Grace To You

Grace to you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Phil 1:2

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Response To An Evolutionist

I’ve read Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I’ve read books by Stephen J. Gould and others. I just finished The Genesis Enigma by Andrew Parker which tells the evolutionary tale from the Big Bang to date.

Evolutionists speak of the universe in glowing, sometimes even worshipful terms. They are forced to use words like design to describe what they see, and then forced to deny a Designer– by their faith in evolution. They talk about the occurrence of the most intricate and improbable processes imaginable without having been implemented and directed by an intelligent, powerful being– and then give the credit to a non-entity called evolution and mind-boggling billions or millions of years– which no mortal can possibly comprehend. Time & non-intelligent ? = An Intricately Designed UNIVERSE and a Perfect Habitat for Mankind called EARTH (nothing else like it in the universe that we know of) and LIFE– in all its forms! That just takes more faith than I can come up with.

Humans are the most intelligent mortal beings we know of and they come up with some pretty impressive innovations. Being created in God’s image, I have no problem comparing their intelligence to the Creator of the Universe. Although it’s a minuscule fraction of God’s intelligence, it towers over “evolution” because evolution is non-existent.

Compassion is wonderful but it’s elusive if not grounded in a greater ethos connected to the value of human life as God’s image bearers. Someone has to define what compassion means in the context of daily living. Is it compassionate to kill someone who is in pain– whether they want to die or not? Or, is that simply convenient for society at large and perhaps for weary caretakers? Many questions could be asked about compassion.

I don’t believe God is male or female. He has no counterpart– and no need to replicate Himself. Since He created male and female in His image, He must have all masculine and feminine traits. He has chosen to use male terminology in relating to us for His own reasons. Guess we’ll find out when we get our other questions answered. It’s not something I worry about.

Biblically speaking, being the Son of God means Jesus is God like His Father. He said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. I only do what I see my Father doing.” He came as God in the flesh so we could get to know God and better understand His love for us. The greatest revelation of His love being His willingness to die for us.

The Bible says the pre-incarnate Jesus created everything in the universe and currently sustains it by the Word of His power. Those universal laws we talk about are merely His consistent care for His creation. If He withdrew His control, everything would “crash and burn”.

The virgin birth is essential to His mission on earth. He chose a human mother so He would be human and His Heavenly Father, of course, means He is God. The mystery of being fully human and fully God is beyond us at this point, but with God all things are possible. Just as you don’t know how evolution works but you choose to believe in it, my belief in what God has revealed about His Son is by faith. I trust Him to know what He’s talking about.

He became fully human so He could suffer and die for us. He didn’t have to. He chose to.

The virgin birth was prophesied hundreds of years before He was born. The New Testament gives a detailed account of what happened. It states that Mary had not known a man, was informed that she had been chosen to bear God’s Son, accepted God’s commission, conceived when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, and lived with Joseph without conjugal relations until after Jesus was born. His birth was accompanied by the Star of Bethlehem and Angels praising God and informing shepherds. It was followed by Magi from the East visiting and Herod the Great trying to kill Him. Besides all the miracles He performed to reveal His Godhood, the heavens opened on more than one occasion and His Heavenly Father spoke, saying, “This is my beloved Son…” After His death on the cross, the Roman Centurion said, “Surely this was the Son of God.” (I could go on and on.)   :-)

Zoroaster is known to have had 2 parents. His virgin birth status was added by his followers after the fact.

The reason Joseph’s lineage is mentioned is for legal purposes. Jesus was a descendant of David with a right to his throne by blood through Mary and even by a legal relationship with his adopted father, Joseph. It also honors Joseph.

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. Heb 11:3

It all comes down to faith. A command doesn’t take billions of years to manifest. If what we see did not come from anything that can be seen, it could not have evolved. If everything was good at the end of God’s creation week, mutations cannot have been involved in the development of life. If death entered the world because of man’s sin, nothing could have died before they sinned. How could nothing die in millions of years?

Either God’s Word is true or it’s not. Either Jesus is the Son of God Who created everything or He is no one to be concerned with. It all comes down to faith. The enemy of your soul does not want you to consider these things. God does.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

AntiChrist Spirit of Chrislam

As a follow up to my blog about the Quran, I want to address the heresy abroad in the world today known as Chrislam. It started in Nigeria, Africa and is currently being embraced by churches from many denominations and spread across America. While uniting people of different faiths may seem to be an honorable mission, the resulting apostasy is not. Believers cannot be successfully yoked with unbelievers without abandoning the faith.

