METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 32

METTLE

Volume 4 Issue 32

Monday 17 August 2009

Hippolite Musings 

Thought for the Day

Gentlemen,

A funny thing happened on my honeymoon…

We had decided to leave our hotel in Bangkok, to follow the locals to taste authentic Thai cuisine.

We found a popular & busy local restaurant, pointed to the crab we wanted, and were served the best coconut cream curry of our entire stay.

For the next eight years, off and on, we would attempt to find that same curry at any New Zealand Thai restaurant, all to no avail, until one day, we found it in Rotorua.

Upon enquiring why it was so difficult to find this particular curry at any other Thai restaurant, we were informed that we must have followed the local Thais to a Malaysian restaurant!

Blessings,
James


Correspondence

Dear Promote supporters

Most of you will be aware to some degree of the brutal Military Junta that took power in Burma in the 70’s.  This regime has held it’s democratically elected leader under house arrest all that time.  Suu Kyi’s treatment is just the tip of the iceberg of the brutality of the Burmese regime — spanning 40 years of murder, torture, mass rape, and slave labour. 

Burma has over 1 million internally displaced people within its borders – the country’s own citizens who are forced to live in temporary villages in remote jungle areas.  The govt. forces routinely break in on their villages,– the villagers who haven’t been able to escape in time are brutalized, raped and murdered and their homes burnt.  Young children are taken captive to use as military porters – and they are often murdered without reason, their bodies found lying on jungle pathways. This brutality is carried out by the country’s government forces against its own people. 

I’ve also read that Myanmar is one of the world’s major producers of illegal drugs – heroine, opium, methamphetamines – and that around 80% of the government’s finance comes from this trade.

NZ has recently signed off an ASEAN free trade agreement that will allow our government and businesses to deal freely with Myanmar (along with the other ASEAN member countries).  This will support and empower the brutal rulers and rich leaders of this country as they continue their reign of terror against their own countrymen – the faceless and defenceless poor. 

The Maori Party and the Greens are the only political parties to have opposed this bill – all the others have voted for it to go through in its entirety.  Please take some time to write to your local MP/Murray McCully (National Foreign Affairs Minister/Chris Carter (Labour’s spokesman on Foreign Affairs)/Jim Anderton/Peter Dunne expressing your concern.

NB: USA, UK, Canada and Australia have all taken a stand against free trade with Myanmar for the above reasons.

Here’s a link that you could go in to and add your name to the call to bring the military leaders to justice in the international court.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/jail_the_generals  (see attached Avaaz email)
Thanks again for your concern for justice.

NB I’m aware that Promote has been pretty silent for some time.  We have been taking some time to ask ourselves, “What are the true issues of social justice”.  This is surely one of them.

Denys Church
on behalf of Promote
www.promote.org.nz
Tel: 021 411 560


Foreign Correspondent

From Chuck Missler’s News Desk

  • New Site From Hezekiah’s Time DiscoveredAugust 12, 2009
    The most recent dramatic archaeological find in Israel is that of a luxurious administrative center from the period of King Hezekiah, over 2,700 years ago. The center was discovered in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, just south of Jerusalem. Over 100 students and volunteers from Israel and abroad are taking part in the dig, which is a joint project of Tel Aviv University’s Archaeological Institute and Heidelberg University in Germany. Arutz Sheva
  • Poll Shows National Shift Against AbortionAugust 11, 2009
    A new national Harris poll finds a strong shift towards the pro-life position on abortion and reveals the shift is seen among members of both political parties. The poll also finds a majority of African-Americans and Hispanics oppose the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions. Life News
  • Russia Still No Respecter of Human RightsAugust 11, 2009
    On Tuesday, two more bodies of human rights workers were found in the southern republic of Chechnya, this time in the trunk of a car. This comes less than a month after the shocking death of Natalya Estemirova, a 50-year-old human-rights campaigner whose body was dumped by the side of a road… The New York Times
  • Three American Hikers Held In IranAugust 10, 2009
    A week after three Americans went missing near the Iraq-Iran border, Tehran has officially confirmed that it is holding them — amid concerns that the regime may view them as political pawns, just as North Korea viewed two US journalists it captured earlier this year. University of California-Berkley graduates Shane Bauer, Sara Shourd and Josh Fattal disappeared on July 31, reportedly while hiking in the vicinity of a waterfall in a remote part of Iraqi Kurdistan CNSNews
  • Muslim Population Exploding in EuropeAugust 08, 2009
    According to the US’s Migration Policy Institute, residents of Muslim faith will account for more than 20 percent of the EU population by 2050 but already do so in a number of cities. Another forecast holds that Muslims could outnumber non-Muslims in France and perhaps in all of western Europe by mid-century. Telegraph.co.uk
  • Iran Embassy Workers Accused Of Spying For WestAugust 08, 2009
    An Iranian court on Saturday charged a French woman, two Iranians working for the British and French embassies in Tehran and dozens of others with spying and aiding a Western plot to overthrow the system of clerical rule. It was the second mass trial in a week aimed at uprooting the moderate opposition and putting an end to protests that erupted after the disputed June 12 presidential election. Reuters
  • Sotomayor Confirmed To US Supreme CourtAugust 06, 2009
    The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Justice on the US Supreme Court in a 68-31 vote. The 55-year-old judge will replace retiring Justice David Souter, a liberal jurist. She is not expected to alter the court’s ideological split. Fox News


