrated a birthday. His wife urged Twitter followers to send their best wishes. You’d think a civil war had been declared! Can’t the man even have a birthday without being called names?

When King Saul breathed threats against David, the LORD had already rejected him as king. Even though he fell into David’s hand again and again, David refused to harm him. Saul committed much evil; but when he died, and David assumed his throne, the Psalmist wrote a song remembering the good that he did. David was exalted by God, and called “a man after God’s own heart.”  (See 1 Samuel 24-26; 2 Samuel 1; 1 Samuel 13:13-14)

President Obama is not king, of course. In the United States, we choose our leaders. That process includes frank—even heated—discussion.

I’m all about free speech. Open debate. Accountability. I’m not saying to keep your politics to yourself. If you have a legitimate point to make, by all means, make it. But if instead of respectful debate, you cross over into a blind hatred where the man can do no right, when you can’t even bear the mention of his name on his birthday, please do me a favor. Don’t announce that you’re a Christian. That makes us all look bad.

Obama is neither angel nor demon. He’s just a man who has been given authority by the people of the United States and by the sovereign will of God. As a man, and as the President, he deserves to be treated with respect, whether or not you agree with his politics.

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier  Shevarim.com

Right, but still wrong.

Anger is tricky.

Harold Camping’s Doomsday predictions made me angry. And rightly so. This man seriously harms people in the name of God, insisting that the Bible says something it does not say. But anger can bring up other issues. Sometimes we can be right, but still wrong.

As anger tends to do, my anger overflowed. It spilled first to Camping himself, then onto other false prophets and cult leaders. Then onto all those who use the Bible to treat others badly. Then all hypocrites in the church. Those awful hypocrites. Look at how prideful and unkind they are. I want nothing to do with them. I’m better than that.

And, just that quickly, I became guilty of the same sins I detest.

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Without love, I am nothing. God help me.

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier. All Rights Reserved. Shevarim.com

False Prophecies and a Jewish Homeland

We’re not surprised that Jesus didn’t come, and the world didn’t end on May 21, 2011, are we? Even though Family Radio plastered buses and billboards with “the Bible guarantees it,” those of us who read the Bible know that isn’t so. [see Matthew 24:36]

Just one day before our supposed Doomsday, US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hashed it out at the White House again. Their meeting sparked declarations of “the Bible guarantees the Jews a homeland in Israel!” But those of us who read the Bible know that isn’t so.

I am pro-Israel. I’m rooting for them, just as I’m rooting for the USA. My prayers and financial support are with both countries. But I will not say that the Bible guarantees the continuance of either one, because it simply doesn’t.

God’s promises to Israel have always been conditional. [see Deuteronomy 28] If the people of Israel obey the LORD, and love and worship him alone, the Bible says that no one will be able to withstand them. Even if they’re outnumbered by bigger and stronger armies, they will possess the land. We’ve seen this play out, as recently as the 1967 war. We do not need to fear those who oppose Israel. We should instead strive to be like Rahab, whose fear of the LORD prompted her to protect God’s people in the small way in which she had opportunity. In turn, she and her family were protected. [see Joshua 2]

The Bible says if Israel allies themselves with other nations, intermarrying with them, and associating with them, “you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you.” [see Joshua 23:12-13]

Israel, as it exists as a nation today, is democratic, multi-cultural, and supports religious freedom, as does the United States. While that is an awesome way to live, it does not meet the Biblical requirements of the covenant that Israel made with the LORD to keep the land. I hope Israel continues to grow and prosper. But if I declared that the Bible guarantees it, I would be no different than those false prophets at Family Radio.

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier. All rights reserved. Shevarim.com

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3, NIV

Smart, Savvy Approach to Panhandlers

Many of us struggle with the personal aspect of poverty. We feel good about giving to homeless shelters, and supporting local food banks; but we don’t always know what to do when we come face-to-face with a stranger asking for a handout.

“Most people want to do something to help but aren’t sure how. Whenever I’ve given out money, I’ve wondered whether or not I’ve just enabled an addict. And that’s a valid concern,” says author Linda Kozar,  co-leader of Babes with a Beatitude, a Bible study and prayer group based at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands, Texas.

The women came up with a solution: meal bags. Each zipper-lock plastic bag contains a can of soup, chili or pasta with a pop-top lid, a spoon, napkin, bottle of water, cereal bar, cheese crackers, Slim Jim, and candy, along with a personal note of encouragement, a Bible verse, and the promise to pray.

Armed with meal bags, we can easily provide food and drink, even at a stop light. Being prepared also helps us budget our giving. Thanks, Babes, for this great idea!

For more smart and savvy ideas to live out your faith, check out the Babes With a Beatitude blog at http://www.babeswithabeatitude.blogspot.com

Babes With a Beatitude—Devotions for Smart, Savvy Women of Faith by Linda Kozar and Dannelle Woody (Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009)

Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier, all rights reserved. Shevarim.com

Anita Renfroe: In Tha Muthahood

Motherhood is not what I expected. But I love it. Here’s a Mother’s Day shout-out to all you faithful moms out there. Enjoy this video by comedian Anita Renfroe, who says,”When you were expecting, this ain’t what they told you to expect.”

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