What is Chrislam? As the name implies, it is an attempt to blend Christianity and Islam into a single religious belief system. Is this possible? It is not possible without sacrificing truth and promoting error!

While Chrislam requires compromise in many areas, I want to focus this blog on just a few: The incarnation which is revealed through the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ; the crucifixion of Jesus which saves us from our sins; and the resurrection of Jesus which guarantees our future resurrection to live and reign with Him eternally. These doctrines are the heart of the Gospel and are rejected by the Quran.

The Quran includes many references to a prophet named Isa [Jesus].  And it records his birth to a virgin named Maryam [Mary]. It even calls him a Messiah-- but not one who saves from sin! So, Muslims would like for Christians to accept that this Jesus is the same Jesus revealed in the Bible, but their teachings say otherwise.

The Muslim Jesus is not the Son of God! The Quran repeatedly denies that Allah has a son. And it says specifically that Isa (Jesus) is not the son of Allah!

Quran: Sura 6:102 “The originator of heavens and earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort?”

Sura 112:1-4 “Proclaim, 'He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him.”

Islam presents Jesus as a mortal prophet who denies a divine relationship with Allah and proclaims the future coming of Muhammad, The Prophet of Allah. And Islam says Jesus had a beginning, he was created like Adam.”

Quran: Sura 5, section 16, verse 119, reads: “And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, “Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God”? He will say: “Glory to thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say)..."

Sura 61:6 And (remember) when ‘Jesus, son of Mary said: “O children of Israel! Indeed, I am the (Prophetic) Messenger of Allah to you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah,  and bringing good news of a (Prophetic) Messenger who comes after me, whose name is the Praised One [Muhammad]”...     
 [Muhammad means Praised One]

Sura 3:59 "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He (Allah) created him (Jesus) from dust, then said to him: Be. And he was." 

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. His birth was foretold in the ancient Hebrew scriptures. The conception of Jesus occurred when the Holy Spirit of God overshadowed the virgin Mary. Jesus, Himself, said that He existed before Abraham lived. He said, "I AM" which is the name [YHWH] that God gave Moses to share with the children of Israel. And Jesus proved that He was "God in the flesh" by teaching with supernatural wisdom and authority, and by performing many healings and miracles, and even by forgiving sins.  And His followers testified that He is the Son of God! Even the Roman Centurion at the foot of cross said so!

No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”  John 1:18

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18 NKJ

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22 NKJ

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3 NKJ

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7 NKJ

The Muslim Jesus was not crucified for our sins! Allah judges according to His will. I've given a couple of examples below. No one can pay for another's sins so a Savior isn't needed.

Sura 4:156-159 ... That they said (in boast): 'We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah.' But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise.

Sura 4:17"Forgiveness is only incumbent on Allah towards those who do evil out of ignorance and then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah. Toward them will Allah turn in mercy; for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom."

Sura 4;18"Forgiveness is not for those who do ill until death faces one of them, who then says, 'Lo! I repent now, nor for those who die as disbelievers, for such we have prepared a painful doom.'"

According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified and died for our sins.

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”    Acts 2:36 NKJ

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3


The Muslim Jesus did not die and was not resurrected. The Muslim Jesus was caught up to heaven (like Enoch and Elijah) in his physical body, without dying. Islam teaches that he will return as Allah's prophet to assist the Imam Mahdi in uniting and ruling the world in the last days.      

Sura 4:156-159 "......Nay Allah raised him up Unto Himself....." 

Sura 3:55 "Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme...

The Bible says Jesus was raised from the dead!

This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the deadJohn 21:14 NKJ

26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him... 28 though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem... 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—...He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:    ‘ You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’    And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption... 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.   Excerpts from Acts 13:26-39  NKJ

It is clear from these Quran and Bible verses that the Jesus of the Quran is not the Jesus of the Bible. This means Chrislam is a deception from the antichrist spirit and Christians should avoid this deception at all costs!

