Are Not The Borg!
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, a Borg member who has left
the collective to join the Star Trek Voyager crew.
`I Feel God' Brown
Church, Ft. Worth, TX
the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile"
those not familiar with the arch enemy of Star Trek vessels
across the galaxy, those words have little meaning. But for
Trekies everywhere the words are known to give instant rise to
an uneasy feeling which is almost impossible to ignore.
fictional world of Star Trek, the Borg are a powerful culture
of cyberneticly enhanced beings from various races, the Borg
are a blend of the biological and the technological. Their
spaceships are square and their mission is known as
member or "Drone" is connected to a sophisticated
subspace communications network forming what is termed the
collective consciousness. The entire Borg species operates as
one gigantic organism. Within this shared consciousness, the
ideas of individuality, freedom and self-determination are
nearly meaningless concepts.
On last week, a
member of our church brought to my attention that many
un-churched people think of Christians as a type of Borg. In
their minds, our mission is to rob them of their individuality
and assimilate them into a race of people who hide behind a
To them the
"Christian Collective" never is interested in their
needs, wants, or desires, but is fixated with assimilation of
them and their friends. Some have even had friends who they
"lost" to this insidious menace called Christianity.
Wow, what a
bombshell! Is that how non-Christians see us? As I thought
about it, I became convinced that was indeed the case!
are stunning. When we become Christians we do become like
other Christians through the centuries. Our desires and
motivations change. We become part of something much larger
than ourselves. We communicate with a God we cannot see and
respond to other Christians with what we call
"intercessory prayer". Most alarming, salvation
causes us to realign our priorities from self seeking and self
serving, to a God ordained and mandated agenda.
However, we are
not the Borg!
The Borg would
destroy those who would not be an asset to the collective.
Christians have historically been those who were thrown away
and unwanted. Jesus typically called and ministered to the
throwaways of society. The Church continues to do so today. We
are not the Borg.
The Borg would
force their way on others and make them assimilate. Christians
can only present the truth about the life available through
the blood of Jesus. Anyone who does not willingly desire this
"God-life" is free to accept or reject, without
retribution by those of us who offer it. We are not the Borg.
collective was designed to be a cold and heartless place where
mindless droids would only do what they were told, without any
feeling whatsoever. Christians are called and appointed to be
the most caring, loving, and thinking creatures ever created.
We relish our role as sacrificial lovers of others. We are not
The Borg had
little freedom because they did not posses spirit. Jesus was
clear that the comforter of the Church, known as the Holy
Spirit, would be with us always. The Bible further declares
that where the Spirit of the Lord is there will be freedom.
This Christian love of freedom and liberty is at the heart of
our America. Christians love liberty, freedom, and others who
feel the same. We are not the Borg!
As the Body of
Christ on the earth, we must be diligent to let the world know
our motives and methods are genuine and loving. We must never
be high and mighty or act with smug superiority. We must use
our superior weapons to relieve suffering and deliver victory
to a lost and hurting world. Moreover, we must use that
communications network to pray, pray, and pray some more.
Today, take the time to share your faith. Remember - We are
not the Borg!
following information must be included if you reprint this
© Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved James M. Brown
Bishop James `I
Feel God' Brown is the founder and Sr. Pastor of Victory
international Church in Fort Worth, TX. He is in demand
locally and nationally as a revivalist, conference speaker,
and Seminar Leader.
Of A Faith Man" is the new booklet from Bishop `I Feel
Obtain your copy from the Victory Church website @
For quality web
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|Update on Persecution
World Evangelical Alliance Defender
Religious Liberty and Persecution Update
World Evangelical Alliance presents report on
Religious Freedom to the United Nations
THE GENENEVA REPORT 2002 revealed that an unprecedented number of Christians now face disinformation, discrimination, and outright persecution worldwide. It detailed specific cases of persecution in India, Greece, Cyprus, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, China and Sudan. The World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission presented their findings at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on April 8, 2002.
"We estimate that there are more than 200 million Christians in the world today who do not have full human rights as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, simply because they are Christians. We believe that this is the largest group in the world without full human rights because of their beliefs," states Johan Candelin, director of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission.
The report addressed several key issues and questions. Key issues included advancing religious freedom at home and mobilizing a constituency in support of international religious liberty.
WEA called on UN member states to give greater attention to the practical implementation of basic provisions of existing international norms that protect religious freedom and promote religious tolerance. Many other basic rights depend on freedom of religion -- the right of free speech, assembly, education, parenting and travel.
Following are a few highlights from the report.
"Religious freedom is being violated in almost every part of the world and there is an urgent need to uphold the right to religious freedom for all people, regardless of faith, creed, language, nationality, race, color, social origin, gender, or aboriginal or other culture.
