400 Christians saved from Tsunami

We know that 80% of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh was destroyed by the Tsunami waves and 80% of the people also died. This is one of the towns that was hit the hardest.

But there is a fantastic testimony from Meulaboh. In that town are about 400 Christians. They wanted to celebrate Christmas on December 25th but were not allowed to do so by the Muslims of Meulaboh. They were told if they wanted to celebrate Christmas they needed to go outside the city of Meulaboh on a high hill and there celebrate Christmas. Because the Christians desired to celebrate Christmas the 400 believers left the city on December 25th and after they celebrated Christmas they stayed overnight on the hill.

As we all know the morning of December 26 there was the earthquake followed by the Tsunami waves destroying most of the city of Meulaboh and thousands were killed. The 400 believers were on the mountain and were all saved from destruction. Now the Muslims of Meulaboh are saying that the God of the Christians punished us for forbidding the Christians from celebrating Christmas in the city. Others are questioning why so many Muslims died while not even one of the Christians died there.

Had the Christians insisted on their rights to celebrate Christmas in the city, they would have all died. But because they humbled themselves and followed the advice of the Muslims they all were spared destruction and can now testify of God's marvelous protection. This is a testimony of the grace of God and the fact that as believers we have no rights in the world. Our right is come before God and commit our lives to Him.

Our right is kneeling down before the Lord almighty and commit our ways to Him. He is our Father and is very capable to care for His children. Praise the Name of the Lord.

Bill Hekman Pastor,
Calvary Life Fellowship in Indonesia.
- from this website


Meeting a Lutheran friend...

Recently, I met a friend of mine who is from one of those independent church. Lutheran I suppose.

We were talking about our differences in doctrines and the first topic is Purgatory. He said that this place is not written in the bible and so it is wrong to think that such a place exist. I tried to explain to him but I couldn't because we had no bible with us nor could I quote him the line. And to be honest, I am not very sure as this is certainly not an issue that would affect my faith.

However, he made another point stating that we do not need purgatory for any redeeming effects as our death is sanctifying and St Paul said that the dead would be "sleeping" till Jesus comes again, thus there is no "waiting area" at all.

Then he seems to imply that Luther was a kind of a hero for bringing about this separation as our doctrines are wrong as some of them are not based on the bible.

Another issue is our belief that faith and good works are together. Their stand is that good works is the spin-off from the faith in Jesus whereas having faith in Jesus is good enough to be saved.

Baptism is not for original sin but for your past sin, in fact they don't seem to have this concept of original sin.

And by not becoming a christian, or following Christ, those not Christians (explicitly rejecting the call to be a christian) would go to hell.

I felt disheartened. It seems the rift between the Catholic Church and these deviant doctrines would take a longer time to be reconciled, if at all.

And I am not proud of myself for I am not armed theologically to defend my Church.