WOE TO THOSE WHO CAUSE A LITTLE ONE TO SIN…

WOE TO THOSE WHO CAUSE A LITTLE ONE TO SIN…

In Mark 9:42, Jesus makes a statement about people who would cause a young person who believes in Him, to sin. He says it would be better for them to have a millstone put around their neck and be cast into the sea. Drowned! These words are echoed in Matthew’s account: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” [i] Jesus continues by saying, “Woe to the world because of offences! For offences must come, but woe to that man (or woman) by whom the offences come!” The Lord Jesus is telling us clearly that to cause a child or young person who believes in Him to sin will bring great trouble upon the perpetrator. Jesus acknowledges that sin will of course come, that many offences will be caused, but woe to the man or woman who incites it. Although Jesus refers to children who believe in Him, I think we can, with reasonable safety, assume his thoughts about this matter would extend to those who do not know Him also being caused to sin. After all is He not the Lord of mercy and compassion who desires that all should be saved? HAMAS TRAINING CHILD SOLDIERS So when we learn that Hamas is currently training 17,000 child soldiers to attack Israel [ii], bringing yet more misery upon other children, it begs the question: what does God think? Jesus clearly stated that the Father and He were one. “If you...
GAZA: BLOCKADED OR IN QUARANTINE?

GAZA: BLOCKADED OR IN QUARANTINE?

Howard Stern: Conflict Negotiator & Co-Founder Emmaus Group For many years, Israel’s opponents have filed endless allegations against its military blockade of Gaza. Rallies, protests and campaigns around the world cite Israel’s military blockade of Gaza as a serious contribution to the suffering of Gaza’s 1.7 million inhabitants. Gaza has been described as an overcrowded open air prison. In actual fact, its population density per square mile is less than the London Borough of Croydon. Whilst people rail against Israel’s so called “blockade,” rarely do they ask why it exists. What happened after Israel withdrew from the territory that mitigated such tight security measures being instituted? The question I raise is this: is Israel blockading Gaza, or is Gaza simply in a form of quarantine? A perfect case study of this is the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962 in which the US was forced to quarantine Cuba to prevent further ingress of ICBM nuclear missiles from Russia. Strong ideological links existed between Fidel Castro’s communist government and the Russians. Russia supported Castro’s regime in much the same way that Iran does with Hamas. Russia supplied Cuba with military hardware just as Iran has to Hamas. Over the past decade alone, numerous vessels have been intercepted in exactly the same way that the US intercepted Russian vessels carrying weapons to Cuba. In March this year, the Klos-C was stopped 930 miles from Israel’s coast carrying 400,000 rounds of ammunition and advanced Syrian M-302 missiles with a payload of 170kg and range of 200km.  InMarch 2011, another Iranian ship was intercepted, the Victoria, carrying 50 tons of Iranian weaponry. In 2009...
IS PEACE POSSIBLE?

IS PEACE POSSIBLE?

Is Peace and Reconciliation Possible? by Christy Anastas & Howard Stern The English author, C S Lewis, wrote that forgiveness is a great idea until someone has something to forgive. So when two peoples such as the Palestinians and Israelis, who have been at war for so long with so many losses on both sides, in a conflict driven by nationalistic pride or over claims of ancient covenant rights, forgiveness can quickly disappear. In its place remains unforgiveness, a cruel prison keeping people captive to historic injuries. For genuine and lasting reconciliation to occur there must be forgiveness. Forgiveness is the foundation upon which a house of reconciliation can be built. For true progress towards reconciliation to be made there must first be honesty about past failings, recognition of each other’s needs and rights, and a willingness to make compromise. People must see each other’s humanity. Both sides must understand, appreciate and respect each other’s needs for security, peace, cultural freedoms and the need to work together towards common goals, such as the prevention of terrorism. In the Palestine-Israel conflict there is a huge amount at stake for both parties. Both have much to gain or lose depending on how successful future negotiations are. However, such negotiations can only succeed if they focus on the future, and not dwell in the past. We must learn from the past, but not dwell in it, for we cannot change it, we can only affect the future. Today exists a window of opportunity that has not been present before. This opportunity is to be found among the generation of younger Palestinians and...
BETHLEHEM PROFESSOR SPEAKS OUT

BETHLEHEM PROFESSOR SPEAKS OUT

Translated article by Bethlehem University professor Published on Radio Bethlehem Website – 21/2/14. Palestinian youth, especially university graduates, have reached a high level of desperation and severe frustration. In my job as a lecturer at Bethlehem University I meet and mingle with many of the graduates, and this enables me to observe their desperation and frustration. Some of them have been in tears because of their horrible situation and their inability to find careers or even get a scholarship to complete their higher education. They all agree that nepotism and favoritism known as “Vitamin F” (aka connections) are prevalent in our Palestinian society. I was prompted to write this article in order to express the high levels of desperation, which our Palestinian youth are facing; it has pushed them to the point of saying “Hey professor even the groom needs connections.” (we need connections/favours to help us get jobs.) Is this the really the state we have got to in our community? For how long will we disregard the potential and destroy the ambitions of university graduates who are supposed to have a key role in building the society? With appreciation for all classes and different levels in our society, we can all compliment each other as a connected circle. But what worries me, and it is the concern of many others as well, is that this situation encourages the qualified, the intellectual, and people with experience to leave our country and invest in other countries; countries which we long to emulate, even if only a fraction of their capabilities and development in all areas of life. How long...