"The national and local governments ought to respect the right of every person to practice, teach, propagate, change and observe his or her religion or belief. The government-sponsored gross violations of religious freedom such as genocide, murder, slavery, and torture based on religious faith or belief, as well as the destruction of holy places, should be the subject of sanctions and other exercises of foreign policy powers by nations adhering to the principles of religious freedom.
"No country has the right to label traditional Christian teaching or meetings as 'evil sects' or agents for 'foreign' or 'hostile sources' thus giving themselves some sort of 'moral right' to imprison Christians and to send the pastors to prison or labor camps. Neither can the expression 'disturbing social harmony' be used as a reason to deny someone's human rights if the country has signed the UN declaration.
"When the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist statues last year, they sent a powerful message to the world that religious totalitarianism is a denial of pluralism of faiths.
"The question: Why are so many Christians persecuted?
"It seems illogical that people who stand for sincerity, honesty, truth, honor, friendship, hard work, and compassion for the weak should be considered to pose a threat to society, or should give rise to feelings of outright hatred. Yet this is often the reason Christians are persecuted. Common problems and misconceptions about Christian minority populations are identified.
The full report is available at
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Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter
CONSIDERING a film’s acceptability rating,
various factors play a part, including the
expected age of the audience. The strong
negative rating for the PG rated HARRY
POTTER received the expected response. While
many expressed support for our position,
others felt we were overly harsh and even
erroneously dogmatic. Each is entitled to
their opinion and will make their decision
opinions will no doubt be formed at the
slightly more favorable acceptability rating
given the PG-13 rated THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
While both stories involve elements of
fantasy and both contain wizards, there are
bigger differences. HARRY, as noted in our
previous commentaries, crosses between what
we consider the real world and the fantasy
world of Hogwart’s. The inclusion of
reality with fantasy is one disturbing point
in HARRY. Another point is Harry’s status
as the hero and focal point of the stories.
In identifying with him, young readers are
enticed to seek out the possibility of
having powers like Harry. Again, making
Harry part of the real world further makes
that possibility seem plausible and maybe
even attainable. Since the Bible teaches
against witchcraft, applauding Harry forces
us to go against what, as Christians, we
believe is God’s command.
in THE LORD OF THE RINGS, the focus is on
the hobbit Frodo. Frodo has no magic powers,
no special mark to set him apart, and, with
a small stature, not even heroic bearing.
But he demonstrates bravery, steadfastness
and acceptance of a burden he could just as
easily let go. The story also focuses on a
theme of people different races finding
strength in union against evil forces. It
also features themes of true friendship
found in sharing burdens, sacrifice for
others and putting others ahead of yourself.
story also takes place in a world of pure
fantasy. Although the themes and allegorical
allusions to historical events reflect our
world, Middle Earth is the fictional
creation of Tolkien, even to the languages
of elves and dwarves. While Tolkien’s
world includes men, the setting still falls
into a medieval fantasy; it is not the world
as we know it.
while both stories contain wizards,
Tolkien’s are set apart as another race.
Like medieval monks, they dwell in
monasteries filled with books for learning.
Their powers do not include flying, except
on backs of large eagles. But they can
manipulate earthly elements like fire and
water. And while both stories talk about
corrupted wizards, Tolkien shows the evil
power behind the corruption.
reflects his Christian beliefs in focusing
on the small insignificant person who can
change the world, save it from evil, by
being faithful and true to his mission. It
hints of the small insignificance of a baby
born in an out of the way town, who also
changed a world.
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Life After the 81st Floor
By Dan Van Veen, Assemblies of God News Service
September 11, 2001, God spared Stanley Praimnath's life -
there's no other way to explain it. Praimnath along with his new friend, Brian Clark, miraculously made it out of the burning World Trade Center Tower Two from the 81st floor moments before its collapse.
Over the past five months, Praimnath, his wife Jennifer and their two girls, have been through a whirlwind of emotions and demands. It hasn't been easy, but as Stanley explained, he would go through his narrow escape all over again if it meant more souls would be saved.
"The 700 Club came to my little home and taped a show with me," said Praimnath. "I called the producer up later and asked for a copy of the tape. As I was talking to him, he asked me if the number '259' meant anything to me. I told him it didn't. He told me when they aired the program for the first day, 259 people responded and came to the Lord. When he told me that, I cried - I cried like a baby!
"For church, we evangelize all summer long, and if we see one person come join the church, we're happy," Praimnath continued. "But here, one shot, and 259 people came to the Lord - I don't mind going through the rubble one time more if it means people will be saved."
After barely escaping certain death, Praimnath has continued to experience God's love in many ways. "People from all over the country, that I don't know, have called or contacted me to express their sympathy and show concern," he said. "God has opened many doors, even people at my job have been very gracious."