Paul said, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal 1:8 NKJ

May you be awake, aware and prayerful so that you remain free of deception in these perilous times!  The real Jesus loves you and He is coming soon! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love & Believe

                                                                       Jesus Loves You!


                                                                Step out and believe it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Non-Muslim's View of Quran vs Bible

Since I have become interested in knowing more about Islam, I decided to read the Quran. And, since the Quran is probably not on the top of your Best-Loved-Books list (unless you are Muslim), I've decided to share some of what I've learned with you. It will broaden your knowledge base without taking too much of your time!

First off, I read the Kindle Koran and it was written in Old English (King James style) which made it rather more tedious than was necessary, but it's what I had, so I made do.

The Quran, meaning "the recitation" is the "Bible" of Islam. Muslims believe it is a verbatim word from Allah (Arabic for God). It was written by Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah, over a period of 23 years. He said he received the Quran in revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel. He experienced his first vision when he was 40 years old, around 611 A.D.

Being an avid Bible scholar for many years, I was interested to see how reading the Quran would compare with reading The Bible and I was quite surprised. I did not expect it to "feel" inspired because I believe only The Bible is the inspired Word of God, but I expected it to be something more than it was, simply because so many Muslims accept it as their sacred book.

My overall impression was not positive. It claims to be the final word from God given through His final Prophet, Muhammad. It claims superiority over The Old and The New Testaments because they have been corrupted through time. It uses those sacred books to bolster its claims of inspiration even as it disparages them. It claims that Allah, the one and only God, is the God of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, Lot, etc., even though Allah is not Yahweh. Allah seeks to replace Yahweh and demote Jesus to the status of a man who is a lower order of a prophet than Muhammad. And, for all that, in quality, the Quran seems like a candle next to The Bible which is a SUN by comparison.

The Quran lacks a chronological historical flow. It proclaims that Allah is the Creator and mentions the  creation of mankind, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and Jinns, in various places; but there is no coherent creation story which puts it altogether in perspective. There is no good reason given for creation. There is no development of a loving relationship between Allah and His creation or His creatures. Allah is a distant God Who maintains a Transcendent relationship with His creation.

There are no lengthy, well-developed stories about main characters with family lines that can be related to in a coherent fashion like one finds in The Bible. There are oft-repeated short stories about Noah, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, Lot, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, Adam and Eve, and a few others; but they are scripturally inaccurate and totally disjointed. If I had no Biblical knowledge I would have been totally confused about their true place or purpose in history.

Mohammad was rejected by the Arabs when he first started sharing his Quranic messages from Allah. So, it seems he used Abraham, Lot, Noah, Moses, and a few other non-Biblical characters, as examples of prophets who were sent to warn people about coming judgement and were also rejected. In that context, he was able to threaten those who rejected him with the same type of destructions which had befallen those who had rejected the previous prophets and were destroyed.

The Quran is full of threats of hell, fire and punishments for non-believers in Allah and His Prophet. There are nearly 500 verses on punishments. After reading all that, I realized, by comparison, the Bible hardly mentions hell at all. (The Quran, a book with 114 chapters, has 172 punishment with fire verses and 97 hell verses, besides other punishments. The New Testament has only 27 verses about hell and Hades, and the Old Testament has 37 verses about hell and Sheol. That's less than 1 verse per book in The Bible and many of them are non-threatening references like "You will not leave my soul in Sheol" and "If I make my bed in hell, You are there."

Quran samples:
[17:8]  "We have made hell a prison for the unbelievers."   
[32:13 ] "I will certainly fill hell with the jinn and men together."
[98:6] "Surely those who disbelieve (in Islam) from among the followers of the Book (Bible) and the polytheists (believers in the Trinity) shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of men."

And that reminds me of a joke: There was a church who was happy to have a pastor leave because they thought he preached too much about hell. After they had their new pastor for awhile, someone asked what they liked about him and they said they liked his preaching on hell. What was the difference? They said the first pastor preached about hell like he wanted them to go there! The second pastor wanted to save them from it!

That is the difference one can feel between the Quran and The Bible. The Quran seems to delight in describing the tortures non-believers and the wicked will be forced to endure. It makes it clear that Allah has created those who go to hell for that purpose and nothing will change their destiny. Whereas The Bible says hell was "created for the devil and his angels" and God delights in providing a way to help us avoid going there! Jesus, the God-Man Savior, is the heart of The Bible from Genesis to Revelation!

