The Two Bible Verses North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un Is Terrified Of, According To Sen. Lankford
May 28, 2017 by Rik Bokelman
The Kim regime in North Korea, which has imprisoned, tortured and even killed thousands of Christians, is terrified of the Gospel. That’s what Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told North Korean freedom activists gathered on Capitol Hill, reports Christian Post.
“It’s amazing to me that when I walked up to the dais, I walked up holding this Bible,” Lankford said while he spoke to those who attended. “If I did the same thing speaking in North Korea, this would give me a hard time. It would be longer if I handed it to you.”
“I’m astounded by that. I am astounded by that as a Christian myself. But I am astounded by that because sharing the Gospel attracts the fear of Kim Jong Un and that regime. I think about the words that are in this book and how terrified they are of this book. I think about some of the things that it says.”
Open Doors USA has ranked North Korea as the No. 1 worst country in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians for 16 years.
Lankford cited the passage of Matthew 22:37-40. “The regime is terrified of statements like this, where Jesus said to them all, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets. The Kim regime is terrified of that statement. It’s just a simple statement but here is what [God] demands — to be able to love God and to be able to love your neighbor.”
He also cited 1 Timothy 2: “Paul writes to Timothy and he says to him, ‘I encourage that prayers, entreaties, petitions and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and in dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.'”
Lankford summarized that Christian’s first calling is to be able to love our neighbor, and to love God. He added Paul told people to ‘show respect and live quiet and dignified lives.’ “That is the subversive text that the regime is terrified of and that is astounding to me,” he added.
Greg Scarlatoiu, an expert on the human rights abuses in North Korea and executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, said that one of the largest reasons why the Kim regime has a disdain for Christianity is because of its threat to the regime’s ability to control information.
“[Christianity] offers an alternative set of beliefs, an alternative way of life, a way of life that does not tolerate tyranny,” he said. “The North Korean regime fears Christianity because it offers a venue for the exchange of ideas. Remember, this regime has maintained its power through information control, through an absolute overwhelming level of coercion, control, surveillance and punishment that is executed by 270,000 agents in three eternal security agencies — a vast network of informers.”
Countering criticism even from conservative Christians, the principal of a Christian school in Maryland invoked its moral code in defense of a decision to forbid a pregnant student from crossing the graduation stage.
“Maddi is being disciplined, not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral,” wrote David R. Hobbs, administrator of Heritage Academy, about senior Maddi Runkles. He issued a statement to the school’s “family” on Tuesday (May 23).
The determination to not let Runkles “walk” when she completes her studies at the Hagerstown school prompted a sharp critique from Students for Life of America, which asked its supporters to urge the school to reverse its decision.
But Hobbs said the school is standing its ground about the June 2 ceremony for Runkles’ class of 15 students.
“Heritage is also pleased that she has chosen to not abort her son,” he wrote. “However, her immorality is the original choice she made that began this situation. Secondly, she will receive her diploma that she has earned.”
He noted that all students sign a pledge based on Philippians 4:8 (including language about “whatever is pure”) that “extends to my actions, such as protecting my body by abstaining from sexual immorality and from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.”
The New York Times reported that Runkles, a student with a 4.0 average, was suspended and removed as president of the student council. Her father resigned as the school’s board president. Runkles declined to name the baby’s father but said he is not an academy student and they do not plan to marry.
“I told on myself,” she said to the Times, describing her choice to publicly speak to the student body instead of letting Hobbs share her news. “I asked for forgiveness. I asked for help.”
Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins said her organization remains concerned about the example the school is setting.
“By banning her and her alone, the administration and board collectively decided to make a public example of one student,” Hawkins wrote in a statement, “and has either intentionally or unintentionally communicated to the school community that pregnancy (not simply premarital sex) is a shame and should not be observed within our school community.”
Other anti-abortion activists are adding their support for Runkles. Susan Michelle-Hanson, writing in an open letter on Live Action’s website, called her “a courageous young lady” and thanked her for “choosing life.”
In an earlier blog post, Students for Life said the academy’s treatment of Runkles will be remembered by her classmates because it “wasn’t with love.”
Hobbs, the academy administrator, countered that assessment.
“A wise man told me that discipline is not the absence of love, but the application of love,” he said. “We love Maddi Runkles. The best way to love her right now is to hold her accountable for her immorality that began this situation.”
Runkles’ parents are planning a private ceremony to celebrate their daughter’s graduation.
An ascendant terrorist group in the Philippines that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) yesterday wreaked violence on the island of Mindanao, kidnapping a catholic priest and 13 members of his parish.
Soldiers engaged in firefights with the Maute Group (MG) in Marawi City as its militants reportedly beheaded a police chief, kidnapped the priest and others, burned their cathedral and other buildings and raised the black flag of IS. Marawi is predominantly Muslim.
Authorities identified the abducted priest as the Rev. Teresito “Chito” Suganob, vicar-general of the prelature of Marawi, who was at St. Mary’s Cathedral when a group of armed men barged in and abducted him and 13 other parishioners. Reports indicated 10 worshippers and three other church workers were abducted.
Suganob is well-known in Marawi, in Lanau Province, and parishioners appealed for prayers using social media.
Facebook user Maychal Gabonada wrote in the local dialect, “I pray for their safety, especially Father Chit. He is a kind parish priest who is very close to our family.”
A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appealed to the kidnappers in news reports, saying the priest “was not a combatant and was not bearing arms, so he was a threat to no one…His capture and that of his companions violates every norm of civilized conflict.”
Besides the cathedral, the assailants reportedly burned down three buildings of Dansalan College, which belongs to the Protestant United Church of Christ.
