Daily Archives: September 1, 2019

September 1 The Reason for Our Hope

Scripture Reading: Jude 1:20–25

Key Verses: 1 Timothy 2:3–4

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It is difficult for us to recommend a business, service, or product to others when we haven’t tried it ourselves. We can tell them what we have heard about it, but there is no personal experience from which to draw.

When other people come to us and ask us about salvation, and we doubt the validity of God’s promise that our salvation is eternally secured in Him, how can we share our faith with confidence?

There are many reasons why people doubt their salvation. They question how a loving God would allow tragedy. They believe that works, not grace, save them. They fail to take God at His word. They remain living a life of sin, unwilling to submit to the authority of the Lord in their lives. But God’s Word gives us all the assurance we need in order to know that our salvation is secure in Him, giving us the confidence to share our faith with others.

First Timothy 2:4 reminds us that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” And John the Baptist told us, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life” (John 3:36 nasb).

In understanding that our salvation is secure and that God desires all men to know the truth, we can go forth with boldness and tell those around us the reason for our hope.

Lord, I know with surety that my salvation is firm in You. Show me how to convey this to others who are full of doubt and confusion about their salvation.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 256). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Real “Helicopter Money”: Since 2009, China Has Created $21 Trillion Of New Money, More Than Double The US | Zero Hedge

China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28tn. It equals the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

Back in the days of the Fed’s QE, much of thinking analyst world (the non-thinking segment would merely accept everything that the Fed did without question, after all their livelihood depended on it), was focused on how massive, and shocking, the Fed’s direct intervention in capital markets had become. And while that was certainly true, what we showed back in November 2013 in “Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water” is that whereas the Fed had injected some $2.5 trillion in liquidity in the US banking system, China had blown the US central bank out of the water, with no less than $15 trillion in increases to Chinese bank assets, all at the behest of a juggernaut of new credit creation – be it new yuan loans, shadow debt, corporate bonds, or any other form of debt that makes up China’s broad Total Social Financing aggregate.

Now, almost six years later, others are starting to figure out what we meant, and in an Op-Ed in the FT, Arthur Budaghyan, chief EM strategist at BCA Research writes about this all important topic of China’s “helicopter” money – which far more than the Fed, ECB and BOJ – has kept the world from sliding into a depression, and yet is blowing the world’s biggest asset bubble. 

Budaghyan picks up where we left off, and notes that over the past decade, Chinese banks have been on a credit and money creation binge, and have created RMB144Tn ($21Tn) of new money since 2009, more than twice the amount of money supply created in the US, the eurozone and Japan combined over the same period. In total, China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28 TRILLION. Why does this matter? Because Chine money’s supply is the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

This, as the BCA analyst explains, is a major problem.

Below we repost his latest FT Op-Ed, which explains why – as we said in the 2019 year ahead post  – we remain confident that the spark for the next global financial crisis will be in China.

* * *

China’s ‘helicopter money’ is blowing up a bubble, authored by Arthur Budaghyan is chief emerging market strategist at BCA Research, and first published in the FT.

The escalation of the trade conflict between the US and China has raised the likelihood of greater stimulus by Beijing to prop up the economy. While China’s excessive debt isn’t news, investors must wake up to the reality of “helicopter money” — enormous money creation by Chinese banks “out of thin air”.

While this sugar rush may provide short and medium-term cover for investors, the long-term effects will exacerbate China’s credit bubble. China, like any nation, faces constraints on frequent and large stimulus, and its vast and still rapidly expanding money supply will produce growing devaluation pressures on the renminbi.

When a bubble emerges we are often told that this bubble is different. Many economists justify China’s credit and money bubble and continuing stimulus by pointing to the nation’s high savings rate. But this narrative is false. At its root is the idea that banks are channelling or intermediating deposits into loans. This is not how banks operate.

When a bank expands its balance sheet, it simultaneously creates an asset (say, a loan) and a liability (a deposit, or money supply). No one needs to save for this loan and money to be originated. The bank does not transfer someone else’s deposits to the borrower; it creates a new deposit when it lends.