Situation Vacant

Missionaries Wanted

Mission Possible Lunch

August 23rd (Sunday at 12.30pm) in Studio 6.

Featuring:

  • John Elliot who will be sharing at Mission Possible.  John is the International Director of World outreach and an incredibly significant person in reaching Unreached People Groups around the world!  Come and be inspired..don’t miss out! 
  • Date: Sunday, 23rd August 2009
    Time: 12.30pm
    Venue: Studio 6, Wellington Elim
  • Food will be provided and donations are appreciated..:-)

Notes:

  • Directions to Studio 6 – Turn Left going OUT of the main entrance to Wellington Elim, walk approx 15m, turn left again down an alleyway and Studio 6 will be on your right approx 5m down this alleyway.
  • If you would prefer not to receive further Mission Possible emails in the future – Please reply to this email to let us know.  Thank you.


Why I’m An AGW Critic

IrenaSendler

Lest we Forget  

Irena Sendler

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ‘ulterior motive’ … She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews, (being German.) Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize … She was not selected.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.  


Sunday Service

Praise & Worship

  • With Cheryl Soukotta
  • Awesome Is The Lord
  • No Other Name
  • I Love You Lord
  • God of This City

Communion

  • With Jeannie Knott
  • Brendan & Fipi Hastie’s group
  • Ben recounted this week, a monument was dedicated to Peter Snell’s achievement of the fastest mile run in 1962
  • We celebrate something of far greater worth

Crunches

  • Selwyn and Ann Jackson for safe pair of hands to handle the church last week in Mike’s absence
  • Olivier (means symbol of peace) was adopted into Glen Johnson’s family
  • Geoff Gould got Jeannie (and passport) to the airport on time Saturday morning
  • Sarah Powell got credit in science exam
  • My mum’s graduating from police college
  • James Powell is new cameraman

Inverse Paranoia?

  • (Giving) with Mike Knott
  • Instead of believing the world is plotting to do us harm, let’s choose to believe the world is plotting to do us good.
  • Protons: the first things, have a positive charge
  • They can alternate between negative and positive
  • Stay positive!

Things You Need To Know

  • Soup Sunday today
  • John Elliot next Sunday, International Director of World Outreach
  • The Living Room having breakfast at Soi Cafe next weekend, Saturday 22 August @ 9:30am
  • Digging deep, two 4-week classes running concurrently; 23 Aug, 30 Aug, 06 Sep, 13 Sep; Sunday evenings, 4:45-5:45pm;
    • Basic training: Keys to Evangelism, Studio 6 with Rob Kerr
    • Who’s In Command: Engaging in Spiritual Warfare, Tennyson Room with Ian Scarlet
  • 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World during Ramadan period: August 22 – September 26

Mike Reported back on his trip to North Thailand

  • Miracles happened

Sermon

  • Ephesians 4:1-16
  • Mike Knott
  • Unity

It’s about All of Life

  • 2 Samuel 7:27
  • If you want to have a great household, you need to build God’s house first
  • This is a “Kingdom First” covenant we live by
  • These key principles will bless and prosper your home life, your friendships, your career or business, whatever your mission might be. Jesus wants to bless every area of your life!

