July 15 - July 17, 2002
Wednesday 17th July, 2002
Bene Diction posts:
Andrew Sullivan comments on the Canadian same-sex marriage ruling.
Little Green Footballs has been busy today.
Come to think of it, so has
Natalie Solent got hit with the same Klez variant on July 12th
that Martin did on Monday. Here is the warning from
Dawson Speaks. He’s right. This may be a blogger to blogger spread.
The Blogger achieve bug won’t let me perma-link to
Kyriosity’s problem with spam, posted on July 15th. Scroll
down. This is the second Jesus blogger spam problem I’ve noticed posted this
week. And while there, read the post on discipleship.
Thinking Out Loud asks did God die on the Cross?
Spudlets muses about a key theme in the book and movie, “A River Runs
G’day and bonjour to the new kid on the blog!
I am Frequently Asked Questions.
Jordon Cooper is getting uneasy about
digital copyright, in his post The RIAA Prepares to Shoot Itself in
Head. Here is a quote from another of his posts.
The more I read about Paladium,
Digital Rights Managment, along with anything that has to do with RIAA, the
more it becomes obvious that the church is going to get smoked up the side
of the head if we don't enter this debate sometime. It could have an impact
on how we preach, worship, learn, and publish. A storm is brewing on and
offline and I can't help but feeling we are being swept along.
Mark Byron starts a series on managing our abundance.
This is a good way to end Blog Watch today. The
consummate gentleman, Sand in the Gears, posts on
taking care of your neighbour, in Aid versus Care.
Abu Sayyaf members are on the run, but the US warns conditions are ripe
Canada and Finland
Canadian police say the stabbing of a Jewish father is
not a hate crime. And Finnish police say a
car bomb at a Jewish synagogue is not related to terrorism.
No Big Surprise Here
Divorce doesn’t bring happiness.
No Big Surprise Here Either
A new Gallup poll says
trust in religious institutions is at a 30-year low.
new version of XP aimed at a younger market, will turn the PC into a
Some hacking clubs work to stop oppressive censorship. And
web portals that want to do business in China have agreed to follow the
Communist Party rules.
Keeping a web-log is proving beneficial to people with
Thieves dressed as
clowns terrify their victims.
Does someone in the US Secret Service have a
-posted 8:35am, by Bene Diction
Tuesday 16th July, 2002
Martin Roth Christian Commentary
The Pain of Becoming a Christian
There is rejoicing in heaven each time
someone turns to Jesus. Christians rejoice too. Many – especially those of
us in the evangelical stream – see it as some kind of vindication of all our
efforts for the Lord, a sign of God’s pleasure. And we assume that the new
convert is equally joyous.
But it’s not invariably so. Gaining a new
life in Jesus means abandoning an old life, and that is not always easy.
Recently I sat down for a chat about this
with my friend
Rabbi Harold Vallins. Several years ago, at the age of 57, he committed
his life to Jesus, a pretty unusual occurrence for a practising rabbi.
written about him before, and have learned of some of the pain he felt.
Here is what I wrote previously:
He was forced to resign his position, leaving many in his congregation
feeling betrayed, and he lost many of his dear friends. His wife - pregnant
with their second child - was devastated by the news, and the marriage
His words now might cause some Christians
to pause and think. In our zeal to make converts are we overlooking the fact
that Jesus calls us instead to make disciples? And that is a lengthy
Here is what Harold told me, in his own
People say to me, “It must be so wonderful
to have the experience of coming to the Lord. Most of us were brought up
knowing the Lord.”
Which it was. That initial meeting with
Jesus was a strong and earth-shattering moment, and what people seem to
think is that meeting Jesus makes you aware of all there is to know about
But meeting Jesus is only the beginning.
In unguarded moments I sometimes ask: “If
I knew then what I know now would I so easily have come to the Lord?”
Because life has been one long series of painful growth experiences after
the other, often punctuated by strong periods of self-doubt, or doubt about
whether this is worth it, or is this what coming to Jesus really means. I
envy people who are certain or are sure and who walk every day with the
I find I’m constantly having to question
and evaluate what I’m doing because I’m not sure if it’s the right thing or
the right path.
I guess that’s where faith comes in.
I was rejected by my family – my mother,
sister, uncles, aunts and cousins. I was rejected by my friends and
colleagues. I was rejected by my congregation. And I was rejected by my
That was a rejection of everything I had
been standing for or fighting for, for 57 years.
What’s painful is if I’d committed a
murder or even a massacre my colleagues would have come to see me in prison.
They would have given me some support. But not when I became a Christian.
I guess it knocks at everything they hold
sacred – not the religious part of Judaism, but the identity side, the
ethnic and racial side.
When you’re in a minority, identity is
very important. You fight against anything that dilutes identity.
If a Jewish boy is in love with a
non-Jewish girl, there is enormous pressure on the girl to become a Jew.