In all economies, neither the amount of deposits nor the money supply hinge on national or household savings. When households and companies save, they do not alter the money supply.

Banks also create deposits/money out of thin air when they buy securities from non-banks. As banks in China buy more than 80 per cent of government bonds, fiscal stimulus also leads to substantial money creation. In short, when banks engage in too much credit origination — as they have done in China — they generate a money bubble.

Over the past 10 years, Chinese banks have been on a credit and money creation binge. They have created Rmb144tn ($21tn) of new money since 2009, more than twice the amount of money supply created in the US, the eurozone and Japan combined over the same period. In total, China’s money supply stands at Rmb192tn, equivalent to $28tn. It equals the size of broad money supply in the US and the eurozone put together, yet China’s nominal GDP is only two-thirds that of the US.

In a market-based economy constraints are in place, such as the scrutiny of bank shareholders and regulators, which prevent this sort of excess. In a socialist system, such constraints do not exist. Apparently, the Chinese banking system still operates in the latter.

There are clear downsides. Helicopter money discourages innovation and breeds capital misallocation, which reduces productivity growth. Slowing productivity and strong money growth ultimately lead to rising inflation — the dynamics inherent to socialist systems.

Air show in Tianjin, China shows off China’s helicopters. Getty Images.

In the long run, more stimulus in China will entail more money creation and will heighten devaluation pressures on the renminbi. As we all know, when the supply of something surges, its price typically drops. In this case, the drop will take the form of currency devaluation.

As it stands, China’s money bubble is like a sword of Damocles over the nation’s exchange rate. Chinese households and businesses have become reluctant to hold this ballooning amount of local currency. Continuous helicopter money will increase their desire to diversify their renminbi deposits into foreign currencies and assets. Yet, there is no sufficient supply of foreign currency to accommodate this conversion. China’s current account surplus has almost vanished.

As to the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves, at $3tn they are less than a ninth of the amount of renminbi deposits and cash in circulation. It is inconceivable that China can open its capital account in the foreseeable future.

If China chooses the path of unrelenting stimulus, investors should recognise the long-term negative outlook for the renminbi. Continuous stimulus will beef up investment returns in local currency terms, but currency depreciation will substantially erode returns in US dollars or euros in the long run.

The investment implications go beyond Chinese markets. Market volatility over the past few months as the talk of stimulus picked up has given us a peek into the future. As the renminbi has depreciated by 12 per cent since early 2018, the pain has reverberated across Asian and other emerging markets. The MSCI Asia and MSCI EM equities indices have each fallen 24 per cent in dollar terms since their peak in January 2018. Long-term pressures could play out even more dramatically.

Fortunately, Chinese authorities recognise these issues. Yet they face an immense task of stabilising growth while containing credit and money expansion. This will be hard to achieve in an economy that has become addicted to credit creation.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/markets/real-helicopter-money-2009-china-has-created-21-trillion-new-money-more-then-double-us

September 1 Walking Worthy of Your Calling

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1–2

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:1

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

In coming to the United States shortly after her release from a Nazi concentration camp, Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place, was answering the call of God for her life.

However, that calling did not go unchallenged. Time after time Corrie’s presence in the United States was questioned. The little support she had in the beginning dwindled. She was tempted to become discouraged but refused. Beneath any thoughts of rejection were a peace and a hope that God would honor her obedience.

When others rejected her, Corrie held fast to the promises of God. Finally her commitment paid off. A door of opportunity opened through a well-known Christian evangelist. Soon Corrie Ten Boom became one of the most recognized Christian speakers of our time. She weathered life’s most severe storms and was found worthy of God’s call.

God has called you to be a light of His love and forgiveness to a world locked away in utter darkness. Therefore, walk worthy of His call. When discouragement comes, stand firm in your faith, and God will mold you into an instrument of His love to others.