The Quran is also loaded with promises of rewards for believers in Allah who perform enough good works to make up for whatever bad they have done. Allah says everyone must bear their own load. No one else can provide help for them. They must profess a belief in Allah and His Prophet, be diligent in daily prayers, practice charity, practice fasting, travel to Mecca once in their life, if possible, and follow Quranic teachings.

The rewards for believers are gardens with rivers flowing under them, an endless supply of fruit, milk, wine, honey, meat, etc. Green silk clothing, green silk couches, green carpets and pearls, silver and gold for adornment. There are youths to serve refreshments. There are also mansions and other gardens with beautiful young virgins for those whose deeds merit extra benefits.

For believers who make it, the afterlife is a place of leisure, pleasure and abundance. Whatever the heart desires will be provided. The problem is, since it is based on works, no one knows if they will make it until the day of judgement when the books are opened and all deeds are reviewed and Allah decides who is deserving. The Quran says Allah is just and fair. Your deeds decide your fate.

At first I was surprised at the many similarities between Allah and Our Heavenly Father. Allah claims many of the familiar attributes of God that we understand; such as, Everywhere Present, All-Knowing, All-Good, and All-Powerful. He also claims to be the only God, the Creator of the heavens and earth and all that fills them, the First and the Last, Sovereign, Infinite, Almighty, Just, Exalted, Wise, Holy, King, etc.  

However, it is obvious that Allah revealed Himself as far less relational than Our Father in Heaven. The Quran says repeatedly that Allah is One and cannot be more than One! It repeatedly says Allah has no son! Nothing is equal-to or like Him. He has no physical form and stays aloof from His creation. He is not knowable by mere humans.

Consider these statements carefully. Allah has no loving communion revealed in a Godhead relationship like the Trinity shares (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He claims to be an Absolute Loner. He has no Divine Son like Jesus and He has no sons and daughters like us. He never claims a close, loving relationship with His creatures like Our Father in Heaven does.

[4.171] Allah is only one God; far be it from His glory that He should have a son,
[5.18] And the Jews and the Christians say: We are the sons of Allah and His beloved ones.
Say: Why does He then chastise you for your faults? Nay, you are mortals from among those whom He has created...
[9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths... may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
[18.4] And warn those who say: Allah has taken a son.
[23.91] Never did Allah take to Himself a son, and never was there with him any (other) god--

Anyone who takes The Bible seriously would have to reject the authority and authenticity of the Quran. Our Heavenly Father proclaims His love for all mankind throughout both The Old and The New Testaments. He sent His Son, Jesus, to be with us in a human form so we could know God personally. And because He loved us "while we were sinners" He allowed His Son to die on the cross for our sins so we can have eternal life-- and know it before we face the judgement.

Allah is not like our God. Allah loves "the doers of good, those who guard (against evil), the patient, those who trust, those who judge equitably, those who are careful (of their duty), the doers of justice, and those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall." Allah does not love "the unjust, the proud, the treacherous, the sinful, the extravagant, the unfaithful, the ungrateful, the exultant, the self-conceited, the boastful, any ungrateful sinner and unbelievers (those who disobey Allah or his Apostle)."

Allah does not identify Himself with His creation. Allah does not provide a sacrifice or any means to help save sinners from His judgemental wrath to come. He requires submission to His will and good works to earn one's own salvation-- if possible. No guarantees.

Let's close with some scriptures that assure us of Our Heavenly Father's love and provision for us. If you are not a child of God by faith in Jesus, I encourage you to believe His word and invite Him into your heart even as you read these passages.

"See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are". 1 John 3:1


"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom". Luke 12:32


"In this is love, not that we love God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation of our sins". 1 John 4:10


"We ARE children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ".
Rom 8:17


"For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life". John 3:16


"God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us". Romans 5:8


"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might live through him". 1 John 4:9


"But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying 'Abba! Father!'" Galatians 4:4-6


"When we cry, 'Abba! Father!', it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God". Romans 8:15-26.  


"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". John 15:13


"I have loved you with an everlasting love". Jeremiah 31:3

I haven't covered everything of interest in the Quran so I may continue this in another blog. I hope this has been enlightening, encouraging and a blessing to you whether you are Christian, Muslim or otherwise.