3 Principles

  • Unity
  • Diversity
    • Mentoring
  • Maturity

Unity

  • Understanding the Power of Team
    • E.g. the “stagger-Knotts” family values
  • Holding Common Purpose and Values
  • How to Build Unity
    • Honour others
    • Outcomes – Psalm 133 (The Message)

Diversity

  • Realising the Complexity of the Task
  • Discovering our DNA though 5-fold Ministry
    • Apostle is the thumb (can touch all the others)
    • Prophet the pointer (points the way)
    • Evangelist the middle finger
    • Pastor the ring finger (loves the church)
    • Teacher is the little finger (because it can get right in your ear)
  • Each one Flowing in Gift and Passion
  • Honing of Skills through Practice
    • Mentoring 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT)
    • It’s amazing how well you learn new stuff, when you have to teach it to somebody else

Maturity

  • Staying on Course
  • The Security of Knowing who we are
  • Committed to Playing our part
  • Becoming increasingly influential
  • Healthy, growing, and full of love!
  • They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:3

Do you know who you are?

  • God doesn’t make junk. He makes good stuff
  • He made you, for a purpose

Why I Am A Creationist

The Voyage that Shook the World—now screening!

After more than two years in production and costing over one million dollars (US) to produce, CMI’s Darwin Film, The Voyage that Shook the World, finally hits the big screen—and you are invited.

In reality, most people believe evolution to be true without ever having really looked at the issue closely for themselves. This documentary provides a fascinating opportunity to invite your friends and family to a non-threatening presentation that retraces Darwin’s journey on HMS Beagle, and provides new insight into the places and influences that shaped Darwin’s thinking. Audiences will be captivated by the exotic locations, such as Galápagos Islands, Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, Chile, Australia and the UK.

Authentic period recreations are blended with footage of historical locations central to the Darwin story—his boyhood town of Shrewsbury; Christ’s College, Cambridge; and his home at Down House in Kent, where he lived and wrote. Set to challenge the Darwin anniversaries, this is a very different, thought-provoking and powerful documentary intended to gently open minds to intriguing new possibilities.

Where can I view The Voyage?

Churches across New Zealand have been sent a public screening pack inviting them to screen the film in their venue. Below are those venues that will be screening the film shortly. For up-to-date screening locations in your area, visit creation.com/screenings-nz and ensure you check regularly as new venues are being added daily.

Church screenings in the North Island

Sunday 16 August
9.30am
Christian Renewal Fellowship, 2 Tarewa Road,
Whangarei.
Friday 21 August
7.00pm
St Marks Anglican Church, 705 Swanson Road,
Swanson, Waitakere.
Saturday 22 August
6.00pm
Stratford Baptist Church, 74 Portia Street,
Stratford.
Sunday 23 August
12.00pm
Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 87 Forest Lake Road,
Forest Lake, Hamilton.
Sunday 23 August
6.00pm
Harvest Centre, 5 Tuhoro Street,
Otorohanga.
Sunday 23 August
7.00pm
Hamilton South Baptist Church, 131 Ohaupo Road,
Melville, Hamilton.
Sunday 23 August
7.00pm
Kaikohe Baptist Church, Hongi Street and Broadway, Kaikohe.
Friday 28 August
7.30pm
Pukekohe Reformed Church, 2 Victoria Street,
Pukekohe.
Saturday 29 August
6.00pm
Harvest Centre, 5 Tuhoro Street,
Otorohanga.
Sunday 30 August
5.30pm
North Porirua Baptist Church, Discovery Drive, Whitby, Porirua.
Sunday 30 August
6.00pm
Masterton Community Church, 117 Ngaumutawa Road, Masterton.
Sunday 30 August
7.30pm
Lincoln Road Bible Chapel, 66-68 Lincoln Road,
Henderson, Waitakere.
Sunday 30 August
7.30pm
Epuni Baptist Church, Rumgay Street and Waiwhetu Road, Fairfield, Lower Hutt.

