Power of prayer

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

On April 18, as I was busy do­ing gar­den­ing, I chose to carry heavy com­post bags that I picked up wrong, re­sult­ing in hurt­ing my back ter­ri­bly. The re­sult of that in­jury was six days of ag­o­nis­ing pain, im­mo­bil­ity and lots of painkiller­s. (My plans for the long week­end can­celled of course.)

April 23 I went to see a chi­ro­prac­tor, who sug­gested I com­plete an ACC form for this in­jury. He said if I in­jured a disk it might take up to six months to heal.

Friends Rob and Bianca Higham, who heard about my very painful sit­u­a­tion prayed for

me and anointed me with oil, ask­ing Je­sus to heal my back, that by the evening I would be able to freely dance for the Lord again. I grad­u­ally felt the pain dis­ap­pear over the rest of the day, and by night time I was truly com­pletely pain-free. Praise God!

Thank you friends for pray­ing, ask­ing on my be­half. Thank you God for an­swer­ing prayers to­day, how­ever long or short it takes for us to get the an­swers. I love You.

AMMI STEENKAMP

Kaitaia

con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tions to eu­thana­sia and as­sisted sui­cide will ‘sim­ply be re­quired to re­fer pa­tients to the Min­istry of Health'. The Royal NZ Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers sees it rather dif­fer­ently.

In its sub­mis­sion to the Jus­tice Select Com­mit­tee, ‘The col­lege firmly dis­agrees with any re­quire­ment to re­fer . . . by re­fer­ring a pa­tient, a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner may feel com­plicit in an act to which they are strongly eth­i­cally op­posed. This may put un­due strain on the med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner.'

Once again, the am­a­teur ad­vo­cates of this se­ri­ous and com­plex is­sue have al­lowed

their en­thu­si­asm to run away with them. in­stead we should be lis­ten­ing to those with pro­fes­sional and eth­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in this area.

For the sake of doc­tors and pa­tients alike, this bill must not pass.

MARY APPLEBY

PUKEKOHE ho­mo­sex­ual of­fend­ers, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunk­ards, nor slan­der­ers, nor swindlers will in­herit the King­dom of God.'

If one re­pents and turns away from these sins then he is for­given. An un­re­pen­tant person ob­vi­ously does not be­lieve in scrip­ture, God, heaven or hell, and should there­fore have no wor­ries.

If he does not be­lieve scrip­ture then why should it up­set him so much? BRUCE BELL

KAITAIA ac­cept­ing her ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tions for do­ing so? K MCNAUGHTON

KAITAIA world the most pow­er­ful image of unity we could hope a politi­cian might give. If only she wasn’t the ex­cep­tion.’

She went on to lament Theresa May’s ‘cold, stilted, de­tached’ re­sponse to the Gren­fell Tower dis­as­ter, where 72 peo­ple died in June 2017.

How­ever, her wear­ing of the head­scarf, viewed by many Mus­lim women as a sym­bol of misog­y­nis­tic male op­pres­sion, was mis­guided to say the least. Women in Iran are be­ing harshly pun­ished with up to a decade in jail for fail­ing to wear it.

Jacinda’s wear­ing it like a fash­ion

ac­ces­sory in this con­text is not cool, par­tic­u­larly on a po­lit­i­cal level.

Fur­ther­more, un­der Jacinda’s watch, Je­sus has been re­moved from the par­lia­men­tary prayer, and the Mus­lim call to prayer has been broad­cast through­out the na­tion.

If the Ad­han were to be used at the An­zac ser­vice in my town, I wouldn’t be go­ing.

I have lived among and worked with Mus­lims for sev­eral years in In­done­sia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Ara­bia. If I were to re­turn to Abu Dhabi, where I last worked, I would hap­pily reac­quaint my­self with my col­leagues as I met them. Most of them, like peo­ple every­where, are lov­able.

How­ever, I dis­agree with the Dutch Catholic bishop who wants the name of God in the Bi­ble to be re­placed with Al­lah. Ara­bic Chris­tians are dis­turbed by any Ara­bic Bi­ble that trans­lates God as Al­lah. Al­lah is not the Chris­tian God.

The Ko­ran has many sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Bi­ble, but also many key dif­fer­ences. Those dif­fer­ences cross the ‘red lines’ of Chris­tian­ity. For ex­am­ple, the Ko­ran tells us that a) Je­sus was born of a vir­gin but only as a man, not as the Son of God; b) He per­formed mir­a­cles as a prophet rather than as God; c) He was not cru­ci­fied at the cross; and d) was cer­tainly not res­ur­rected.

The Ko­ran has it that a sub­sti­tute went to the cross in His stead, and con­se­quently our sins couldn’t have been atoned for by that sac­ri­fice. Nor is Je­sus, with the Fa­ther and the Holy Spirit, the liv­ing God of Chris­tian­ity to­day.

The Old Tes­ta­ment is not con­sis­tently mir­rored in the Ko­ran either. For ex­am­ple, in the Bi­ble (Genesis 22) God com­mands Abra­ham to sac­ri­fice Isaac (pa­tri­arch of the Jews), whereas in the Ko­ran, Al­lah com­mands him to sac­ri­fice Is­mail (pa­tri­arch of the Arabs).

Any­one at­tend­ing a place of wor­ship in re­sponse to the Ad­han (Mus­lim call to prayer) should be aware that they are demon­strat­ing their faith in a god based on the Ko­ran. As a Chris­tian, I can’t do it, in­deed I mustn’t. If my Mus­lim col­leagues in Abu Dhabi were to see me do­ing so they could be se­ri­ously of­fended, be­cause know­ing I’m Chris­tian, they’d know that I’d be in­sin­cere in wor­ship­ping their god. I get into quite enough trou­ble al­ready, with­out invit­ing it. JOHN MATTHEWS

MAN­GONUI of res­i­dents, con­ges­tion and park­ing is­sues in Pai­hia and Man­gonui, traf­fic con­ges­tion in Kawakawa, heavy ve­hi­cle ef­fects from av­o­cado devel­op­ment in Kaimau­mau/Houhora, heavy ve­hi­cle use for forestry in the Hokianga, main street con­ges­tion in Kaikohe, con­ges­tion in the North Park area in Kaitaia, and the need for re­silience plan­ning for potential new road­ing routes to coastal set­tle­ments, which may have roads af­fected by sea level rise and storm events.

We can­not do ev­ery­thing at once, and there­fore, to be prac­ti­cal, work plans need to be staged in im­ple­men­ta­tion. I would like to see road­ing and traf­fic as­sess­ments done in a staged ap­proach, to cover the road­ing is­sues that I have high­lighted above, in or­der to es­tab­lish busi­ness cases to get the fund­ing needed to ad­dress all our road­ing is­sues in the Far North.

Our roads won’t be fixed in­stantly, but over time, with a plan of at­tack, we can at­tract fund­ing for our road­ing projects, and there­fore progress to get all our Far North roads sorted.

COUN­CIL­LOR FELICITY FOY Where does correspond­ent Gille­spie get “Eye for an eye, 20 lives for a rock” from? (The mes­sen­ger is shot, let­ters April 16).

Is­rael bull­dozed Jewish homes and ex­ited Gaza in pur­suit of peace with the Arabs. What fol­lowed was an es­ca­la­tion of rock­ets fired into Is­rael and at­tempted in­cur­sions by tun­nelling, and of course the sui­cide bomb­ings in Is­rael a decade ago.

We had the Is­rael/Gaza war in which the IDF would phone tar­geted Gaza build­ings con­tain­ing arms, mu­ni­tions or com­mand posts warn­ing of a strike to min­imise ca­su­al­ties at detri­ment to mil­i­tary ad­van­tage.

Now a bor­der wall and con­trolled bor­der cross­ings have largely quelled ter­ror at­tacks against civil­ian tar­gets in Is­rael.

To­day we have badly in­jured Syr­i­ans from that civil war be­ing ac­cepted from over the bor­der be­ing treated free in Is­raeli hos­pi­tals, re­cu­per­at­ing be­fore be­ing sent home.

Is­rael is the only democ­racy in a re­gion sur­rounded by to­tal­i­tar­ian na­tions that de­sire her ex­tinc­tion. You may feel that Bri­tain badly mis­man­aged the al­lo­ca­tion of land when they were the manda­tory power fol­low­ing World War I, but that is how it came about.

In fact, orig­i­nally Is­rael was to have land es­sen­tially what they con­trol now fol­low­ing the 1967 war, but the Bri­tish re­neged to ap­pease the Arabs, who threat­ened their oil con­ces­sions in Iraq. They re­drew the land al­lo­ca­tion to the pre-1967 bor­der, hence you have the con­tested West Bank.

It’s pop­u­lar in some cir­cles to por­tray Is­rael as an ag­gres­sive in­vader dis­plac­ing so-called indige­nous Pales­tini­ans, but their his­tory in the land goes back 3500 years. Although in­vaders through­out their his­tory have at times se­verely re­duced their num­bers, there have al­ways been some Jews in the ter­ri­tory, and through­out they have had a na­tional long­ing to re­gain a self-govern­ing home­land.

Mus­lim na­tions in gen­eral, and many Arabs res­i­dent in Is­rael, are im­pla­ca­bly in­tent on de­stroy­ing Is­rael. That is their bottom line, re­peat­edly ex­pressed.

For the UN to in­sist Is­rael re­turn to its pre-1967 bor­der would see the ex­pung­ing of mod­ern Is­rael. Mil­i­tary strate­gists agree that mod­ern mil­i­tary lo­gis­tics mean Is­rael, in that event only 10 miles wide in places, would be un­de­fend­able.

PETER MATTHEWS

Whit­ford un­fairly as­sist stu­dents. This is de­signed mostly to stop the on­line es­say writ­ing groups, a prob­lem that oc­curs at univer­si­ties around the world.

The idea is well in­ten­tioned but far­ci­cal, not a unique event in pol­i­tics. When you see how many mur­der­ers, rapists and rob­bers get less than that de­spite their guilt it seems un­likely peo­ple will be jailed for help­ing on an es­say. If they do get jailed Aus­tralia will have one of the best-educated prison com­mu­ni­ties, an un­usual claim that prob­a­bly won’t help our stand­ing in the in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion environmen­t.

Yes, cheat­ing is wrong, and if only the Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment who have never cheated vote for it there will be no chance of it be­com­ing a law of the land.

I’ve got to rush off and help the neigh­bour’s kid with their maths home­work, which may make me a crim­i­nal, and I could face get­ting jailed for it. There might not then be any more let­ters to the ed­i­tor from this Aus­tralian crim­i­nal. DEN­NIS FITZGER­ALD

Melbourne

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