Prior to Tuesday’s violence, police backed by Philippine soldiers in Marawi raided the hideout of suspected Islamic terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon. The Maute Group on Tuesday (May 23) subsequently killed at least two soldiers and beheaded a policeman they had stopped at a checkpoint. Hapilon, a commander of the Islamic extremist Abu Sayyaf militant group, has a US$5 million reward offered by the U.S. State Department for information on his whereabouts.
“We are in a state of emergency,” President Rodrigo Duterte said today after flying back to Manila, having interrupted a trip to Moscow. “I have a serious problem in Mindanao, and the ISIS footprints are everywhere.”
Duterte said the report of a police officer’s mutilated body strengthened his resolve to declare martial law for 60 days in Mindanao, expanding the military’s power to detain suspects without charge. He said he may declare martial law nationwide if authorities confirm that IS is involved.
The sounds of gunfire caused the public to panic, and thousands fled Marawi City towards Iligan City and Malabang Municipality. Khye Amerol, who fled to Malabang, said that even though the military claimed that calm has been restored to Marawi, he had to leave for fear of stray bullets, according to the International Business Times. The mass evacuation caused traffic congestion from late morning to evening.
Clergymen have often become hostage victims of local terrorist groups operating in the southern Philippines. Last week Islamic extremists threatened Muslim preachers about to participate in an anti-terror summit organized by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). An ARMM official received an email from a local terrorist group ordering her to discourage Muslim leaders from attending the summit. The summit ended peacefully on Friday (May 19).
The Maute Group is one of the newest but most feared terror groups in the southern Philippines; it became better known in November last year when members raided Butig town in Lanao del Sur and raised an IS-similar flag in the town hall. MG engaged government soldiers, and since then the administration has not taken the group lightly.
Based in Central Mindanao, MG, locally known as the Islamic State in Lanao (ISIL), was founded by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute and originally had an estimated 100 members. Intelligence reports indicate that they have joined forces with other terror groups operating in the southern Philippines.
A number of the MG militants are erstwhile members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Islamic revolutionary group, which has entered into a peace talks with the government. The military is expected to face a complex challenge as MG members are married to relatives of MILF militants now finalizing a peace pact with the government.
Moreover, the Philippine military has also arrested suspected members of MG who were responsible for the September 2016 bombing of a Davao City night market that killed 14 people. Davao is the hometown of Duterte.
Poverty in impoverished areas in the southern Philippines has contributed to ordinary civilians willing to fight the government. Feeling excluded, militant and revolutionary organizations in Mindanao would like to establish an autonomous government.
President Trump and Pope Francis have agreed on their joint commitment to fight abortion and stand up for the life of the unborn. “During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favor of life and freedom of worship and conscience,” the two leaders said in a joint statement, reports LifeNews.
Trump was gracious in his meeting with the Pope, thanking him and telling him how much of an honor it was to be invited to the Vatican. “He is something,” Trump said afterward. “We had a fantastic meeting.”
Veronica Neffinger | Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com | Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Is homosexuality a sin, and if so, is it worse than other sins?
These are questions our culture (and Christians in that culture) debate frequently. You probably won’t have to search long on social media or the internet to unearth such a debate. These debates often become fairly heated as well. Take, for example, the recent controversy surrounding Christian author and speaker Jen Hatmaker.
But is homosexuality truly worse than other sins as it often seems Christians make it out to be with the ample attention we give it?
“Hello Pastor John!” writes in the listener, named Daniel. “Very often Christians point out the sin of homosexuality as a major problem in this country, while seemingly forgetting about the massive amounts of sinners addicted to other sinful patterns in life. Is homosexuality truly more detrimental to a society than other sins? How would you weigh the cultural impact of this sin against, say, the sins of pride and overeating and greed?”
Piper gives a biblically sound response to Daniel’s question. He provides three reasons for why it often seems that Christians view homosexuality as the worst sin. But first, he says he believes many more people will be condemned for greed, pride, and covetousness than for homosexuality.
These sins, he says, are much more widespread than the sin of same-sex attraction. Piper does not debate that homosexuality isa sin, but he goes on to say that it is rarely as insidious as the sins of pride and selfishness which plague us all, often without us fully realizing it.
Piper then goes on to address why he believes it may seem Christians view homosexuality as the worst sin.
Firstly, says Piper, “It’s because the media feature this issue.” Piper argues that Christians engage in debate about homosexuality so often because we “are drawn to explain our position in public through preaching and writing as often as we do these days because the media have made the issue so public that we feel we need to serve Christians with careful, biblical answers, and we need to clarify for non-Christians how we think.” Christians must provide biblical answers when questions are asked or implied.
Secondly, Piper notes that, contrary to such sins like greed and pride, homosexuality has many staunch defenders. No one would announce publicly that they were in favor of greed or selfish pride, but this is not the case with homosexuality. “This is one of the things that makes the sin of homosexual intercourse stand out today,” says Piper, and is one of the reasons why it may seem Christians view this sin as worse than others.
Thirdly, Piper notes that the Bible says homosexual acts are contrary to nature. He cites Romans 1:26-27 which says, “God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” It is important to note that he makes a distinction between feelings of same-sex attraction (which are like many other temptations to sin we may face) and acting on those desires.
The orthodox position of Christians through the ages has been that homosexuality is a sin, but also that it is not worse or less bad than any other sin. Certain aspects of culture at different times in history tend to highlight a particular sin, and the one of our day seems to be homosexuality, but ultimately, as a pastor once said, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
Piper ends with this: “I want to emphasize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners — heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners, greedy, proud, selfish, angry sinners and sinners who commit homosexual acts. We all need the same Savior, and the blood of Christ is sufficient to wash away every sin and remove all judgment and bring us to everlasting healing and joy.”