Dear Lord, You have called me to be a light as I travel through this world. Use me to minister to others I encounter on my journey.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 256). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Former FBI Assistant Director: The Worst Is Still to Come for Fired FBI Director James Comey — The Gateway Pundit

Fired FBI Director is not out of the woods yet.

As reported earlier he still is facing scrutiny in at least two other investigations.

And former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock says the worst is still to come for narcissist James Comey.

The Hill reported:

Next up will be the IG’s findings regarding Comey’s truthfulness before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court and whether he attested to false or misleading statements in order to electronically monitor a presidential campaign.

That determination may not be as cut-and-dried as many think it is, but it hopefully, at a minimum, will explain why Comey believed he could sign off multiple times on a FISA application based largely on information that he, himself, described as “salacious and unverified.” His exposure here is potentially much more devastating than breaking FBI record retention and handling rules.

Close behind the IG’s second report will be findings by U.S. Attorney John Durham whether Comey and his rogue team of investigators violated FBI and departmental guidelines to initiate a counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign. They will determine if Comey had adequate justification for launching such an unprecedented investigation.

But beyond that, Mr. Durham and his team likely will follow up on emerging indicators that Comey may have colluded with other intelligence community leaders to actually “manufacture” the justification needed for an investigation by targeting covert informants against campaign representatives in violation of established policies and procedures.

In short, James Comey is not out of the woods after the first IG report, which has exposed him as someone who casually and carelessly disregarded established rules and regulations. It is not a stretch to imagine that this disregard carried over into other more serious areas of potential abuse of authority.

via Former FBI Assistant Director: The Worst Is Still to Come for Fired FBI Director James Comey — The Gateway Pundit

You Are What You Think! – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

I have often heard the saying “You are what you eat!” Well, there is some truth to that. But I think a more pressing issue is “You are what you think.” I am convinced the pressing problem in our lives is that we don’t think well. And every action begins with a thought.  Every day I get up, I first give my mind to God and ask him to help me to think well during the day.

In other words, I want a mind that is used for his glory. I don’t always do this. But with God’s grace, I strive to improve in this area every day. So let me give a few tips for thinking well.

First, Paul gives us some helpful tips:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4: 4-9

Notice that , Paul wants us to “dwell” which means to concentrate on the following:

  1. Things that are “true”—the opposite of erroneous thinking
  2. Things that are “righteous” —our thoughts must be in line with the unchanging character of God who is perfectly righteous
  3. “Things that are honorable”—things that are worthy of our adoration and devotion…not things that profane the name of God
  4. “Pure” —things that are morally pure and undefiled
  5. “Honorable”­—things that deserve to be commended.

I am convinced that throughout the day, Christians don’t dwell on these things. We dwell on things that don’t match up with reality or we dwell on things that cause us to covet or to be discontent or envious. Also, if you watch enough reality television,  that will not help matters.

Second, the Christian Needs to Know the Key Idea Structures of the Culture

“False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation to be controlled by ideas […] which prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.” – J. Gresham Machen, “Christianity and Culture,” Princeton Theological Review 11 (1913):

Paul speaks about this here:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5 ).

C.S. Lewis said, Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” There is a lot of truth here. The Christian needs to know the idea structures of the world. This includes a thorough understanding of naturalism, pragmatism, rationalism, etc. A good primer is The Consequences of Ideas, by R.C. Sproul 

Third, the Christian Needs to Renew Their Minds Daily

Paul also gives us a key text here:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”- Romans 12: 1-2

It is impossible to have a disciplined mind apart from regular mediation and reading of the text. There is a difference between devotional reading and studying the text. If we want to think well, we need to ingest the Bible on a daily basis. It is good for us and keeps us sharp and close to God.

Fourth, Thinking Well Means We Need to Know Our Identity In Christ

It is imperative that we continually know our position in Christ. The power of the resurrection comes to us everyday in Christ. Therefore, God wants us to experience the resurrection power of Jesus on an ongoing basis. As Paul says in Galatians 2:19-20, “For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” What we tend to forget that Jesus did not die and rose from the dead only for us to go to heaven. He has given us victory over sin in this life. Thus, he broke the power of sin. Yes, we will still sin some times. But, we should not make excuses and say I just can’t overcome any sin. That is a lie. And it not based on a positional understanding of our relationship with God.

