Wednesday, May 4, 2011

• Dr. Dobson will be our special guest-speaker at two upcoming events, both on Thursday, May 26th – first, our Pastor's Luncheon at the Universal Hilton that's free to all church staff and their wives, and second, our big listener event that evening at Lake Avenue at 7pm.  They're both free, but you need to pre-register with us at

400-408 – • Calgary Sun (Reuters, 5/4/2011, 1:38pm Pacific) Photos show three dead men at bin Laden raid house.

Jamal Hashweh, is the Jordan Project Manager for Global Hope Network International (, also overseeing Syria and Egypt, he was in Cairo during the riots, and he was at Joni & Friends yesterday to coordinate a shipment of wheelchairs to Jordan scheduled for later this year.

413-423 – Jamal Hashweh

428-437 – Larry Cabaldon, is the founder of Boardroom Performance Group, and the co-author of God in the Boardroom: Why is Christianity losing market share? (, along with co-author Brian Klemmer (who recently passed away from a heart attack).  Today, he sets up the fun and insightful story.

443-452 – Larry Cabaldon,

458-508 – Calls – As Christians, Jesus commands you and I to forgive our enemies – how ya' doin' at forgiving Osama bin Laden, let alone loving him?  What does that even look like?  Forgiveness usually follows repentance, if the person is living, but how do you forgive someone who's dead?  Repentance requires two people, forgiveness just one – you.  We best love our enemies by restraining them from committing evil acts, and sometimes this requires deadly force.  Do you believe God loves Osama bin Laden as much as He loves you?  How have you forgiven someone who's hurt you once they had died?

When you cure a disease, you aren't celebrating the deaths of the virus, you are celebrating the saving of lives.

"I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." – Mark Twain

Some key distinctions:  1) Forgiveness is surrendering your right to revenge.  2) Trust can only be earned.  And, 3) Reconciliation occurs when the two are once again united.

Matthew 5:43-48"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

512-523 – Calls

528-539 – • Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (5/2/2011) How to Respond to Osama Bin Laden's Death.   Are we required to love "enemies of God"?  The rabbi presents the classic Jewish understanding of Jesus' teaching on "loving your enemies."

// But for those who go further and quote to me Jesus' injunction that we are to love our enemies, I respond that to love murderers is to practice contempt against their victims. Those who do not hate bin Laden have been morally compromised. A member of the Taliban who cuts off a woman's nose and ears or an Al Qaida terrorist who flies a plane into a building has cast off the image of G-d from their countenance and is no longer our human brother. They deserve not amnesty but abhorrence, not clemency but contempt. And since humans cannot bestow life, neither can they act in the place of G-d and forgive those who take life.

To my Christian brothers and sisters I say, as a Jew who has just completed a book about Jesus that is thoroughly sourced in the New Testament, that Jesus never meant to forgive G-d's enemies. He words are specific. He says to love your enemy. Your enemy is the guy who steals your parking space. G-d's enemies are those blow up airplanes. Likewise, in advocating turning the other cheek Jesus never meant that if someone kills 3000 American citizens you are to allow him to kill 3000 British as well. Rather, Jesus meant to forgive petty slights rather than monstrous evil.

I do not believe in revenge, something the Bible explicitly prohibits. The ancient Jewish understanding of the Biblical injunction of 'an eye for an eye' was always financial restitution for the lost productivity of an eye rather than the barbaric taking of an organ itself. But I do believe in justice, and forgiving murder or loving a terrorist makes a mockery of human love and a shambles of human justice. The human capacity for love is limited enough without us making the reprehensible mistake of directing even a sliver of our heart away from the victims and toward their culprits.

Ecclesiastes expressed it best. There is not just a time to love but also a time to hate. I hate Osama bin Laden but I will not rejoice in his death. It would have been better for the world had he never been born. But once he was, and once he directed his life to unspeakable cruelty, it was necessary for him to be stopped and killed. And for that I give thanks to G-d and the brave soldiers of the American military for making the world a safer, more just, and innocent place.

544-554 – Calls

• USA Today (5/4/2011) Forgive bin Laden? Dalai Lama's surprising view.

The Dalai Lama teaches detachment as part of releasing oneself from suffering, and takes such a line on compassion that he won't swat mosquitoes supping on his blood.

But Wednesday, speaking on"Secular Ethics, Human Values and Society," to an audience of 3,000 at University of Southern California, he offered a possible understanding of why the USA assassinated Osama bin Laden.

While Buddhist understanding, and most Western religions, counsel compassion, even forgiveness for the evildoer, "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened."

According to the Los Angeles Times coverage, he also said it is sometimes necessary to take countermeasures against evil.

But most religions teach that forgiveness follows repentance, an avowed turn to the righteous path. Repentance doesn't obviate punishment in a just legal system on earth, but it leaves to God the final judgment.

Rev. James Martin at America's blog In All Things, takes the Catholic view:

I am glad he has left the world. And I pray that his departure may lead to peace. But as a Christian, I am asked to pray for him and, at some point, forgive him. And that command comes to us from Jesus, a man who was beaten, tortured and killed. That command comes from a man who knows a great deal about suffering. It also comes from God..

There's no hint of repentance in bin Laden's life, however. So, does he merit forgiveness on earth or in heaven in your faith or philosophy?

• LA Times (5/4/2011) Dalai Lama suggests Osama bin Laden's death was justified.  Speaking at USC, the Buddhist spiritual leader says of the Al Qaeda chief's assassination: 'Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened.'

558-608 – Calls

612-623 – Calls

• From Facebook:   Matt Sebastian Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:44 to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you". If the purpose of this teaching was to relieve us of the burden of carrying anger and hatred in our hearts, then this teaching should apply not only to those who hurt us personally, but also those who have committed grave sins against several people (such as Bin Laden). Otherwise, if we love our "personal" enemies but hate the mass murderers, we're still carrying the "burden" Jesus was trying to relieve in the first place.

628-639 – Calls

644-656 – Calls

• Fox News (5/3/2011) Katy Perry: Strict Christian Upbringing Kept Me From Having a Childhood.

• Fox News (5/3/2011) 'Passion of the Christ' star Jim Caviezel says playing Jesus sunk his career.

• CBS Detroit (5/4/2011) Report: Nearly Half Of Detroiters Can't Read.