 

Church screenings in the South Island

Sunday 16 August
7.00pm
Harvest Community Church, 170 Buller Road,
Reefton.
Sunday 16 August
7.30pm
Temuka Baptist Church, 29 Denmark Street,
Temuka.
Thursday 20 August
7.00pm
St Columba’s Anglican Church, 452 Main South Road, Hornby, Christchurch.
Sunday 23 August
4.30pm
Rolleston Community Centre, Rolleston Drive,
Rolleston.
Friday 28 August
7.30pm
Lakeside Presbyterian Church, meeting at Cafe 23,
23 Waiau Street, Manapouri.
Saturday 29 August
4.00pm
Seventh-day Adventist Church, 24 Ilam Road, Ilam, Christchurch.
Sunday 30 August
7.00pm
Calvin Community Church, 25 Robertson Street,
Gore.

 

If you know of a church which has yet to receive a screening pack, please contact our Auckland office on (09) 537 4818 or email us at nz@creation.info so that they can participate in this opportunity.

Plus … a special offer!

At the screening you will be able to take advantage of this amazing deal below. For $38 you can be one of the first to get a copy of TheVoyage DVD (which includes a wealth of bonus features) shipped FREE hot off the presses, plus:

A one-year subscription to the sensational and world-leading Creation magazine (value $35).

Remember, this offer is available only for screening attendees using the supplied form.


Why I Am A Christian

Because we admit when we were wrong

(It’s called humility)

Nat to me:

I remember a video you linked to in a previous email.

Snopes has just released an article on that.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/demographics.asp

I think we can discount the video as a "bunch of lies man!"

I worry about people lying like that and claiming to be Christian.

It struck me at the time that it seemed a bit odd that the video in question was warning of rampant Muslim demographics in Europe, given everything I already knew about rampant Christian demographics in Africa, China & Asia.  However, the figures appeared legit.  Which is a strength of true science: the figures may be able to be twisted for a time, but the truth will out.

Let me be clear: I consider Europe is post-Christian, therefore it wouldn’t surprise me if Muslims were on the increase there.  Also, the Bible is explicit that unrighteousness will increase in the world, until our Lord returns.  So, the Snopes debunking above may or may not be accurate itself, but I’m not fussed by the controversy: it doesn’t impact my faith.  It’s just important to know the facts (know the truth) for the Truth will set you free.


Why I Am Pro-Life

UN Health Data Show Liberal Abortion Laws Lead to Greater Maternal Death

By Aracely Ornelas

(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  The world’s largest abortion provider, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), has recently acknowledged an alarming "surge" in maternal deaths in South Africa, challenging the pro-abortion mantra that liberal abortion laws decrease maternal mortality. Maternal deaths increased by twenty per cent in the period 2005-2007 in South Africa, a country that since 1996 has had one of the most permissive abortion laws on the African continent. While deaths attributable to HIV/AIDS account for the biggest portion of maternal deaths in South Africa, IPPF acknowledges that a portion of deaths are "due to complications of abortion" in a country where the procedure is legal and widely available.  

Radical NGO Paints Abortionists as Human Rights Defenders

by Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  In a recently released report from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the advocacy group is appealing to the United Nations (UN) to formally recognize abortion-providers as "human rights defenders." In "Defending Human Rights," CRR presupposes that abortion is part of the accepted human rights framework and targets legal restrictions on abortion, funding restrictions on abortion and "failure to reduce abortion-related stigma" as "human rights violations." 


Why I Am A Homeschooler

My wife is the memberships secretary…

Of the Wellington Home Education Network (formerly Wellington Homeschooler Association).

109 families renewed and 11 families joined the association this year.

It’s a growing interest.


Why I Am Pro-Israel

From Road 90

You will find below a new selection of videos about Israel, uploaded by our visitors. We hope you will enjoy it!

You can also upload your own videos on Road 90 and share them with your friends and family!


Media Watch

Uyghur nationalist Rebiya Kadeer after an interview with Wena Harawira for current affairs show ' Native Affairs' on Maori Television, shown adressing a crwod at the Sydney Turkish Cultural and Welfare centre.
Picture by Lee Besford ( +61 407 149 950)-  for Maori Television. Wednesday 12th August 2009.

THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE

THE 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE is a story of a woman, a man, a family, a people and a homeland. It is the story of Rebiya Kadeer, China’s nightmare, the woman it accuses of inciting terrorism. It will screen on Māori Television on Tuesday September 1 at 8.30 PM.

