Five for Friday, 10.11.13

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he weekend approaches, and with it here are five recent articles from the net. All are worth your consideration.

Former insurance man Bob Cleveland examines a missing component in the Obamacare debate in Something the Whizzes in Washington Probably Didn’t Think (THINK?) Of

And while we’re on the subject of “pre-existing conditions” … let’s say you’re in charge of a big checking account. Guys who own cars put some money in every month, and then when one of them bends a fender somewhere, he brings you the repair bill and you pay it out of the checking account. You could call it sort of an “insurance exchange”. In fact, there are some of those, all over the country.

Then one day a guy comes in with a car that’s already smashed up. Says he wants to join the plan, pay the first month, and you pay to fix his car. If you were in charge, would YOU do that?

I didn’t think so. But that’s what health plans that agree to insure pre-existing conditions do.

Ed Stetzer pitched a thought on Facebook and Twitter a couple of night ago that ended up being a post on his blog. It has to do with how we make political arguments online. He writes in Politics, Social Media and More Important Things

Now, I am not saying that all Christians are Republicans, Democrats are of the Devil, or whatever else people will read into my comments. But knowing the data helps us to better discern our surroundings. Facts are our friends, and those facts have some implications that I think we need to consider.

The fact is the less you go to church the more likely, statistically speaking, you are to be a Democrat, has significant missiological implications. You will consider those implications if you really want to reach the unchurched and not just talk about them in an abstract way.

Matthew Inman over at The Oatmeal produced another of his epic comics, this time about Christopher Columbus and his holiday. I recommend further research since Inman based the lengthy piece on two primary sources, but it is bothersome. It is worth the length, though, as we are introduced to Bartolomé de la Casas. [No excerpt as Inman’s piece is a graphic cartoon and cannot be easily copied.]

My friend Terah Sampler continues the ongoing narrative of her family’s attempt to adopt. She speaks for many, reminding us that adoption is bittersweet.

Caleb came to us straight from the hospital at 6 days old. And we fell in love immediately. It has never been a question whether or not we would pursue adoption if that became an option for him.

But adoption always comes with loss.

I know, even though he has never known them, C will have to grieve the loss of his first family one day. And that breaks my heart for him.

Fifthly, John Allen at the Spectator reminds us about the global war on Christians. This is not a war on Christianity as a system of belief, but a war on Christians resulting in the loss of life for many. It’s a sobering read.

In recent days, people around the world have been appalled by images of attacks on churches in Pakistan, where 85 people died when two suicide bombers rushed the Anglican All Saints Church in Peshawar, and in Kenya, where an assault on a Catholic church in Wajir left one dead and two injured.

Those atrocities are indeed appalling, but they cannot truly be understood without being seen as small pieces of a much larger narrative. Consider three points about the landscape of anti-Christian persecution today, as shocking as they are generally unknown. According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

Addendum: A coworker just reminded me that LifeWay’s Facts & Trends magazine has a feature called “Five for Friday.” As imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I will retain the name for now.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.