About the new year, this we know, that no incoming
president ever faced such a bewildering array of
problems as Barack Obama will face in just three
weeks on both national and international levels.

Our nation is engaged in two major wars, stretching
our military capability to the limit. Another war, or
wars, in the Middle-East may be just abut ready to
start. Our economy -- along with economies all over
the world -- is seeking new lows. At the same time
unemployment levels are reaching for new highs. The
housing market deteriorates daily/ Our manufacturing
industries appear doomed.The fabled breadlines of
of the 1930s seem ready to reappear.

And to face these problems we will have as our
president a young man whose only experience is
as a community organizer in Chicago and part of
a term as United States Senator. He was elected
on a promise of hope and change. And he may be
able to meet these challenges, but we know so little
about him -- where he was born, his education,
his health and physical condition, and his religious
convictions. As of this date he has done nothing to
merit our complaints or criticisms. While we wait
for his first actions, we can pray for God to give him
wisdom in utilizing his authority, and give us strength
and courage to withstand the threats to our way of
life which seem imminent.

But concerning the past year we can look back
and remember some of the events we have just gone
through. This is an interesting consideration for all
of us who are Christians.

The 10 Top Religious News Stories of 2008
First, from Charisma Magazine, with its strong
Evangelical viewpoint, although oriented toward
the Pentecostal position. Here are Charisma's
10 Top Religious News Stories of 2008:

1. The Martyrs of India
2. African-American pastors and the election
3. Sarah Palin -- love her or hate her
4. The Kendrick brothers and the film "Fireproof"
5. William P. Young -- and his novel "The Shack"
6. Bob Fu -- and his ministry in China
7. Jim Garlow -- and his efforts for Proposition 8
8. Irene Gleeson -- and her ministry in Uganda
9. Doug Stringle -- and "Somebody Cares" program
10. Joel Stockstill -- and his youth ministry

Second, from Christianity Today, more centrist
in its theological viewpoint, here are its Ten Top
Religious News Stories of 2008:

1. Democrats woo Evangelical voters
2. California voters turn back state Supreme Court
decision on same-sex marriages
3. Persecution of Christians in Orissa, India
4. Anglican Communion continues to implode
5. Christians flee Iraq and Gaza
6. Scrutiny of candidates' religious associations
7. Ministries finances affected by economic crisis
8. Muslim and Christian interfaith dialogues
9. Todd Bentley's Florida healing methods
10. Texas authorities raid FLDS ranch

And finally, from the theologically left of center Time
magazine, its Ten Top Religion News Stories of 2008:

1. The economy trumps religion; in the election
money woes pushed religion off the table
2. Never count out the Mormons on Proposition 8
3. The Pope wows the states
4. Canterbury - the Anglican Communion nonevent
5. America's unfaithful faithful; Pew Forum report
6. Buddhist monks rebel
7. The birth of the new Evangelicalism
8. The challenge of the recession for faith ministries
9. Unethical practices of a kosher packing factory
10. Extraterrestrials may already be saved

For a New Years Day exercise: why not use a
pad to list your Ten Top Religious News Stories
of 2008. What events from a religious or Christian
viewpoint seemed most significant to you?

This reflection on a major 2008 even is not from
one of the Founding Fathers, but from Peter Hitchens
who is an editorial writer for the Daily Mail in London.
''The night we waved goodbye to America... our
last best hope on Earth. Anyone would think we
had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful
replacement for God, with a plan to modernize
Heaven and Hell ...The swooning frenzy over the
choice of Barack Obama as President of the
United States must be one of the most absurd
waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever
to sweep through an advanced civilization. At
least Mandela-worship - its nearest equivalent -
is focused on a man who actually did something."

And what about 2009? What about traditional New
Years Resolutions? Or, reflecting on the writings of
Francis Schaeffer, "How should we then live?"
We have a New Testament filled with instructions
from the first century followers of Jesus, and from
Jesus Christ Himself. Nothing in the so-called
"progressive" or "politically correct" schools of
thought have ever superseded those rules of life.
And our God is still in control. The words of one of
Stuart Hamblen's songs come to mind, "I know not
what the future holds, but I know who holds the

This Founding Father had it right: "Religion and
good morals are the only solid foundation of public
liberty and happiness." Samuel Adams, 1788

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Don't forget our advance notice: In one of the
early issues of the new year in response to requests
from our readers we will offer an in-depth discussion
on the important subject of Evangelicalism . . . what
is an Evangelical . . . who are today's Evangelicals,
and who are not, despite their claims to be?

Looking ahead to 2009, we have Vice President-
elect Joe Biden's prediction on October 20: “Mark
my words. It will not be six months before the
world tests Barack Obama… Remember I said it
if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch,
we’re gonna have an international crisis, a
generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. I
can give you at least four or five scenarios from
where it might originate.” It isn't clear whether the
six month period began on October 20 or if it will
begin on January 20. We'll just have to wait to see.

It may be good to know: In the past 100 years we
have seen a greater change in life expectancy than in
all previous centuries. In 1900 Americans lived on an
average 49.2 years. By 2000 that average age had
risen to 76.9 years. And according to the National
Center for Health Statistics, a baby born in 2006 has
a life expectancy slightly above 78 years. According
to the US Census Bureau, in 2004 there were 78,674
Americans 100 years of age. By 2050 it is expected
that there will be 1.1 million centenarians in America.

And the "Global Warming" theory may still be
with us. The award winning Princeton University
physicist, Dr. Will Happer, who was reportedly fired
by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993 for failing
to adhere to Gore’s scientific views, has now declared
the man-made global warming fears are in error. “I
am convinced that the current alarm over carbon
dioxide is mistaken,” Happer told the US Senate
Committee on Environment & Public Works last
week. One Internet news story was titled "2008,
the Year the Global Warming Sky Didn't Fall,"
and listed "Top Ten Dud Predictions" from the
"Church of Global Warming." Now if Mr. Gore
could just be convinced . . .

The Global Warming hoax had other implications.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) had
always been neutral on the subject of Global Warming.
Then Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental
Affairs, formed the Evangelical Climate Initiative and
took the position that man causes catastrophic global
warming, even going so far as to say that those who
disagreed with his position on global warming were in
danger of the judgment of God. Then after he changed
his viewpoint on gay unions, Cizik resigned from his
position of leadership within the once influential NAE.

A quote from the ultimate Founding Father:
"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be
expected on a nation that disregards the eternal
rules of order and right which Heaven itself has
ordained" -- George Washington, 1789

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]