It is also the story of the other Tibet, the Muslim Tibet – the country its people call East Turkestan, but which the Chinese call Xinjiang Province – the other stain on China’s moral character.

It is a big story: a story of the ruthless oppression of 20-million people; of the global politics of energy; of Super Power politicking over the War on Terror; and of the pain of a deeply loving family torn violently apart.

Exiled in the US, Rebiya Kadeer is fighting for the human rights of her people, the Uyghur (pron. wee-ger), China’s oppressed Muslim minority. But Rebiya Kadeer’s campaign condemns her sons to on-going solitary confinement in a Chinese prison. Having done six years’ solitary herself, she understands the appalling consequences for them of her actions – but she will not relent.

Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, once the richest businessperson in China, Rebiya Kadeer is a remarkable woman who pays daily a terrible price for patriotism.

And it will never be over.

Wena Harawira interviews Rebiya for NATIVE AFFAIRS on Monday at 8.00 PM.

Protest Action

The documentary, which has caused tension between China and Australia, will be broadcast on Māori Television despite protests from the Chinese Embassy.

The documentary is the story of exiled Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer.

The Uighur are a Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang Province, which they refer to as East Turkestan.

Ms Kadeer, who now lives in the United States, has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

China has denounced Ms Kadeer as a terrorist and has accused her of helping to orchestrate recent violence in the Xinjiang region between Muslim Uighur and members of the Chinese Han community.

When the documentary screened with Ms Kadeer in attendance at the Melbourne Film Festival it caused a diplomatic row between Australia and China.

Chinese Embassy officials in New Zealand today met with Māori Television management and requested they cancel the documentary saying it distorted the facts about China’s policies regarding treatment of ethnic minorities. Māori Television chief executive Jim Mather said the meeting was amicable and respectful, but the documentary would still go to air.

The officials had declined an invitation to appear on current affairs programme, Native Affairs, to publicly state their position, Mr Mather said.
"Māori Television strongly believes in the fundamental right for all people to freedom of speech," he said.

Yesterday, Australia told China to rein in its diplomats, after Beijing’s Canberra embassy tried to block a speech by Ms Kadeer .

The embassy’s political counsellor Liu Jing met management at Canberra’s National Press Club last week and requested they withdraw an invitation to Ms Kadeer to speak.

China’s government accuses Ms Kadeer’s World Uighur Congress of being a front for extremist militants pushing for a separate East Turkistan homeland. She was arrested in 1999 and found guilty of "providing secret information to foreigners".

The pressure to cancel Ms Kadeer’s speech comes as relations between China and Australia are being tested in the wake of the arrest of senior Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu on commercial espionage charges.

The showing of the documentary in Melbourne was marked by pro-Chinese protests and a cyber-attack on the film festival’s web site.


Humour

Cartoon

© Doug Hall, 1991, Christianity Today, used with permission

Early Morning Constitutional

A visiting speaker was impressed by the enthusiasm our Christian school students showed in their physical education class.

"I exercise, too," he sighed, faintly smiling at our pastor. "Every morning I awaken to the alarm, jump from bed, and run around the block six times."

As our pastor expressed surprise and offered hearty praise, the man continued, "Then I kick the block under the bed and go back to sleep."

—Gary Severson, Everson, WA. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."


Events Schedule

In this section, I highlight dates, times and venues of events either I am presenting at, or of interest to METTLE.  I’m available for bookings.

Date Event Venue James Talk?
18-Aug-09 Lunch Meeting Anyone? Telecom Auckland Hereford St Y
20-Aug-09 Presentation: Ensuring Quality Code Software Quality NZ Y
23-Aug-09 Mission Possible Lunch Wellington Elim N
23-Aug-09 Guest Speaker: John Elliot Wellington Elim N
30-Aug-09 Family Service Wellington Elim N
30-Aug-09 Movie: The Voyage that Shook the World North Porirua Baptist Church N
11-12
Sep-09
Promise Keepers Wellington Conference Lane Park, Wallaceville,
Upper Hutt
N
Sep-09 Presentation: Creation: Why I Believe Jeannie’s Life Group Y
30-Sep  – 02-Oct-09 Elim National Conference Auckland Elim N

Bible Review

Habakuk

Taken from Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

The Book of Habakkuk is a short prophetic book of the Old Testament that deals with the age-old problems of evil and human suffering. The book is named for the prophet Habakkuk.

