Tuesday, August 29th, in the year of our Lord 2017
By Kevin Swanson
Christian Mother in Eritrea Seems to Have Been Tortured to Death
An Eritrean Christian mother of three appears to have been tortured to death for her faith in a prison in Eritrea, Africa.
Fidaku Debesay was arrested in May, and her body was returned to her family for burial in August. The family noted unusual scars on her body.
Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
Seven Church Leaders Arrested in Sudan
Another seven pastors or church leaders in Sudan, Africa have been arrested for their refusal to have their church leadership submit to a government committee.
Pastor Kuwa Shamaal told the Morning Star News that “it is not the work of the [government] ministry to appoint committees for the church.”
Amen! May God strengthen these men with steadfast faith against the forces of evil.
Hurricane Harvey Displaces 30,000 People and Does Billions of Dollars of Damage
The Lord unleashed His powerful natural forces on east Texas over the weekend with His Hurricane Harvey.
Houston took 24 inches of rain, displacing 30,000 people. Damage estimates right now run from $30 to $100 billion, making Hurricane Harvey the worst storm to hit America since Hurricane Sandy five years ago.
And now Louisiana is bracing for round two as forecasters predict the storm will hit the Bayou state later this week.
Governor of South Carolina Stops Taxpayer Funding of Abortion
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed an order on August 24th to rescind all state taxpayer dollars from any abortion businesses in their state.
The World View spoke to House Representative Josiah Magnuson, an outspoken Christian conservative in South Carolina, about the governor’s decision.
“I think it’s so important because these are some of our most defenseless citizens. We have children that are being killed every day in South Carolina, and the state owes it to these people.”
Magnuson said that they have been fighting hard, but they haven’t had success until recently.
“I really just have to praise the Lord for what’s been going on; I think we’re seeing a moving of God in people’s hearts. People are getting courage in a way that hasn’t been before; people are taking a stand. One thing that’s happened just recently is that Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant deserves a lot of credit for taking a stand and saying that he would not approve a state budget; he would not recognize it as valid unless it removed any funding for abortion.”
Trump Administration Issues Directives to Ban Transgenders in the Military
On Friday, the Trump administration issued directives to halt the accommodation of men who want to dress and look like women in the military.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in a Maryland federal court on behalf of five service members protesting the ban.
Deuteronomy 22:5 reminds us that “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
Homosexuals Attack Christian Baker in California
Another Christian baker is in trouble in California for her refusal to celebrate homosexual weddings.
Homosexuals have led an online attack on the Tastries Bakery, that forced the owners to take their website down.
For the last five years, the Christian bakery has survived by referring homosexual wedding customers to a competitor, according to a report from the Christian Post.
More Than Half of Australian Church Members Support Homosexual Marriage
There is little difference between the world and the Christian church in Australia.
As that nation prepares for a national referendum on homosexual marriage, a Newgate Research poll found that 59% of Anglicans, 67% of Catholics, and 66% of all Australians support the worldview of Sodom.
Despite recent urgings from the Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart to oppose the homosexual marriage measure, the rank-and-file Catholics are overwhelmingly in favor of this particular sin.
1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
North Korea Fires Missile over Japan
Yesterday, North Korea fired another missile — this time over Japan.
The missile flew about 1,700 miles before breaking up into three pieces near the island of Hokkaido.
Special Report on Abortion in Ireland After the Newscast
Virtually 100% of all babies with Down Syndrome are targeted for death in the womb in the country of Iceland. Stay tuned for a Special Report from Emily Swanson immediately following today’s newscast featuring an Icelandic pastor who has two special needs children of his own.
Highest-Paid Player in the NFL Wants to Be a Pastor
CNN Sports did an extended piece on Derek Carr, quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.
He’s a devout Christian, he doesn’t swear, he’s planning several missions trips, he’s hoping to become a pastor when he’s done with his $125 million pro football contract. He’s the highest paid player in NFL history, but, remarkably enough, what he really wants to do is be a pastor.
Special Report: Iceland Targets Down Syndrome Babies for Death
And now, our special report by Emily Swanson.
Last week, many in the body of Christ were saddened when it was revealed that Iceland kills nearly 100% of its babies with Down Syndrome because of pre-natal screenings.