If we don’t think well, we will forget our position and identity in the Lord. We will take our identity from other’s opinions of us or what we have or don’t have.

I hope these tips help. Have a blessed day!

NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels – NaturalNews.com

Article Image

For more than 60 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has known that the changes occurring to planetary weather patterns are completely natural and normal. But the space agency, for whatever reason, has chosen to let the man-made global warming hoax persist and spread, to the detriment of human freedom.

It was the year 1958, to be precise, when NASA first observed that changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to the earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists today have dubbed as “warming” (or “cooling,” depending on their agenda). In no way, shape, or form are humans warming or cooling the planet by driving SUVs or eating beef, in other words.

But NASA has thus far failed to set the record straight, and has instead chosen to sit silently back and watch as liberals freak out about the world supposedly ending in 12 years because of too much livestock, or too many plastic straws.

— Read on www.naturalnews.com/2019-08-30-nasa-admits-climate-change-not-caused-by-suvs-fossil-fuels.html

Hezbollah Will Respond To Israel: But When? How? And At What Cost? | Zero Hedge

The “Axis of the Resistance” has been informed about Hezbollah’s intention to respond to Israel imminently, confirmed sources within the decision-making leadership.

Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media

ZH note: War correspondent Elijah Magnier’s rare access to high level sources in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, gives him unique capability to articulate Hezbollah’s strategic thinking and perspective, which he does so below from an on the ground perspective based on local sources. 

The “Axis of the Resistance” has been informed about Hezbollah’s intention to respond to Israel imminently, confirmed sources within the decision-making leadership. The main offices of militant leadership and all gathering of forces have been abandoned or forbidden, and a state of full alert has been declared in preparation for a possible Israeli decision to go to war. In Iran, Syria and Palestine, the finger is on the trigger. Is the Middle East going to war? Actually, it all depends on how far and in which direction the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to go  and the degree to which he will accept, or not, the hit back from Hezbollah.

This all snowballed when, from al-Ayen in the Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah launched his threat against Israel. He swore to down drones violating Lebanese sovereignty and threatened to kill Israelis. This is would be carried out in retaliation for the Israeli killing of two Hezbollah members in Syria, and for sending suicide drones to hit Hezbollah high-value objectives and capabilities in the suburbs of Beirut.

Netanyahu responded a few hours late by bombing a position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) – in the same Bekaa Valley, to send a clear message to Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s challenge is being acknowledged, and answered with another Israeli challenge. Now it is only a question of when, how, and at what cost the Hezbollah “bloody retaliation” will be, bloody because it is inevitable that Israeli soldiers will be killed.

Sayyed Nasrallah had no option but to respond to the Israeli violation of the Rule of Engagement (ROE) established since the 2006 third Israeli war on Lebanon. If he fails to hit Israel and accepts the ongoing international mediation and politico-financial temptations offered to the Lebanese government to persuade him to renounce his promised attack, he loses his credibility, which is substantial right now.

Moreover, Israel would then be encouraged to hit more targets in Lebanon as it is doing in Iraq and in Syria for some years now, against hundreds of objectives. If Hezbollah refrains from responding as promised, Netanyahu will “get away with it”: this boosts his chances in the forthcoming election.

Sayyed Nasrallah committed himself before the whole world to hit back at Israel. All eyes in the Arab world – in particular among the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Yemeni and his own Lebanese society that is embracing Hezbollah – are focused on what the target will be and when the attack will take place. In Israel, Sayyed Nasrallah has high credibility, and people believe him, as indeed most Israeli newspapers write today. Hezbollah is expected to halt Israel’s violation of the Rules of Engagement and give an example to follow for all those within the “Axis of the Resistance” and put a stop to the Israeli attacks on their sovereignty.

