TBC NewsWatch | thebereancall.org

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CHRISTIANS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN JOB AND FAITH

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198201/Christians-choose-job-faith-Government-lawyers-claim-European-court.html#ixzz26BSvLPb6, Christians ‘must choose between job or their faith’: Government lawyers claim at European court [Excerpts]—Christians may have to sacrifice their jobs if they want to express their religion at work, government lawyers declared.

The hearing at the European Court of Human Rights involved four test cases: Nadia Eweida’s row with British Airways led the airline to back down in 2006 and Shirley Chaplin who—after 30 years as a nurse—was told she could no longer wear her cross on duty for health and safety reasons. The other two cases are those of Lilian Ladele, who was sacked as a registrar by Islington council because she declined to conduct civil partnerships and Gary McFarlane, a Relate counsellor who lost his job in Bristol after admitting to bosses that he felt unable to give sex therapy to gays.

Paul Diamond, for Mrs Chaplin and Mr McFarlane, said: “These are real people, real lives, real damage suffered. There is no knowing where this will end as society moves in a secular direction.”

But James Eadie QC, acting for the Government, told the judges that none of the four Christians had suffered any form of discrimination. “Everyone has the right to express their beliefs, including the right to display religious symbols, but not an absolute right or a right without limits. That does not mean that in their professional sphere anyone can manifest their religious belief in any way they choose.” He said that under European human rights rules, people were allowed to practise their religion in a “generally recognised form.”

However, they could not ask to express their religion in ways which were not a “scriptural requirement.”

He said: “Employees are free to resign if they find their employment incompatible with their religious beliefs,” adding: “They can obtain alternative employment in which they can reflect their religion as they wish.”

HE GAVE US WHAT WE WANTED

http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/breakpoint-columns/entry/2/20123, Tom Gilson, “He gave us what we wanted” [Excerpts]— David Barton was American evangelicals’ favorite historian. He taught us about the Founding Fathers’ almost uniform commitment to Christian principles, and secular historians’ attempts to bury our Christian heritage under reams of revisionist distortions. He gave us firepower in support of our mission to return America to its godly founding principles.

He gave us what we wanted. But now David Barton has been credibly charged with serious distortions of his own.

The story has been told in both the secular and the Christian press: Barton’s most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, was riddled with misinformation. Its publisher, Thomas Nelson, pulled it from distribution. Barton is standing firm in his position, but reliable historians—strongly conservative Christian scholars among them—continue to hold him in error.

I am no historian....Few of us are. But that doesn’t excuse our eager acceptance of his inaccuracies. With a bit of care, any of us could have known of the serious questions that have surrounded Barton’s work for a long time. These recent revelations are nothing new, except in the degree to which conservative Christian scholars are involved in calling him to account.

Nevertheless we became for him a devoted cadre of disciples. We knew our country’s founding principles were vitally important. However, so is historical accuracy. It looks as if Barton compromised one to make a case for the other.

Barton fended off criticism by blaming it on the liberal academy’s antipathy to Christianity. That had more than a little believability to it. I am quite sure that liberal academics often hold to an ideological agenda that motivates them to discredit Christianity’s part in our nation’s history.

Followers of Jesus Christ have no need to invent realities. What we can know of God through Scripture and through life in Christ is really true, and it’s sufficient to carry us through all the other unknowns of life.

Still. we are human. There is a common human need to know, and to know that we know. Sometimes we overdo it, to the extent that we “know” things that aren’t so. This is a human tendency, and of course I am not only speaking of Christians but also of skeptics who insist just as positively that we arrived here by way of evolution.

“Skeptic” is one of their favorite words, by the way: They claim never to believe anything on anything less than solid evidence. They would never overrun the facts on the way to certainty. Except that (speaking of facts) they don’t practice their skepticism at all consistently. Skeptic magazine, for example, reported favorably on a thoroughly discredited “research” study purporting to show that the most secular countries in the world were the best ones to live in—even after the journal that published the study followed it up with a retraction. So much for making sure of their facts.

We Christians ought to be the ones most comfortable with facts. We follow the One who is the Truth. Our commitment to truth extends to every domain of life. Sometimes the truest thing we can say is “I don’t know.”

[TBC: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philipians 4:8).]

 IRANIAN PASTOR ACQUITTED OF APOSTASY

Lillian Kwon, “Iran Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Acquitted of Apostasy, Released From Jail,” Christian Post, 9/8/12 [Excerpts]— Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian pastor who captured the hearts of millions as he stood firm in his faith while facing execution, has been acquitted of apostasy.

Two organizations that have closely been monitoring the case and have sources in Iran reported Saturday that Nadarkhani, who went on trial early Saturday, has been released from prison and is at home with his family.

Though acquitted of apostasy, the Iranian pastor was found guilty of evangelizing Muslims. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment but was released because he already served this time.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide also confirmed the pastor’s release.

“We commend the Iranian judiciary for this step, which is a triumph for justice and the rule of law,” said CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas. “While we rejoice at this wonderful news, we do not forget hundreds of others who are harassed or unjustly detained on account of their faith, and CSW is committed to continue campaigning until all of Iran’s religious minorities are able to enjoy religious freedom as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party.”

Nadarkhani, pastor in a network of house churches, was arrested on Oct. 13, 2009, after protesting the government’s decision to force all children, including his own Christian children, to read the Quran.

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