What a change from 1,001 years ago, in 1016 A.D., when Iceland was the first nation to ban infanticide by democratic vote. Now the country has reverted to the pagan practice, in their hospitals no less.
The World View interviewed Pastor Gunnar Gunnarson of Lofstofan Church in Reykjavik, Iceland about this tragedy.
Pastor Gunnarson, who is also a husband and father of two children with special needs, told The World View that he used to see children with Down Syndrome more when he was younger.
“Back when I was younger I met way more of them, and if you look at the generation that’s around 30 right now, you have way more of persons with Down Syndrome. But now you have 2 a year, I think, that are born. There’s very few young children that you see with it; there’s one in the preschool that our daughter and our son are going to; but when I first saw him it was very rare. I was trying to think of the last time I saw one, and I literally couldn’t think of anything except for when I was like, and there was another Down Syndrome child in our church back then.”
Pastor Gunnarson said that the pre-natal testing for Down Syndrome has not helped preserve the lives of any of the children.
“Of course the pre-natal testing has played a major role in it. Now you have nearly 100% of the children that come out in a positive light that they might have Down Syndrome in the pre-natal testing, almost 100% of them are aborted, if there is even a possibility of having Downs.”
Gunnarson said that unfortunately abortion is not talked about as a negative thing in Iceland.
“When it comes to abortion here in Iceland it’s not really talked about the ethical side of things. The numbers of 2015; I think there were 4,215 something babies born, and then 951 abortions. We’re getting a good 20% abortions of all conceived children per year. I think in a small community like this and when you know, we’re 340,000, and you know when you have abortion happening on this scale, there’s definitely going to be people you know who have had one. So the culture in general doesn’t talk critically about it, or even just think, ‘Is it ethical?’ It’s sort of pre-supposed.”
Gunnarson said they even changed the Icelandic word for describing abortion from “fetus termination” to a term that de-personalizes the life of the baby, meaning “pregnancy cancellation.”
He said that because people don’t see anything wrong with killing babies, they think it’s fine to abort a baby for abnormalities.
“Everyone in the community is just pre-supposing that there is nothing wrong with it, then if you see abnormalities you take the ‘easier’ path.”
The World View asked Gunnarson if the church in Iceland has said anything against abortion.
“The state church has actually got employees in the hospital, who sort of come, and they pray with you as you have an abortion. The state church, when it comes to not being careful to throw the baby out with the bath water, I’m not worried about that at all.
“There are very few. There is sort of a remnant of free churches but most of them are tired and kind of want the victories but don’t want to battle for truth. A lot of them will say not a whole lot. They just want to avoid the spotlight and try to survive.”
Pastor Gunnarson shared that this has opened up a good dialogue within the body of Christ that he pastors.
“I talked about it in my Sunday sermon as well. It was a perfect opportunity as we were talking about love. We were going through the fruit of the Spirit and our topic for that Sunday was love and what does it mean to love so I talked a little bit about that.”
Gunnarson said that the foundational problem is how far Iceland has departed from its Christian roots.
“I think we’re ranked right now as the 6th most atheistic nation in the world. It’s very humanistic. And when it comes to the question of, ‘Wherein does the worth of a human life lie?’ Of course, for the Christian you can say the ‘Imago Dei’; we’re created in the image of God and because of the fact that we’re human that makes us worth something. But what happens to a whole culture when you forfeit your appeal to a higher authority than yourself, well, you have a really relativistic kind of culture that doesn’t want to think too deeply about things. It’s kind of ironic that believers in the Bible are kind of mocked for being anti-science, but when it comes to abortion, nobody wants to talk about the science of what’s going on inside the womb. It’s then an individual; scientifically speaking; I don’t think you can make a case that it’s not. I think it’s definitely had an impact when you have humanistic morals which is basically trying to keep Christian morals and carve God out of it, but you don’t have the appeal to God in situations like this, it’s just hollow.”
Gunnarson said that he was encouraged by the response of their congregation to the Down Syndrome story.