It will not be possible to stop all Israeli drones from flying over Lebanon and prevent these from collecting intelligence information. That is considered vital to Israel to update its bank of objectives and analyse any potential threat. Sayyed Nasrallah is aware of that and for that very reason he would indeed attempt to down Israeli drones.

Since the attack against Beirut, Israeli drones continue over flying Beirut: “Israel is doing everything to provoke a reaction from Hezbollah so that it can identify our anti-air missile capability”, said a source within the “Axis of the Resistance”.

Israel is also waiting to see if it is possible to continue targeting Hezbollah warehouses or send suicide drones to target-kill specific individuals, depending on the price it needs to pay in exchange for its killing of Hezbollah operatives. Netanyahu has positioned himself at the bottleneck, unable to move in or out. He pushed his arrogance to the limit in Lebanon, knowing that he would corner Sayyed Nasrallah if Hezbollah were not to hit back (due to the critical financial situation in Lebanon) and the desire to stay away from a devastating war. Now, the Israeli Prime Minister is asking Hezbollah to “calm down”. But it looks like it is too late to turn back the hands of the clock.

Because Iraq did not reply to the Israeli targeting of its warehouses (five destroyed so far) and the assassination of an Iraqi commander (killed by a drone on the Iraqi-Syrian border), Israel obviously concludes that the Iraqi stage is open to its military activities. Hezbollah is aware of the Israeli modus operandi so it cannot permit replication in Lebanon, even at the cost of going to war.

Actually, in Israel, many leaders are blaming Netanyahu for gossiping and bragging about Israel’s responsibility in attacks outside Israel’s borders. Israel generally prefers to be quiet about this practice, one used by Israel for decades but now exploited by Netanyahu for electoral purposes.

So, what is the “cost” Hezbollah is looking for? According to sources within the “Axis of the Resistance”, Hezbollah is looking for a target – to kill two or three Israelis or send a suicide drone against an Israeli military gathering or other more deadly and spectacular options. “Israel is only a few meters from the Lebanese borders. Killing Israeli soldiers is so simple when a Rule of Engagement is violated. Netanyahu will have to justify for his people what advantage he gained in breaking the cessation of hostility since 2006 despite repeated warnings of the consequences. He is either looking for war – in which case both belligerents have to be ready – or he will have caused unnecessary killing on both sides. He will have to pay the price for this,” said the source.

Obviously, Hezbollah is not looking to push Israeli too far outside its comfort zone, with an “acceptable” number of casualties: a hit in exchange for another hit. It will depend on Netanyahu to take it further into war if he wishes to, or to nurse his wounds. Although the Israeli Prime Minister holds the initiative and was respecting to the “rules of the game” as long as he honored the undeclared agreement, it is time now for him to understand that Lebanon, despite its small size, is not Yemen or Syria or Iraq. 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s disposition to attack Israel was boosted by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun who described the Israeli aggression as “an act of war”. Prime Minister Saad Hariri considered the aggression “a threat to regional stability”. Hezbollah has enough domestic support to stand against Israel and retaliate even if the situation goes out of control. Sayyed Nasrallah is no longer constrained by the Lebanese officials who asked him months ago to take into consideration the tourist season, and to share their positive view of the highly tense situation in the Middle East. Indeed, the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese fronts are all on the verge of explosion, depending on how Israel and the US are willing to be “guided.”

During the last Israeli elections, Hezbollah decided to keep at a distance. This time it seems the situation is different. There is an opportunity for Hezbollah to damage Netanyahu who is facing elections during the third week of September. In this case, Hezbollah’s reply to Israel must be before the 19th of September. If Netanyahu decides to go to war regardless of the outcome, he will certainly lose his possibility of re-election. Most probably, if he does not respond to Hezbollah, he will look weak but will come out of it with less damage.

