Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mind your own damn business

Andy Birkey at Minnesota Monitor reported recently that WorldNetDaily.com was all lathered because St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota had appointed a Hindu—a freakin' Hindu—to chair the college's religion department. Here's the hand-wringing lede:

A college affiliated with a Christian denomination has appointed to head its religion department a practicing Hindu who believes that some forms of Christian ministry produce violence.

Anantanand Rambachan, who has taught religion and philosophy at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., since 1985, now will become the first non-Christian to head the religion department in the school's 133-year history.

"It's a great honor," Rambachan, a leading figure in Minnesota's Hindu community, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Oh, the horror! Not only that, WND quoted the professor about a report he participated in:

"Last year we met in Rome in a joint consultation with the World Council of Churches to discuss conversion. This was the first meeting of a three-year project to study the issue and to develop an acceptable code of conduct. Certain forms of Christian proselytization have given rise to tension and even violence between some religious communities," he said. "We gathered to share our perspectives on this matter and to consider acceptable and unacceptable ways of sharing our faiths in communities.

"Our discussion was frank and at times difficult, but we agreed that while everyone has a right to invite others to an understanding of their faith, no one has the right to violate others' rights and religious sensibilities. At the same time, all should heal themselves from the obsession of converting others," he wrote.

His writings also have been featured on the website of the Hindu-American Foundation, which earlier launched a diatribe against a variety of Christian organizations.

As WND reported, the report from the Hindu American Foundation accused a long list of Christian organizations, including some providing aid in India, of promoting hatred.

"The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet," said Vinay Vallabh, the lead author of the report.

Among those criticized were the Southern Baptists' missions board, Gospel for Asia and Olive Tree Ministries, just down the road from St. Olaf, a ministry that aims at teaching Christians about their beliefs.

It is impossible to believe that Christians might get a little high handed in the evangelism department! Couldn't happen, right? [Hysterical laughter] Sorry. The ruthless drive to "convert" people is the single most prominent feature of evangelical Christianity. The chauvinism of evangelical Christianity is boundless. The only people who come close to the fanaticism of this crowd is, well, the Islamic fundamentalists. Although Islamic fundamentalists erased the lead with a single stroke on September 11, 2001, the Christian crazies have historically been the source of this country's really showy terrorism: Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge, the Olympics bombing in Atlanta, Waco, and the list goes on.

If we don't watch the psychopaths who kill in the name of the Lord Jesus—including the abortion clinic bombers and snipers—they'll get us all killed.

Olive Tree Ministries? That sounds familiar, Spotty.

It should, grasshopper. As WND says, it's a local outfit here in Minnesota. Spot bets you didn't know that the olive tree bears nuts:

Jan Markell, who has been with the Olive Tree Ministries since 1977, has written eight books and hundreds of articles about Christians and their beliefs, at first wondered why she would be listed among ministries hated by a Hindu organization.

Then she remembered a series of articles warning Christians against participating in yoga, a Hindu form of worship.

"I'm big on [opposing yoga for Christians]," she told WND. "I talk about it on the radio, and I write about it. And the irony of it all is, like Hindus, we don't want Christians practicing yoga either.

"Hindus are saying basically, 'Wait, this is our thing, this is not for [Christians],'" Markell told WND. "The Hindus get it more right than the Christians on this issue."

Spot did not make that quote up. You can't make this stuff up. Spot cannot remember the last time that a yoga class in the states was bombed by a Hindu radical, can you, boys and girls?

What other magical thinking can we find over at the Olive Tree?

How about Harry Potter will lead us down the road to perdition?

Or how about these signs that the end times are near?

The Olive Tree Ministries is all about Biblical prophecy and the end times:

Some people call this the 9/11 generation. We prefer to call it “the times of the signs”, or the latter days, last days, or end-times. It’s the time about which the Bible speaks more than any other. The last generation that might witness the Church caught triumphantly up in the air to “meet Him in the clouds” at the time of the Rapture. What a privilege yet what a responsibility to be born “for such a time as this.” Even as more turmoil surrounds us, we do not faint with fear but rather we “Look up, knowing our Redeemer draws nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

The prophet Ezekiel foretold 2500 years ago that the key sign of that last generation would be the coming together of the dead, “dry bones.” (Ezekiel 37) Just 150 years ago Mark Twain called the land of Israel a “moonscape.” But the Psalmist said that “When the Lord builds up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.” (Psalms 102:13-16) And how He has built up Israel in the last one hundred years! Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount, continue to be God’s time clock. That is why the world rages over those areas, and why that shall escalate on a daily basis until the end of the age.

While we like to tell people He shall soon appear in His glory, we also urge them to not focus on the day or hour of the Lord’s return, but to be about evangelizing the lost while there is still time. That is the central message of an “end-time” ministry or else it places its focus on the wrong emphasis.

In the last two decades the interest in Bible prophecy has declined dramatically, and we believe this is detrimental to the body of Christ. It has robbed us of an important perspective on life here and now, for the knowledge of the future should affect our actions in the present. In fact, to ignore what God says about the future cannot but cloud our insights into the present. Perhaps too many are content with their lot in this life that life hereafter has lost its attraction. [italics are Spot's]

Well, that must be it! There isn't enough suffering in the world today! You can believe Spot, boys and girls, when he tells you that the Olive Tree Ministries has just the folks to take care of that! You see the little reference to the Temple Mount? In order for the Heavenly Hoover to arrive to suck up all the godly persons, it is necessary for the Jewish temple to be rebuilt on the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Oy! We have a problem!

Guess who are big fans of the Olive Tree Ministries? Michele Bachmann and Allen Quist.

Jeebus Christmas. These people give Italian chain restaurants a bad name! (Well, garden, not tree, but never mind.)

These sanctimonious, officious prigs must be resisted at every turn. Every time they open their mouths, boys and girls, tell them to mind their own damn business and leave the rest of us alone.

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