You are loved!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Should Christians Love Muslims?

I did read history books and strayed into some self-help books on a variety of topics and some science books and magazines to keep abreast of current thought in those fields. And I’d read about the odd topic or a novel here and there, but really my life is Bible based and everything is filtered through that reliable lens.

The last few years I have broadened my subject matter into the political realm and have begun to study current issues trying to understand how we got into the mess we are in and where we are headed in the natural as well as the spiritual realm.

Writing my blog has exposed me to other blogs and I’ve gotten into some “heavy” conversations about current events and even the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. I’ve found the exchanges challenging at times because I love to get along with everyone. I would much rather be agreeable than contrarian, but the defense of truth is like a fire in my bones.  However, I do realize we are to speak the truth in love and I try.

All of that brings me to what’s been on my mind lately. I’ve read lots of material about Islam and that information can have an inflammatory effect if one does not guard the heart with great diligence as Proverbs instructs us to.

As a lover of God and His Chosen People, the Israelites, it’s easy to lean toward siding with Israel against the Arabs. In fact, it seems to be the natural response. But, as Christians, our response isn’t supposed to be the natural one! 

Jesus told us to love our enemies. He said to pray for our enemies. He said to feed our enemies and to give them a cup of cool water in His name. We are certainly to share the good news with our enemies as we have opportunity.

Does this mean we can’t support the Jews? Not at all! We are to love all our “neighbors” and do good to all of them, regardless of their ethnicity, color, language or creed! We can actually love Jews and Arabs at the same time. And we don't have to put our minds in neutral when dealing with current and historical facts.

Even though we see Muslims going on murderous rampages in the streets, and even when we hear of the bombings and destruction caused by their misguided Jihad activities, we are to love them for Christ’s sake. Their eternal souls are at stake!

Islam is a tyrannical and expansionistic political/religious regime. Most Muslims were born under its teachings and control. Many others live in lands that were conquered and forced into submission to the laws of Islam. For most Muslims, their religious affiliation is not by choice. The majority of Muslims are illiterate and have never even read the Quran. They are taught to hate non-Muslims and engage in Jihad by extremist Imams.

Why am I going here? I’m going here because so many things seek to divide us. It’s so easy to distrust, misunderstand and reject those who look, act and speak differently than we do. This behavior leads to hatred. I’m reminding myself and I’m reminding you that we haven’t “walked a mile” in the other man’s shoes and we should not judge. We are called to share God’s love with everyone we come into contact with.

The media seeks to distract us away from the truth and to distort reality. Our human nature tends toward blaming the nearest scapegoat for our troubles. Only the Bible instucts us with the uncompromised truth. Paul tells us who the real enemy is.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Eph 6:12 NIV

There has never been a time when recognizing the truth about our enemy is more critical to our spirirtual well-being. We must be alert and aware to survive these perilous times.

Jesus is coming soon. The signs of the times are becoming clearer by the day. It is high time for the church to “Repent and do the first works.” It’s time to return to our first love when it was easy to love everybody! And, because of our hope in soon becoming like Him, it’s time to “purify” ourselves as “He is pure.” 1 John 3:3

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 7:21 NIV

                        The Judge is at the door! That which we do, we must do quickly.

                                        JESUS LOVES YOU and MUSLIMS TOO!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary by W. P. Livingstone

I just finished reading Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary by  W. P. Livingstone and The White Queen of Calabar by Eugene Myers Harrison, and doing some internet research about Mary Slessor's life. Many books have been written about her life because it is so inspiring.
 
Mary Slessor was born in Scotland in 1848. Her father was an alcoholic who wasted his pay on drink so she started working in a weaving factory at 11 years of age to help support her family. By the age of 14 she was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Her father died and she continued working that schedule to support her family until she entered her missionary training when she was 27 years old


She was active in the church from an early age and didn't let her long work hours keep her from participating. Her heart for missions was utilized in Scotland by reaching out to children in the poor section of town and teaching them Bible lessons through the years. Her childhood was hard but it helped prepare her for the many difficulties she faced in Africa.

Finally, on August 5, 1876, she left Liverpool on the steamer Ethiopia and she arrived at Calabar on the coast of Nigeria on September 11th, 1876 to begin her 39 year career as a missionary to the natives there.