This takes us to the date of the attack. First, and indeed above all, it depends on the opportunity and on identifying a selective target. That depends on the military decision and findings on the Lebanese-Israeli borders and most probably in the next 72 hours. Second, there are possibilities for allowing the 31stof August to go by, the date the “Amal” movement is planning a large gathering in Beirut to start celebrating the first day of Muharram. This is the first night that marks the beginning of Ashura, a solemn day of mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Bin Ali Bin Abi Taleb, Mohammad’s grandson, at Karbalaa, Iraq.

The first 10 days of Ashura bring most of the Shia in Lebanon and in particular Hezbollah supporters, to the utmost level of sacrifice. Netanyahu could not have chosen a worse timing for his violation of the Rules of Engagement.

Sayyed Nasrallah is not obliged to provide a date of attack to Israel. It is common for an organization to first exhaust a country’s resources by forcing it to mobilize its forces on all fronts and abroad to protect its embassies. Therefore, the exact date will be kept in the hands of Hezbollah to evaluate. It could be that allowing the Israeli soldiers to relax on the borders after several weeks of lack of action would create the best opportunity, but I doubt Hezbollah would wait that long. As we have said, Hezbollah as a matter of precaution has abandoned its offices and known gathering places: this is standard practice when war (an Israeli hit or attack) is expected. Netanyahu has really no alternative but to wait and decide if war is really going to be his next best option.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-01/hezbollah-will-respond-israel-when-how-and-what-cost

Sunday’s Hymn: O Safe to the Rock That Is Higher Than I | Rebecca Writes

 

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary, thine, thine would I be;
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

Refrain

Hiding in thee, hiding in thee—
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o’er me its power,
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my refuge and breathed out my woe!
How often when trials like sea-billows roll,
Have I hidden in thee, O thou Rock of my soul!

—William O. Cushing

 

Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

Source: Sunday’s Hymn: O Safe to the Rock That Is Higher Than I

Video: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ Becomes Anthem for Hong Kong Protests Against China’s Communist Push | Christian News Network

Even though only a small percentage Hong Kong’s citizens profess to be Christian, numerous online videos have captured crowds singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” on the streets in recent months among protests against a bill that some fear would extradite residents to Communist China.

Concerns have also been raised over how the move might affect Christians. Believers currently have freedom under the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, but if China encroaches upon the nation, those liberties could be eroded. Christians in China are increasingly persecuted and oppressed, and do not have religious freedom.

“We fear that Christians in Hong Kong will suffer the same fate as Christians in mainland China,” one pastor stated, according to First Things, “with our churches being burnt down, our leaders having to be approved, and our Bible being changed to suit Communist propaganda.”

According to reports, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” first emerged as the common anthem in June after a group of Christian students began singing praise songs at the main protest site, and the simple worship refrain began to catch on. Reuters outlines that the students sang the songs to protect the protesters, as “religious gatherings can be held without a permit in the financial hub.”

Christians have backed the mass protests, which oppose the proposed “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” bill. Large crowds have taken to the streets out of concern that those deemed criminals could be sent to Mainland China for trial.

On June 16, an estimated two million people filled the streets to urge the government to formally withdraw the legislation, although  Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the day prior that she would suspend the proposal.

While Lam has reiterated that the bill will not move forward, it has not stopped peaceful gatherings on the street. On Aug. 23, a number of Christians took to the streets to stand against Communism. Wearing shirts that read “God bless Hong Kong,” they again sang the popular anthem “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” and held hands in a chain that was stated to stretch 30 miles after others who are not Christian joined in the effort.

According to online statistics, about 43 percent of Hong Kong’s 7.3 million citizens identify as “religious,” with most of those following Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. An estimated 11 percent of residents are Christian.

However, even with the low percentage, there are still approximately 480,000 evangelical believers in the country, and many of those are active in providing important services to the community.

“Christian churches run a large number of educational institutions, ranging from nurseries to post-secondary institutions. Moreover, they provide 13 hospitals, a large number of clinics, family centers and old-age homes throughout Hong Kong,” the site InterNations outlines.

Source: Video: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ Becomes Anthem for Hong Kong Protests Against China’s Communist Push