America: A Place of Refuge

You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.” Deuteronomy 23:15-16

Those of us who remember the end of the Vietnam War and the fall of Iraq to Isis should not be surprised at the recent return of Afghanistan to Taliban control. Likewise, the recent bombings of Afghan citizens and US soldiers outside the Kabul airport should come as no surprise. Our own Civil War followed by over a hundred years of black American struggle for equal rights proves to us that victory on the battlefield does not guarantee permanent social and political change. Apparent failure aside, the 20 year long US presence in Afghanistan was justified. The Taliban hosted those who planned the 9-11 attacks on American soil. Their subsequent refusal to hand over those who perpetrated the attacks demanded a strong military response on the part of the US. Unfortunately 20 years of US military action in Afghanistan left the nation no more secure than our previous actions in Vietnam and Iraq left their peoples. The departure of our military forces from each of these nations ignited flows of refugees…

Comments on the Disunited States of America

Once there was a nation known as Yugoslavia. Near the end of it’s existence we visited it. Although a fascinating country, our visit was marred by a sense the people were filled with bitterness, resentment and resignation that something bad was about to happen. We didn’t realize it but they were a people preparing for war. Skip ahead to 2012. We had lived 20 years living as residents of Japan but were now returning. Sadly for us, we found that same foul spirit we had sensed in Yugoslavia operating in the United States. Even many of the Christians we worked were taken over by that spirit. Where love, hope and patience ought to predominated we fond resentment, fear and aggression…

Graven Images and the Bell That Cracked

The recent killing of a black American named George Floyd by police in Minneapolis ignited a storm of protests against white suppression of the black descendants of former slaves. In the United States and in England statues of formerly respected slave traders and slave owners are being toppled to the ground. The legislature of the state of Mississippi voted to remove from it’s flag the emblem that represents the failed Confederate States of America, perhaps the only attempt at nation building in which protecting and expand slavery was a primary objective.

Some people argue against the toppling of statues. They say history is history, that you should not wipe it out. I argue there is nothing at all wrong with removing ANY statues and icons…

Concerning Messianic Presidents

Many American Christians believe the key to spiritual revival and national success is electing the right man to be President. As an idea it sounds good but there is less Biblical evidence in support of this notion than some Christians imagine. Although we do see instances of Biblical kings imposing institutional religious reforms and movements (good and bad!) upon Judah and Israel, the good reforms were at best temporary hindrances to the peoples’ drift further and further away from the God who had led them out of Egypt. Righteous remnant aside, the righteousness of individual kings accomplished little more than a temporary delay of God’s judgement of His rebellious people… . Posted March 2, 2019 by ldufty.

Kingdom of God Values Are For Today

The Gospel of Matthew chapters 5-7 is a record, perhaps a summation, of how Jesus expects citizens of his kingdom to live out our lives. Referred to by many as the Beatitudes, the first of these sayings are introduced by the words “blessed are you when …” Presented by Matthew as a single open air speech, this Gospel writer summarized the reaction of the crowd in chapter 7 verses 28 and 29: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught as one having authority, and not as one of the scribes.” Posted March 20, 2018 by ldufty.

Beware the Thucydides Trap

A couple of weeks ago I saw an interview on Public Television with Graham Allison, author of the book “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” I took note of what Dr. Allison was saying because I have been reading the book to which he is referring, “History of the Peloponnesian War.” Allison’s thesis reflects what Thucydides himself said in his book: new, emerging powers threaten older established powers, those powers react with violence…. Posted August 31, 2017 by ldufty.

How is Your Vision?

Preparing a study of the first two chapters of Luke I was struck by Luke’s positive attitude. The people Luke wrote about in those chapters – Mary, Zachariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, the angel Gabriel – were excited and hopeful in outlook. Optimistic and forward thinking in their understanding of God and His plans for the world. The angel Gabriel and the hosts of heaven – who certainly knew what was going on in the universe – proclaimed not gloom and doom but God’s goodness and his gracious intentions for the human race. Human and divine messengers united in a single message of hope, optimism and good feelings… .  Posted June 3, 2017 by ldufty