Structure of the Book

Habakkuk’s book contains only three short chapters, but they present a striking contrast. In the first two, Habakkuk protests, complains, and questions God. But the final chapter is a beautiful psalm of praise. Habakkuk apparently used this complaining and questioning technique to drive home his powerful message about the approaching judgment of God.

Habakkuk begins his book with a cry of woe. Injustice is rampant, the righteous are surrounded by the wicked, the law is powerless, and God doesn’t seem to care about the plight of His people (1:1-4). Habakkuk wonders why God is allowing these things to happen.

God’s reply brings little comfort to the prophet. He explains that the armies of Babylon are moving throughout the ancient world on a campaign of death and destruction. At the time when Habakkuk received this vision, the Babylonians had already defeated Assyria and Egypt. The implication is that Habakkuk nation, Judah, will be the next to fall.

The prophet was shocked at the news. He reminded God of His justice and holiness (1:12-13). How could He use the wicked Babylonians to destroy His Chosen People? Surely He realized the sins of His people were as nothing, when compared to the pagan Babylonians "Why do you holdeth thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?" he asks (1:13). This direct question indicates Habakkuk’s great faith. Only a person very close to God would dare question the purposes of the Almighty so boldly. God assures Habakkuk that the Babylonians will prevail not because they are righteous, but because they are temporary instruments of judgment in His hands (2:4). Then he pronounces five burdens of woe against the Babylonians (2:6, 9, 12, 15, 19). God will not be mocked; the end of the Babylonians is as certain as the judgment they will bring on Judah. In all of this, God will vindicate His righteous character: "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (2:14).

After this assurance, Habakkuk breaks out with the beautiful psalm of praise to God contained in chapter 3. This is one of the greatest testimonies of faith in the Bible.

Authorship and Date

Nothing is known about the prophet Habakkuk except his name. But he was surely a sensitive poet as well as a courageous spokesman for God. His little book is a literary masterpiece that points people of all ages to faith in God and His eternal purpose. Since the book speaks of the coming destruction of Judah, it had to be written some time before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The most likely time for its composition is probably about 600 B.C.

Historical Setting

The Book of Habakkuk belongs to that turbulent era in ancient history when the balance of power was shifting from the Assyrians to the Babylonians. Assyria’s domination came to an end with the destruction of its capital city, Nineveh, by the invading Babylonians in 612 B.C. Less than 20 years after Habakkuk wrote his book, the Babylonians also destroyed Jerusalem and carried the leading citizens of Judah into captivity. God used this pagan nation to punish His Covenant People for their unfaithfulness and worship of false gods.

Theological Contribution

The question and answer technique of the prophet Habakkuk teaches a valuable lesson about the nature of God. That God allows Himself to be questioned by one of His followers is an indication of His long-suffering mercy and grace.

The theme of God’s judgment against unrighteousness also is woven throughout the book. God soon will punish His wayward people for their transgression, but He also will punish the pagan Babylonians because of their great sin. God always acts in justice. He will not forget mercy while pouring out his wrath (3:2). His judgment will fall on the proud, but the just will live in His faithfulness (2:4). God’s acts of judgment are in accord with His holiness, righteousness, and mercy.

Special Considerations

The Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther was influenced by the Book of Habakkuk. Luther’s discovery of the biblical doctrine that the just shall live by faith came from his study of the apostle Paul’s beliefs in the Books of Romans and Galatians. But Paul’s famous declaration, "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17), is a direct quotation from Habakkuk 2:4. Thus, in this brief prophetic book, we find the seeds of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.

HABAKKUK:

A Study and
Teaching Outline

I. The Questions of Habakkuk…………………………1:1-2:20

A. The First Question……………………………………1:1-4
B. God’s First Reply……………………………………1:5-11
C. The Second Question of Habakkuk………..1:12-2:1
D. God’s Second Reply………………………………..2:2-20

II. The Praise of Habakkuk………………………………….3:1-19

A. Habakkuk Prays for God’s Mercy……………….3:1-2
B. Habakkuk Remembers God’s Mercy………….3:3-15
C. Habakkuk Trusts in God’s Salvation…………3:16-19

Review

Having just read that study of this book (above) I think I will remember Habakkuk’s contribution better now.  Because prior to understanding this book was responsible for Luther’s “the just shall live by faith alone”, this book held nothing memorable for me.

