John 1: 1-18 on pulling it all together


1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

What shall I say? Perhaps it is best to be quiet an sit back in awe about this beautiful caption of the Old and the New Testament in a few sentences. For those that ever doubted whether or not the Old Testament was still valid or useful: here’s your answer from the Apostle John.

It is a clear indication of how the Old and New Testament are all part of the one story of the world and that we need both the Old and the New Testament to get a good grasp of the bigger picture of man and its place in creation.

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BGEA: The Justice of God


Modern man does not like to think of God in terms of wrath, anger and judgment. He likes to make God according to his own ideas and give God the characteristics he wants Him to possess. Man tries to remake God to conform to his own wishful thinking, so that he can make himself comfortable in his sins.

This modern god has the attributes of love, mercy and forgiveness, but is without justice. Man doesn’t want to be judged and punished for sin. He “reconstructs” God along the lines of tolerance, all-embracing love and universal goodwill.

In this picture of God, there are no laws that demand absolute obedience and no standards to which man must adhere. For example, more than 900 clergymen and students gathered some time ago at Harvard Divinity School to ponder the so-called “new morality” and its significance for the church.

One professor of divinity said that premarital sex between engaged couples was all right, that God would “understand.” A professor at another theological school thought that no sexual relationship should be absolutely condemned by the church. Thus many church leaders continue to reconstruct God according to the secular and humanistic trends of our times.

However, this kind of god would make a preposterous world. It would be chaotic, irresponsible, self-destroying. It would be impossible to live with certainty in that kind of world. To have meaning, life must be based upon law and a lawgiver.

The Psalmist said: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalm 19:7-8).

The Bible warns that “evil men do not understand justice” (Proverbs 28:5).

Read the rest via BGEA: The Justice of God.

Colmar Brunton on Smacking: 83% in favor of smacking to be expected


The One News Colmar Brunton Poll of 1,001 respondents from 25 to 29 July asked several questions on smacking:

70% indicated that they would vote in the referendum, of which 83 percent indicated to vote “no” (e.g. in favor of smacking your children).

Posted via web from John Dierckx

Radical Expressions by (Belgian) MP Sanctioned by the European Court for Human Rights


sy01004aDiscriminating language by a member of Parliament can be punished according to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. This is probably not what the Belgian politician Daniël Féret imagined to be the outcome of the case he brought on himself. Opposite to what he hoped to achieve, the case led to a limitation of the freedom of speech for politicians. In 2006 Féret was convicted for encouraging hate/ endangering social peace, which resulted in a sentence of community service and he is not allowed to exercise his voting rights for 10 years, as a voter and as a candidate.  Féret was prosecuted on the basis of a law that criminalizes hate against autochtones( ethnic minorities) and racism. Part of the considerations were that these actions fell outside the normal scope of his work as a politician (writing pamphlets). The court decided that the texts he produced encouraged discrimination, segregation, hate and even violence on the basis of race, color, nationality or ethnicity. Féret stood up against the so-called ‘islamization’ of Belgium en pleaded for closing down a refugee center. He complained with the ECHR but found four against three votes against his complaint. The press release of the judgement can be found here >>>.

The complete judgment is available in French only and can be read here >>>

A similar opinion was held by the Court of Amsterdam in the Netherlands in relation to Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the question whether or not he should be prosecuted. In this case the court emphasized the constitutional character of a democracy which implies the protection of minorities, that should have no problem in trusting the constitutional character of democratic institutions. This brings up the question of how far the freedom of speech of politicians reaches. In the legal discussion it is often set of against the principle of equality.

At the same time however, and based on limited information, part of the issue at hand appears to be not so much WHAT a politician expresses but about IN WHICH ROLE he does that. It strikes me that little or no attention is being given to the specifics of the case which according to the Belgian judge as I understand the media. The Belgian judge found as I understand that the writing of in this case litigious pamphlets/flyers was not part of the normal task of a member of parliament.

I guess this is an issue to give some more thought.

Sources:
http://www.nrc.nl/binnenland/article2312745.ece/Radicale_politicus_die_de_sociale_vrede_bedreigt_kan_strafbaar_zijn
http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/uitspraak/2009/07/28/uitspraak-35-straf-voor-een-politicus-die-de-islamisering-aanviel/#more-986

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Posted via email from John Dierckx

Divorce case could change asset split | News Video


A remarkable and perhaps even landmark decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand that certainly will shake up some people, and for the record not just farmers. The video is a short summary but for those curious about the complete decision:  “Rose v Rose“.

Posted via web from John Dierckx