One of the results of being in such a traumatic experience was an inability to sleep. "The doctor explained it to me that my adrenal glands were wide open all the time," Praimnath said, "so he gave me some
medication to help me sleep - it didn't work.
"However, I picked up my Bible and started reading Psalm 91 - 'He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ...A thousand shall fall at thy side. ...For he shall give his angels charge over thee' - and every time I read this psalm, a peace and calm would come over me. Here I take the medication
and can't sleep. I read Psalm 91 ... I only took two of the pills, and none since then."
But why Praimnath? Why should God spare his life while thousands of others perished?
"I will never be able to know why God singled me out over and above all these people, people that I'm sure some were religious and good people," Praimnath said. "All I can say is that Jesus didn't want me yet. There isn't any reason that I should be here - all the odds I beat ... the Lord is not ready for me yet, He still has things for me to do.
"I'm just an ordinary churchgoer," Praimnath added. "I'm not a pastor or evangelist, I just want people to understand this: God is real and He is there just waiting for you to tell Him to take control and take over."
One might wonder what God has in store for this "ordinary" man?
Over the past months, Praimnath has been interviewed by a number of magazines and news organizations and has spoken at several churches - being faithful to give God the credit and glory for all He has done. Now, God seems intent on allowing Praimnath to share his testimony to a larger audience.
"Pastor Terry Fossen of Central Baptist Church in Alberta, Canada, contacted me," said Praimnath. "On Feb. 9, I will going to Alberta to speak - they have rented out the convention center and expect 4000 to 5000 people to be there." Praimnath, who has been the Sunday school superintendent for Bethel Assembly (South Ozone Park) for about a year, has seen God use him in other ways. For example, Sunday school attendance has increased about 75 percent in less than a year. "Every week, I pray for just one more," said Praimnath, "and when I see that attendance go up on the board, I just start thanking my Jesus."
Along with ministering to the masses, God has given Praimnath many opportunities to minister to individuals. "Many of the people I work with [at Fuji Bank Limited] are Buddhists and Shinto. One day, a Japanese lady came up to me and said, 'Stan, you have a minute? Tell me about your god.' I laughed and said, 'My god? No, it's our God.' She then asks me, 'Can I try your god out?' I was happy to tell her she could anytime just by asking Him to come into her life.
"One Sunday, I was speaking at a church in Suffolk County," Praimnath continued," and my boss Peter and his wife Nancy, who are Catholic, knew we would be in the area and invited us over for lunch after church. We were running late, so Peter had gone out to look for us. We arrived and sat down with Nancy, and she started asking me about God and our church. 'I want that fire that you have,' she said to me later and then even sent me a WWJD bracelet.
"A few weeks later, Peter stopped me in the hall, 'I don't know what you told Nancy, but whatever it was, she has been so on fire for the Lord! Tell me something about your church.' So, here I am, witnessing to my boss," said Praimnath.
Praimnath even found opportunity to encourage his counselor. "I was confident that even as God healed my body, he would heal my mind," Praimnath said. But after some encouragement, he decided to go to counseling. "The counselor asked why I was there, so I told her my story," he said. "After I was done, she was very quiet and seemed shaken. So, I said, 'Can I ask you a question - are you a believer?' She told me, 'You have renewed my faith.' "
Stressful Issues Too
But it hasn't been all roses for the Praimnath family. "It's been totally life changing," said Jennifer, Stanley's wife. "Now, we [including their two daughters, ages 4 and 9] can't wait for him to get home - we can never get enough of him. Before [September 11], we just took things for granted."
The stress comes in as Stanley now has to commute a total of four hours every day to and from his new office location. He also has to deal with the demands of people from around the world contacting him - returning phone calls and e-mails from people wanting to speak with him about his story, not to mention traveling to events-all things that take time away from his family.
"Sometimes, it's kind of overwhelming," said Jennifer. "I want him to go to these places and for all the people to hear, but deep in my heart, there's something that doesn't want me to let him to go, either. Sometimes it gets very stressful, but we're trying to do our best with God's help."
Stanley agrees that the world has changed for his family and him. "We never had $250 phone bills before this, either, and I am not a rich man," he said. But he also knows that he can't stop telling people of what God has done for him.
"People envision that God is far away, unreachable, but God is right there," he said. "Just reach out your hand and He will take it. You don't have to say a long prayer, as I learned, all you have to do is call out to Him and He will be there for you. I wish I could tell the entire nation at one shot, 'God is real, what He did for me, He could do for you.' It's the message in my heart, and I'll tell it wherever I go as I long as I live."
To read the story about Stanley's Sept. 11 miracle:
God Spares Deacon from Death on the 81st Floor
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