“I am encouraged when I look at our congregation. I honestly didn’t see a whole lot of people posting about this from other churches here in Reykjavik. We don’t have a whole lot of healthy churches to begin with; the number that I and talking with other pastors have gotten is like five healthy churches, and we didn’t see a whole lot of chatter about this. What I’ve loved to hear from our people is the questions that come, ‘How do we deal with this? What are we going to do about this?’ And that’s what I love especially in a time where a lot of the remnant of God’s people are really tired. They’re not hoping to survive the tough stuff but really asking, ‘What can we do about this?’ and getting hardcore about adoption and foster care and that type of stuff, even thinking about sacrificially moving out of the city, even if they wanted to stay in the city, so they can buy a bigger house. So one day they can adopt and that sort of stuff, so that’s been pretty awesome to see from our people.”
Pastor Gunnarson said that it’s a different situation from the U.S. in that the abortions are happening right in the hospitals, not in places dedicated specifically to abortion.
He went on to describe how their Icelandic friends have responded to their decision to choose life and to raise two children with special needs.
“We have two children now with special needs. Our oldest, who is dealing with cancer right now, but he’s also very autistic, high on the spectrum of autism. And then we’ve got a younger one with a very rare genetic mutation. His name is Salomon, and he is just 4 months right now. I think two other people in the world have it, so we don’t really know what we’re dealing with or what it will look in the future. It’s been an odd and ironic experience over the last 4 months to hear so many Icelanders cheering us on as our baby is born and he has these battles. But at the same time, you know, that if there was a pre-natal for what he has or if there was a pre-natal testing for autism what would they do? Would they opt out of not letting him be born or not letting him feel his mother’s touch for the first time, or cry for the first time because of this illness or special need?”
He wonders how many of those who have supported their decision to raise two children with special needs would have kept their own babies if they knew that they had special needs.
“And you just gotta wonder; how many of the ones cheering us on right now would actually, if there was a pre-natal test that could show you this before he was born would go for that route, and that saddens me to think about.”
Gunnarson passionately re-iterated that in a humanistic society a person’s worth is defined by what they can do or what they can achieve, and that takes away the value of these little children.
“Does your worth lie in how well you fit in with the machine that is society or how much you can produce or achieve? Cause in the end that’s what you have to appeal to if you’re just looking at a naturalistic way of thinking about people. It saddens me when you see the worth of every single individual and people not notice that.”
Gunnarson shared that one of the amazing things about taking care of these babies is learning the practical demonstration of unconditional love.
“One of the amazing things is that when you have a baby and you hold your newborn baby for the first time. And it’s like this one can practically do nothing for you. It will keep you awake. You will have to change its diapers. You will have to spend a lot of money to take care of it, to have food, but you love it. You love this little baby and it’s just one of these purest forms of love because you know I’m not trying to manipulate any one right now. There’s nothing that this little person can do for me.”
He said that having special needs children takes that lesson of unconditional love and really makes it come alive.
“You think about having a special needs child, and that actually may perpetuate to years to come. That may be your opportunity to love sacrificially and to make sure and to make sure that you’re doing it out of a right motive and to just experience loving someone just for the sake of loving someone; looking to the cross of Christ if you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged and just keep on loving and serving someone.”
Gunnarson said that although many see it as a curse, he believes it’s a gift from God to learn how to love. He also revealed that Romans 8:28 has taken on deeper meaning for them with the gift of two special needs children.
“When you face hard circumstances, you heart Romans 8:28 that all things will work together for good, and you just gotta wonder sometime when it’s really dark around you, ‘Ok, God what is it that you’re doing in these circumstances?’ But we’ve heard so many messages from believers and non-believers alike who have really talked and started to consider their faith more deeply because of these circumstances so maybe that’s the reason.”
If you’d like to stay in touch with Pastor Gunnarson’s family and the Loftstofan Baptist Church in Iceland, you can visit their website at www.theicelandproject.org or follow their family’s public posts at Gunnarson’s Facebook Page.
You’ll learn about their three little ones, including one who has autism and their baby, Salomon, who has a rare defect, on his Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/icegunns/) You’ll find the Facebook and Instagram links in our transcript at www.TheWorldView.com.
The Scriptures are filled with evidence of God’s love for the babies in the womb.
Psalm 127:3-5 declares, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
This has been a Special Report by Emily Swanson. I’m Adam McManus.
And that’s The World View in Five Minutes.