She found herself in a pagan land where those accused of wrongdoing had boiling oil poured over their hands or were required to drink poison to prove their guilt or innocence. The wives of a dead chief were strangled or buried alive with their husband so they could go with him into the spirit-world. Hard hearted chiefs would sell men and women into slavery or have them beheaded for a cannibal orgy. Twin babies would be killed and their mother would be driven into the jungles defenseless to die. Women had no rights and were treated like pack animals. Men perished in endless, senseless, tribal warfare. Witch doctors tormented the people and controlled them with curses. And, most of all, the people lived in spiritual darkness which kept them impoverished and hopeless. (Sound like "noble" savages to you? Tribes needing to preserve their cultural traditions? People in danger of being corrupted by missionary influences?) 

Mary soon learned the native language of the people of Calabar, Efik. She mastered it so well that even the natives said she knew their tongue better than they did. She came to understand their idioms, gestures, and temperament so well that no one could lie to her and get away with it.   

She lived her life under the African sun with a bare head and traversed the dangerous jungles, day and night, with bare feet. She lived on native food, drank unfiltered water, often slept on the ground, and did many other things that would have quickly killed most non-Africans.


Mary rescued hundreds of twin babies from eminent death and raised many of them in her own household. She worked hard at trying to educate the natives away from their fear of twins and getting the mothers and sometimes fathers to accept them. It was a never ending ordeal as she went into new territories.

The natives (including the chiefs) loved her and called her Ma, which means lady. They allowed her to be a judge among them and she used her influence to turn them away from alcohol and toward more productive living. She brought healing treatments to the sick, intervened to prevent many wars and stopped the practice of trying to determine guilt or innocence by the poison ordeal among the tribes she worked with. She also used her great influence among them to stand against the abusive treatment of women and the tyranny of the witch doctors.

Mary never tired of her main priority which was telling the people about God's love and His Son who came to earth to die on the cross so repentant sinners could have eternal life. Through her efforts, she personally led hundreds of savages to new life in Christ. And Jesus blessed her labors by allowing her to establish several churches and to accomplish her dream of building a home for abused and displaced women.  
 
Mary felt great trepidation when required to speak to groups of Scots and Brits-- especially when men were present. However, she would not shirk her duties for her own personal comfort, so, on her furloughs, after she had recovered from exhaustion or an African fever that had laid her low, she spent considerable time telling the church crowds stories from her life in Africa.

In her simple, soft spoken style, she shared her experiences with hunger, thirst, deprivation and loneliness in darkest Africa. She talked about suffering from tropical fevers, dealing with drunken cannibals, calming warmongering natives, and fearlessly facing death threats from natives and wild animals times without number to save the lives and souls of the African natives she loved for Jesus' sake. She never doubted that God would protect her as she did His bidding.

Her audiences were moved to tears as she told them about the slave markets, human sacrifice, and cannibalism. But the best loved stories were of the many twins and other deserted babies she rescued from death when they were thrown into the forest to die of hunger or to be eaten by ants or leopards. The stories came to life for them on the visits when Mary brought some of her beloved  African "bairns" with her.

Mary Slessor suffered from jungle fevers many times through the years which weakened her body and left her with aches and joint pains. Her physical limitations slowed her down but never stopped her from moving into new territory and accomplishing what she set out to do. She lived out the old adage, "Where there's a will, there's a way!"  Having kept the faith and having finished her course, she died in Nigeria on January 13th, 1915 at 67 years of age.

J. H. Morrison pays her this tribute: "She is entitled to a place in the front ranks of the heroines of history, and if goodness be counted an essential element of true greatness, if eminence be reckoned by love and self-sacrifice, by years of endurance and suffering, by a life of sustained heroism and purest devotion, it will be found difficult, if not impossible, to name her equal."
 
"She was indeed a queen — a queen ruling in love over natives in Africa and a queen among the heroines of the Christian church."  The White Queen of Calabar by Eugene Myers Harrison


Note:  I found Mary Slessor's life to be very inspiring. In addition to the many books about her, The African Movie Channel,  AMC, has an 11 part series on the Life of Mary Slessor.
http://www.africanmoviechannel.tv/movieDetails.asp?idm=786