Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rebuiling Babylon???

Revelation 18:2
And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.


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Lure of Babylon is powerful draw
Iraq, U.N. undertake project to restore city, transform it into center for cultural tourism

NEW YORK TIMES - Jeffrey Gettleman - April 27, 2006 - BABYLON, Iraq -
- In this ancient city, it is hard to tell what are ruins and what is just ruined.
Crumbling brick buildings, some 2,500 years old, look like smashed sand castles at the beach. Famous sites, like the Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens, are swallowed up by river reeds. Signs of military occupation are everywhere, including trenches, bullet casings, shiny coils of razor wire and blast walls stamped, "This side Scud protection."
Babylon, the mud-brick city with the million-dollar name, has paid the price of war. It has been ransacked, looted, torn up, paved over, neglected and roughly occupied. Archaeologists said American soldiers even used soil thick with priceless artifacts to stuff sandbags.
But Iraqi leaders and U.N. officials are not giving up. They are working assiduously to restore Babylon and turn it into a cultural center and possibly even an Iraqi theme park. No one is saying this is going to happen any time soon, but what makes the project even conceivable is that the area around Babylon is one of the safest in Iraq -- a beacon of civilization, once again, in a land of chaos.
Ancient Babylon, celebrated as a fount of law, writing and urban living, sits just outside the modern-day city of Hilla, about 60 miles south of Baghdad.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Birmingham, The Benevolent Face of Jihad

In Birmingham, the benevolent face of jihad

JEWISH WORLD REVIEW - By Julia Gorin - April 26, 2006

- What is the world coming to when rabbis in Birmingham are inviting muftis from Bosnia?

Earlier this month, Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Birmingham's Temple Emanu-El hosted Bosnia's Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric to address an interfaith audience at his synagogue so that we Jews and Christians might "make room in our hearts and souls for others who believe differently from us," as his op-ed in The Birmingham News read. According to one attendee, the mufti packed a big house and the evening was replete with Martin Luther King tie-ins and civil rights-era imagery.

The rabbi should have done some research first. Ceric recently called on the world to stand by Syria, a state that sponsors terrorism against Israel and U.S. forces in Iraq, among other targets. During the March, 2004 pogroms in Kosovo against Orthodox Christian Serbs by Albanian Muslims — in which 19 people were killed, dozens of churches and cemeteries destroyed, and close to 4,000 of Kosovo's minority Serbs displaced — BBC.com reported that Ceric "expressed concern about the rise of anti-Islamic hysteria in the West." He added that there was "no such thing as Islamic terrorism," and assured reporters that there were no charities linked to al-Qaeda operating in Bosnia.

In fact, a CNSNews.com article titled "Jihadists Find Convenient Base in Bosnia" reported that "terrorists who previously targeted the U.S. are now in Bosnia, where they have access to a 'one-stop shop' of jihad training camps, weapons and illegal Islamic 'charities' — all at the doorstep of Europe."

One charity that was funding millions of dollars to al Qaeda — the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation — closed in 2002 and then reopened under the name Vazir — an "association for sport, culture and education."
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Friday, April 21, 2006

The Gospel of Judas: More Heretical Trash From Egypt

Originally posted Fundamental Baptist Information Service.

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The Gospel of Judas: More Heretical Trash From Egypt [Excerpts]

The Gospel of Judas is all over the news. It has been hugely promoted by the National Geographic Society, which funded its reconstruction and translation, and has been trumpeted by practically every major news publication in the world. USA Today's front-page headline is
typical: "Long-lost gospel of Judas casts 'traitor' in new light."

Until recently this gnostic gospel was thought to have been lost and was known only through Irenaeus' late second century condemnation thereof in his Refutation of All Heresies, but a copy from the third or fourth century that was found in Egypt a few decades ago was purchased and restored. The translation of the fragmentary writing was published on April 6.

The Gospel of Judas presents Judas in a positive light as the only disciple who truly understood Jesus and who betrayed Him only because he was asked to do so.

According to Irenaeus, it was produced by the Egyptian Cainite Gnostics who claimed that Cain, Esau, the Sodomites, Korah, Judas, and other villains of biblical history were actually enlightened heroes who valiantly kept the gnosis or knowledge of the truth alive.
According to this cult, a god named Hystera created the world and another deity called "Sophia" allegedly assisted the aforementioned people (Refutation of All Heresies, book I, chapter 31, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.xxxii.html).

The Gnostic Jesus described in the Gospel of Judas is not Almighty God or the Creator of the world, does not die for man's sin, and does not rise bodily from the dead. It is no gospel at all.

Egypt was a hotbed of heresy and fanaticism in the early centuries after Christ. Many other strange "gospels" originated there, including the Gospel of Thomas that purports to give details of Christ's childhood (such as giving life to a dried fish and causing the death of one of his playmates).

Egypt also gave us the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus codexes and the handful of similar New Testament manuscripts that contain an Alexandrian type of text preferred by modern textual critics and the translators of the modern Bible versions (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, Port Huron, MI 48061, April 8, 2006, fbns@wayoflife.org).