8/10


Book Review

Eating Sacred Cows

A Closer Look at Tithing

by Graeme Carle

© Emmaus Road Publishing, 1994

Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preliminary Comments
  • The Old Testament
  • The New Testament
  • Other Common Arguments for Tithing
  • Summary
  • How Then Should We Live and Give?
  • Appendices

Description

On an intellectual level, this book aims to clear up a lot of today’s misunderstandings about tithing, not only about what God requires of us now but also about His requirement of Israel under the Law of Moses. Both are still important because the Law contains a revelation of the character of God which we all still need.

Review

This 73 page booklet (including appendices) was very interesting.  It has raised a lot of questions in my mind to ponder:

  • We fund organisations and/or structures, rather than the ministry of the gospel? 
  • By our giving, we endorse the decisions of the leadership, whether for good or ill? 
  • The current government’s compulsory taxation of 39% + 12.5% GST should be factored in to my consideration of where my total finances go?
  • Getting out of debt (mortgage) should be a primary consideration after taxation and before tithing?
  • My biblical obligations to consider the widows, the poor and the orphans are fulfilled by my taxes?

Yes, I had heard previously about that heretical teaching that the New Testament abrogates (great word, look it up) the Old Testament teaching on tithing, however, I’d never actually bothered to investigate the scriptures for myself to form an opinion about it.  Now I have investigated the scriptures, I need to cogitate (another great word) upon it.

8/10


Bible Reading 

Week to 23 August 2009

  1. Ezekiel 43:1 – 45:17
  2. Ezekiel 45:18 – 48:35
  3. Obadiah; Isaiah 40:1 – 41:29
  4. Isaiah 42:1 – 43:28
  5. Isaiah 44:1 – 45:25
  6. Isaiah 46:1 – 49:7
  7. Isaiah 49:8 – 51:23

Week to 30 August 2009

  1. Isaiah 52:1 – 56:12
  2. Isaiah 57:1 – 59:21
  3. Isaiah 60:1 – 64:12
  4. Isaiah 65:1 – 66:24
  5. Daniel 1:1 – 2:49
  6. Daniel 3:1 – 4:37
  7. Daniel 5:1 – 7:28

Don’t forget you can look up these references for yourselves at: http://biblereader.cloudapp.net/.


End Notes

  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Evangelical Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily Christian businessmen from Wellington, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This Weekly Collaborative Blog (WCB) is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this WCB, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
  • If you choose to respond to any item raised in this WCB, please indicate clearly which items you wish to remain Private, as any correspondence may be considered Public and could be published.
  • If this fortnight’s newsletter has been of benefit to you, why not drop a line and say so.  Or better yet, visit the TVORNZ website to read past issues and add a comment!
  • Published by The Voice of Reason, New Zealand, copyright © 2009
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2 thoughts on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 32”

  1. Re; Tithes, My wife and I viewed a brilliant 20 lesson \’financial freedom\’ video package when we were 1st married 18 years ago – much (if not all) of which we still adhere to now. It was led by Jim Salmons from the Bill Gothard \’stable\’. The tithing lesson took me a while to sign up to but ever since i (and my finances) havent looked back – thats not to say we are rich, but God has met all our needs. Rather than running the numbers and convincing yourself that going into debt isnt good christian behaviour either – you just gotta have faith that 90% + God will always put you in a better place than 100% without God ! – And yes, it is your 1st fruits – that is pretty clear, so that means before taxes! And yes we dont get to decide what we spend it on – so dont kick a bit off here, a bit off there as YOU see fit and put the balance to the church, it ALL goes to the church, and then you have a duty to hold the administrators of that money responsible for their decisions – so dont just give and forget about it either ! – our church ensures at least 60% goes directly to ministry work – mostly external – this is good! – and yes we should \’purpose\’ to get out of debt – not just attempt it, but strive for it (this is one i am still working on;-) – and while you may consider your taxes as covering your obligations to the poor, widows, orphans, etc – this in NO WAY releases you from meeting those needs you are aware of if God provides you with the resources to do so. Other great lessons were on \’God purposes for money\’ and \’The follys of lending\’ … perhaps i will share those next time 😉

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