Often the marriage is forbidden if the girl doesn’t convert. Among some Jews
– especially the Orthodox – there is a period of mourning if a son marries
out. It’s as if he has died.
As a rabbi I had to officiate at many
weddings where one side was not Jewish. The wedding dinner was always
painful. There was no mixing. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard
the Jewish side saying their son had married a shiksa [an
abomination]. I would say that 70% of these mixed marriages end in divorce,
because of family pressures.
When a person does worse than marry out – turn to another religion – then
it’s devastating for that community. When a rabbi does it, it’s more
devastating still. I’m sure that is what stops many rabbis from
contemplating that path.
I don’t think I thought of all the consequences of what I had done. When you
suddenly realise that you’re cut off from everything...
However, there is nothing that I would change. I have been inspired by the
words of Paul: “I can rejoice in my suffering…” I have come to realise that
no-one can come to the Lord without paying a cost. Once I had been called by
the Lord, there was no way that I would want my life to be different.
Through the pain and the loneliness that I have suffered, I have also grown,
and, praise the Lord, become a deeper, more compassionate person. I truly
believe that whatever one pays to come to the Lord – and make no mistake,
there is a cost to pay – the Lord is always faithful, not only to restore
whatever has been paid, but He restores much more.
Yes, I still continue to experience frequent moments of great pain and
loneliness when thinking about my family and about my former Jewish friends
and community. But my life is richer and more fulfilled, with more direction
and purpose than I ever experienced before. I feel blessed that I can work
for the Lord and that He faithfully cares for me every day.
* Harold is currently in North America, teaching and lecturing. You can find
here, on his website.
Monday 15th July, 2002
Martin Roth posts:
I have just received the following email
The following mail can't be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Subject: with the extra dimension provided by audio and
The file is the original mail
There’s an attachment, which I have
deleted. I have never sent anything to anyone at factsofisrael.com. I hope
viruses aren’t being sent out under my name, and I apologise if they are. I
never send attachments unless someone has requested a particular document
-posted 9:50am, by
Thank you to Nathan Mates for the
Your current top posting about things sent
with your return address, that really sounds like the Klez email virus.
More info is available at:
The short summary of what it does is as follows:
Searches outlook, browser cache for 2 email addresses. It uses those as the
'From' and 'To' addresses, even though the From address isn't truthful at
all-- it's spoofed. It sends the email, and if it bounces, it returns to the
'From' address, even though they never sent it. A link to a free cleanup
program is in the above page, which you may want to promote to try and get
all readers cleaned up.
-posted 10:35am, By Martin Roth
Bene Diction posts:
Daily Pundit takes down liberal blogger Brendan O’Neill.
Why is it that liberals tend to
be four-square in favor of the "common man," until they actually have to
deal with some of them? Then they quickly decide that what's needed is some
central controlling authority, in this case in the form of a "sub-editor."
In case you were wondering, here is the
difference between a blog journal, diary, and a weblog. I think all of
us are responsible for maintaining balance in our lives and there are
seasons to look inward and seasons to look outward. I’ve noticed most of the
inward blog-journals are written by teens and 20’s ; a season in life where
many look inward to clarify their place in the world. Every decade of our
life poses unique challenges. Link via
From the Middle of the Storm’s Father Gallagher is posting over at
Notre Bene for a while. Link via
G’day and bonjour to the new kid on the blog!
In the Shadowlands.
Stephen’s Blog is now
He Lives has posted his link tracking ranking system, taking on The
Thinking out Loud. So far the rivalry is friendly and fun.
Wow, did Barlow Farms ever get a
Redwood’s Dragon’s check of an atheist group’s registry is a chuckle,
blogger named Scoobie Davis posed as someone else to score an interview
with Ann Coulter. I think a lot of people would be surprised at the number
of journalists that are stalked. It has happened to me, and it is
frightening and disruptive to say the least.
A nerd test! In the interests of fair disclosure, I scored 399 and
85.44%. .44%? That’s nerdy.
/ben/ says he has received Christian spam and it was Martin’s
Semi-Definitive blog list. Contact Martin now Ben! Has anyone else had a
World Health agencies are battling a
cholera outbreak in the Afghanistan capital.
The cholera story made the front section of BBC Online.
Meanwhile, Kenya has experienced 300 deaths from
malaria in the past month.
Give credit where credit is due. The head of Australia’s
Muslims has called rapists, well, rapists, and he
wants all the young men’s parents to stop their denials.
The cover-ups of sexual abuse in
this sect are crumbling.
According to the UN, the United States does not hold the
dubious distinction of being the most crime-ridden country in the West.
These countries do.
How computer viruses/worm/trojans get their
Don’t try this at home
Eating live octopus can
Don’t try this at home either
Here are some rather obvious
warning labels on different products. You have to wonder. Did people
really try to use these products these ways?
-posted 8:10am, by Bene Diction