First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pray for Asia Bibi to be Released

I’m the victim of a cruel, collective injustice.
I’ve been locked up, handcuffed and chained, banished from the world and waiting to die. I don’t know how long I’ve got left to live. Every time my cell door opens my heart beats faster. My life is in God’s hands and I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. It’s a brutal, cruel existence. But I am innocent. I’m guilty only of being presumed guilty. I’m starting to wonder whether being a Christian in Pakistan today is not just a failing, or a mark against you, but actually a crime.
To her neighbors, Aasiya Noreen “Asia” Bibi, a poor mother of five in the tiny village of Ittan Wali in central Pakistan, was guilty — guilty of being Christian in a nation that is 97% Muslim. For four years she has languished in a prison cell for this, facing death by hanging. Her new memoir, “Blasphemy,” was dictated to her husband from jail, who relayed it to French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet. Fifty percent of the proceeds the book will go to support Bibi and her family. Tollet says the situation is dire. Embarrassed by Bibi’s case but still refusing to release her because of angry protests by extremists, the Pakistan government has transferred her to a more remote prison, hoping the 42-year-old dies quietly behind bars, perhaps poisoned by another inmate. Already two government officials who have spoken out on her behalf have been murdered, including Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, who was killed by the Taliban. In this excerpt, Bibi explains the simple “transgression” that led to her plight.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Every Three Days a Church is Built in Romania

Romania is in the middle of a church-building boom, with some 10 new places of worship completed every month, and one vast cathedral slowly taking shape. But some Romanians take issue with the expense, in one of Europe's poorest countries - and particularly the use of funds from the public purse.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pray for the Christians of Egypt

The fire burned all night long. It was only after desperate town residents borrowed the keys to a firetruck that they were able to quell the blaze. By then, the evangelical church was all but destroyed.
It was one of more than 60 churches that have been attacked, vandalized and in many cases set aflame across Egypt in a surge of violence against Christians that has followed the bloody Aug. 14 raid by Egyptian security forces on two Islamist protest camps in Cairo.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why was New York State so Weird in the 19th Century?

And just like that, America was haunted. When exactly the apparitions began appearing no one could say for sure. It was the middle of the 19th century — maybe 1848? This was the year that the young Fox sisters, Maggie and Kate, began communicating with the ghost of a murdered man who had been buried in the cellar of their new house in Hydesville, New York. The girls listened to his frantic rappings beneath the floorboards and created a Morse code of sorts to parse the meaning. Their mother called in the neighbors to witness her daughters’ supernatural powers and the neighbors’ excited whispers stretched to surrounding towns. They particularly excited Amy and Isaac Post, a progressive Quaker couple who were friends of the Fox family. The Posts relocated Kate and Maggie to their home in Rochester and soon the girls were performing séances for the Posts’ reformist friends. Strangely, the rappings followed them all the way there. The Rochester rappings became known all over the country, talked about by William Cullen Bryant and P.T. Barnum and Mary Todd Lincoln. The Fox sisters — now famous mediums — had started a movement. They were just 12 and 15 years old.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The End of All Things

Why do things have to end? Jobs come to an end, relationships go up in smoke, family moves away, etc… One could argue that when one thing ends, something better begins. Baloney, endings stink. New beginnings are all well and good, but I don’t like it when something that I think is good ends. My children are at the point where they are getting closer and closer to the day they move out and continue life without Betsy and me. I’m going to miss them. I’m going to be unhappy when this phase of our family life ends. I understand why it has to. I understand the benefits of my children going off on their own. I still don’t like the prospect of an important part of my life ending.

Immediately after the distress of those days;
“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 NIV

The Bible talks a lot about endings. In the above passage, Jesus talks about the destruction of Jerusalem, the tearing down of the Temple and the return of the “Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky”. I look forward to meeting Jesus on his return to our world, but I’m not too thrilled about all of the end talk. The Bible speaks about lots of things that are going to end before Jesus returns. Cities, civilizations, the Sun, Moon and the Stars. It’s all going to be swept away when God’s great Day of Judgment comes.
Does that mean that my home disappear from the cosmos for all eternity? Yes.

What about my flower garden? It’s really pretty and I would hate to see anything bad happen to it. Forget it buddy, its Gone.

How about all of the stars, planets and galaxies I see in my telescope? Sorry Bill, but it’s all Caput.

The funny thing is modern physics predicts this very same thing. Entropy is defined as a measure of the disorder of things in a system. Increasing entropy is when the number of variables increases, which is happening as the universe expands. Decreasing entropy is when the number of variables decreases, which happens at the center of the sun. Increasing entropy leads to less interaction between objects. Decreasing entropy leads to increased interaction. So, if you shove lots of stuff together into a star, the stuff interacts, gets energized and produces light and heat. If you separate the stuff of the expanding cosmos by greater and greater distances, light and heat will not be produced. The universe will get cold and dark. This is the current mathematical model for the future of the universe. Increasing entropy means no more flower gardens.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 21:2 NIV.

The good news is, the Bible says at the end of all things there will be a new beginning. The universe will be remade into a new creation. Everything will be set right, and there will no longer be suffering, pain or death. The new cosmos predicted in the scriptures will be a heavenly cosmos. This will be bad for those of us who don’t like endings. But it gives us hope for a happy ending. Which is a lot better than a universe that ends up cold and dark.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill