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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Preview: Son of hamas_chapter one

Cover
To my beloved father and my wounded family
To the victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
To every human life my Lord has saved


My family, I am very proud of you; only my God can understand what you have been through. I realize that what I have done has caused another deep wound that might not heal in this life and that you may have to live with its shame forever.

I could have been a hero and made my people proud of me. I knew what kind of hero they were looking for: a fighter who dedicated his life and family to the cause of a nation. Even if I was killed, they would have told my story for generations to come and been proud of me forever, but in reality, I would not have been much of a hero. Instead, I became a traitor in the eyes of my people. Although I once brought pride to you, I now bring you only shame. Although I was once the royal prince, I am now a stranger in a foreign country fighting against the enemy of loneliness and darkness.

I know you see me as a traitor; please understand it was not you I chose to betray, but your understanding of what it means to be a hero. When Middle Eastern nations—Jews and Arabs alike—start to understand some of what I understand, only then will there be peace. And if my Lord was rejected for saving the world from the punishment of hell, I don’t mind being a reject! I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I am not afraid. And now I want to give you something that has helped me to survive so far: all the guilt and shame I have carried for all these years is a small price to pay if it saves even one innocent human life.

How many people appreciate what I have done? Not so many. But that’s okay. I believed in what I did and I still believe, which is my only fuel for this long journey. Every drop of innocent blood that has been saved gives me hope to carry on to the last day. I paid, you paid, and yet the bills of war and peace continue to come. God be with us all and give us what we need to carry this heavy weight.

With love,
Your son
Available on CD as Audio Book


 
chapter one

I steered my little white Subaru around a blind corner on one of the narrow roads that led to the main highway outside the West Bank city of Ramallah. Stepping lightly on the brake, I slowly approached
one of the innumerable checkpoints that dot the roads running to and from Jerusalem. “Turn off the engine! Stop the car!” someone shouted in broken Arabic. Without warning, six Israeli soldiers jumped out of the bushes and blocked my car, each man carrying a machine gun, and each gun pointed directly at my head.
Panic welled up in my throat. I stopped the car and threw the keys through the open window.
“Get out! Get out!”
Wasting no time, one of the men jerked open the door and threw me to the dusty ground. I barely had time to cover my head before the beating began. But even as I tried to protect my face, the heavy
boots of the soldiers quickly found other targets: ribs, kidneys, back, neck, skull.
Two of the men dragged me to my feet and pulled me to the checkpoint, where I was forced onto my knees behind a cement barricade. My hands were bound behind my back with a sharp-edged
plastic zip tie that was cinched much too tight. Somebody blindfolded me and shoved me into the back of a jeep onto the floor. Fear mingled with anger as I wondered where they were taking me and
how long I would be gone. I was barely eighteen years old and only a few weeks away from my final high school exams. What was going to happen to me?
After a fairly short drive, the jeep slowed to a halt. A soldier pulled me from the back and removed my blindfold. Squinting in the bright sunlight, I realized that we were at Ofer Army Base. An Israeli defense
base, Ofer was one of the largest and most secure military facilities in the West Bank. As we moved toward the main building, we passed by several
armored tanks, which were shrouded by canvas tarps. The monstrous mounds had always intrigued me whenever I had seen them from outside the gates. They looked like huge, oversized boulders.
Once inside the building, we were met by a doctor who gave me a quick once-over, apparently to make sure I was fit to withstand interrogation.
I must have passed because, within minutes, the handcuffs and blindfold were replaced, and I was shoved back into the jeep.
As I tried to contort my body so that it would fit into the small area usually reserved for people’s feet, one beefy soldier put his boot squarely on my hip and pressed the muzzle of his M16 assault rifle
into my chest. The hot reek of petrol fumes saturated the floor of the vehicle and forced my throat closed. Whenever I tried to adjust my cramped position, the soldier jabbed the gun barrel deeper into
my chest.
Without warning, a searing pain shot through my body and made my toes clench. It was as if a rocket were exploding in my skull. The force of the blow had come from the front seat, and I realized that
one of the soldiers must have used his rifle butt to hit me in the head. Before I had time to protect myself, however, he hit me again, harder this time and in the eye. I tried to move out of reach but the soldier who had been using me for a footstool dragged me upright. “Don’t move or I will shoot you!” he shouted. But I couldn’t help it. Each time his comrade hit me, I involuntarily recoiled from the impact.
Under the rough blindfold, my eye was beginning to swell closed, and my face felt numb. There was no circulation in my legs. My breathing came in shallow gasps. I had never felt such pain. But worse than the physical pain was the horror of being at the mercy of something merciless, something raw and inhuman. My mind reeled as I struggled to understand the motives of my tormentors. I understood
fighting and killing out of hatred, rage, revenge, or even necessity. But I had done nothing to these soldiers. I had not resisted. I had done everything I was told to do. I was no threat to them. I was
bound, blindfolded, and unarmed. What was inside these people that made them take such delight in hurting me? Even the basest animal kills for a reason, not just for sport. I thought about how my mother was going to feel when she learned that I had been arrested. With my father already in an Israeli prison,
I was the man of the family. Would I be held in prison for months and years as he had been? If so, how would my mother manage with me gone too? I began to understand how my dad felt—worried about
his family and grieved by the knowledge that we were worrying about him. Tears sprang to my eyes as I imagined my mother’s face. I also wondered if all my years of high school were about to be
wasted. If I indeed was headed for an Israeli prison, I would miss my final exams next month. A torrent of questions and cries raced through my mind even as the blows continued to fall: Why are you doing this to me? What have I done? I am not a terrorist! I’m just a kid.
Why are you beating me like this?
I’m pretty sure I passed out several times, but every time I came to, the soldiers were still there, hitting me. I couldn’t dodge the blows.
 
The only thing I could do was scream. I felt bile rising in the back of
my throat and I gagged, vomiting all over myself.
I felt a deep sadness before losing consciousness. Was this the end?
Was I going to die before my life had really even started?

Mosab Hsassan Yousef
 
 http://sonofhamas.com/

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coptic Priest Fearlessly Spreading God's Word

Egyptian evangelist Father Zakaria Botros is one of the most controversial figures in the Middle East. He's a born again Coptic priest who's led thousands of Muslims to Christ via the Internet and television-- and militant Muslims want him dead because of that. Zakaria is perhaps the most hated man in the Middle East. He's confronting Islam with an "in your face style" of TV and Internet evangelism.
"Muslims are fainting. They are brainwashed," he said. "They believe that Islam is the most beautiful religion in the world."
"You cannot preach to him gently about your beliefs because he rejects all of them," Zakaria explained about his style. "You have to awaken him. And my method is a short, sharp shock. Which means an electric shock."
It's a jolt that's leading Muslims to critically examine their own faith, he added. Then they start posing questions to Islamic religious leaders. When they go unanswered, they begin to question their faith. That's the story of one woman on a Middle East talk show. She asked her co-host Sheik Jamal why Islam treats women as possessions to be used by men for sexual gratification.Zakaria said that part of her faith is hard to accept. His weekly 90-minute television program, Truth Talk airs Friday during prime time throughout the Middle East. It's broadcast on the al-Hayat satellite channel and is watched by nearly 60 million Arabs. Zakaria's Internet discussion show Pal Talk is broadcast online for six hours every Tuesday and Thursday. He recently celebrated his 75th birthday and says he's faced many hardships and challenges during his life journey. Perhaps the greatest affecting his spiritual walk was the tragic slaying of his older brother more than 60 years ago.
"He was not only a Christian, but he was a believer-- a true believer," Zakaria recalled.
Zakaria said when his brother was in his twenties he started to share Christ with anyone who would listen-- Coptics and Muslims alike. He was murdered by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in 1947. "They were very powerful in those days and they killed him," Zakaria said. "They cut his tongue and beheaded him. It was very hard."
The priest was a teenager at the time and inherited his brother's Bible. He said the notes written on the pages inside helped him to know Christ. Zakaria thought good works would help him get into Heaven. It wasn't until he studied the writings of Cyril-- the fourth century bishop of Jerusalem-- that he came to believe in redemption and salvation through grace. He fell on his knees and prayed. After that, Zakaria walked into another kind of service-- a ministry to Muslims that led to imprisonment and eventual exile from Egypt in 1989. He started Pal Talk while living in England and began his television broadcasts in 2003. Today, he is in hiding. Al Qaeda terrorists have placed a $60 million bounty on his head and that has made him cautious, but unafraid. "Because I believe that I am in the hands of God and He protects me and there is no fear," Zakaria said. "Jesus said don't fear and there are about 366 promises in the Bible, don't fear.
So, Islam's public enemy number one presses on.
"People see the program on the TV, but I see the hand of God's work among all of them in the heavenly TV," he said. "I see by faith what God is doing among Muslims today.
"I'll be so happy to have my life ended on earth because I will start my eternal life with Jesus Christ whom I love," Zakaria added.

*Original broadcast November 30, 2009.
By Gary Lane

Friday, March 12, 2010

Supranatural and the Bible


In the next few days we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In connection with that let's talk about the world of the dead from the biblical viewpoint.  Popular television shows like Supranatural, Ghost Whisperer, Ghost buster,  John Edward Show all seem to suggest that talking to the dead and communicating with spirits is quite possible. The question is…. Is there such a thing as a sixth sense or  Is it possible to communicate with the spirit in this real word?  Take a look what Bible say about talking to the dead and Supranatular world…

What Celeb’s Belief


Are you a fan who idolized one and imitative behavior of celebrities? Did you ever think about whether that becomes a rule/model of your celebrity idol? Let's find out what your celeb's belief. Below is an list of the belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fasting

On the Christian holyday known as Good Friday, observed the Friday before Easter, Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Many believers spend this day in prayer, meditation, repentance and fasting,  on the agony of Christ on the cross. Jesus himself affirmed in Luke 5:35 that after His death, fasting would be appropriate for his followers. Let's found Fasting example tradition on our Bible:


Michael W. Smith

Michael Whitaker Smith was born in Kenova, West Virginia, on October 7, 1957, the son of an oil refinery worker and a caterer. At age 5 he wrote his first song. At age ten he gave his life to Christ and he spent the

Bible software Recommendation

Here is my suggestion list for Bible Software:

11 Great Prayers

  1. The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15). Jesus taught this classic lesson in prayer to his disciples. We'll consider the Lord's Prayer phrase by phrase as a pattern for our own praying.

Angels We Know.


ANGELS - Angels are the messengers of God. When portrayed in art, they are always beardless, are sexless, have wings and are barefooted. Angels are used by God for a wide variety of purposes. The following is a list of things angels have been seen carrying or doing in art and architecture: palm branch, scroll, parchment or book (messenger); sword (archangel);

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

(Easter) Poem


Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia! 

Charles Wesley 1707-1788 








Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrow'd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom Thou diddest die
Being with Thy dear blood clean wash'd from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same again:
And for Thy sake that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

Edmund Spenser 1552-1599

Easter Bible vs Easter Pagan



Easter is another greatest Christian fest that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead who was declared Jesus as the Son of God (Roman 1:4). According to the bible, on the third day after Good Friday (the day of his crucifixion), mourners went to His tomb to collect His body. However, He was not there and they were greeted by an angel who said "He is Risen". So now called Easter Sunday, He rose from the dead! (John 20:1-10, Matthew 28;1-10, Luke 24;1-10, Mark 16;1-8).

Friday, February 26, 2010

ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF LARRY NORMAN IN ANOTHER LAND



BY ALLEN FLEMMING



First Baptist Church on Haight and Octavia in San Francisco 1952
Larry Norman stood up out of his seat and started for the altar. At the end of the row his father tried to stop him,

"Larry, where do you think your going?"
"To meet Jesus."
"You're five years old, now sit down."
"Dad, I know what Im doing."
Larry continued his way down to the altar where he met Jesus.



Salem, Oregon 2008

I got a phone message from Charles Norman, saying that if I wanted to see Larry before he left this world that I should come soon. I called back planning to tell him I would fly up from San Francisco the next weekend. Charles wife Kristin answered instead and said that I better come sooner. A few hours later I was on a flight to Oregon.

As I drove from the Portland airport to Salem,Oregon, I thought back to the time I had spent with Larry: the late night meals at all night restaurants where Larry spoke to complete strangers about the love of Jesus; the house church meetings in San Jose and Hollywood where he always seemed to be the one closest to the heart of Jesus.

God is..

  1. Eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Jeremiah 10:10; Psalm 90:2)
  2. Infinite. (1 Kings 8:22-27; Jeremiah 23:24; Psalm 102:25-27; Revelation 22:13)
  3. Self-sufficient and self-existent. (Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 50:10-12; Colossians 1:16)
  4. Omnipresent (present everywhere). (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. Omnipotent (all powerful). (Genesis 18:14; Luke 18:27; Revelation 19:6)
  6. Omniscient (all knowing). (Psalm 139:2-6; Isaiah 40:13-14)
  7. Unchanging or immutable. (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8)
  8. Sovereign. (2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 46:9-11)
  9. Wise. (Proverbs 3:19; Romans 16:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:17)
  10. Holy. (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15)
  11. Righteous and just. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 119:137)
  12. Faithful. (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 89:1-8)
  13. True and truth. (Psalm 31:5; John 14:6; John 17:3; Titus 1:1-2)
  14. Good. (Psalm 25:8; Psalm 34:8; Mark 10:18)
  15. Merciful. (Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalm 103:8-17; Daniel 9:9; Hebrews 2:17)
  16. Gracious. (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8; 1 Peter 5:10)
  17. Love. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8)
  18. Spirit. (John 4:24)
  19. Light. (James 1:17; 1 John 1:5)
  20. Triune or trinity. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Story Behind "Your Hands"

At the time when I wrote "Your Hands" (with the help of my husband and our friend Katie Herzig) I was in the middle of one of the most difficult times of my life. I had been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks for a few years, but I was at a point where I was either panicking, or wondering when my next attack would come.

I prayed that God would immediately remove all of my symptoms, but He chose not to answer my prayer that way. Instead, He reminded me that I have no reason to be afraid. The same hands that created the universe are holding me and leading me where I need to go.

This is a very personal song, but I've been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have connected to "Your Hands" and have been encouraged by it.

Peace.
*jj


Friday, February 19, 2010

Knowing God's Personal Name

Before I had a personal relationship with God's Son, I always called him by His title, Christ (Messiah). But once I came to know Him, I started calling Him by His personal name, Jesus (Yeshua). Which do you think He would prefer to hear: "I love you, Christ" or "I love you, Jesus"? I don't think there is any doubt.

God has a personal name. The biblical writers who had a personal relationship with Him used that name repeatedly in adoration and praise of Him. Why shouldn't we? He desires intimacy with us .. John 4:23
 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am Yahweh, My name is Yahweh." .  Exodus 6:2-3 
The name of God is Yahweh. Or, at least, that is the consensus of opinion by scholars. The reason there is doubt is because the name is rendered in Hebrew as YHWH. There were no vowels in biblical Hebrew, so the correct pronunciation cannot be determined from the text, and since the Jews developed a tradition of not pronouncing the name, its pronunciation was lost.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nostradamus, Prophecy and Hoax.

"Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness"  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

"And when they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Isaiah 8:19

Just three days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., Amazon.com reported on its website that three of the top ten best-selling books concerned the prophesies of Nostradamus, a 16th Century seer whom many claim prophesied modern events.
Within a week after 9/11, the Internet began to buzz with email messages about the attacks being the fulfillment of a prophecy by Nostradamus. The prophecy was quoted as follows:
"In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by chaos.
While the fortress endures,
The great leader will succumb.
The third big war will begin when the city is burning."
— Nostradamus, 1654
The "two brothers" were, of course, the Twin Towers in New York, and "the fortress" was the Pentagon.
The first problem with this "prophecy" is that Nostradamus died in 1566, 88 years before these particular lines were supposedly written. Second, Nostradamus wrote in quatrains — that is, four line verses. This stanza contains five lines. Finally, no such lines can be found in any of the published works of Nostradamus.
Several months after these lines appeared, it was revealed that they came from an essay about Nostradamus that was posted on the Internet in 1997. The essay was written by a student at Brock University in Canada. He fabricated the first four lines of the stanza to illustrate how easily an important-sounding prophecy can be crafted through the use of abstract imagery. He pointed out how the terms he used were so deliberately vague that they could be interpreted to fit any number of cataclysmic events.
It now appears that someone took this illustrative example from this essay and then added the fifth line about a world war. A fabrication was thus further enhanced by another fabrication. In short, the "prophecy" was a complete hoax.
But that wasn't the end of it. Someone quickly added another verse to the quotation:
"On the 11th day of the 9th month,
Two metal birds will crash into two tall statues
In the new city,
And the world will end soon after."
At least it was a quatrain. But it was just as bogus as the original "prophecy."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Don't Read Horoscopes


(a note from Susanna Samuel)

Deuteronomy 18:9-13  When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God.



HOW ABOUT YOU? Do you read horoscopes to see that kind of day you can expect? it's a dangerous thing to do. Maybe you think you're reading it just for fun, but it's easy to replace God's word with words written by people. God wants to be YOUR SOURCE of ADVICE, COMFORT, & HELP. He sternly forbids the use of things like fortune-telling or witchcraft to try to find out how your day is going to be like, the type of person you are or what your future looks like. Listen to God and leave the horoscopes alone.

God, Logic and Science


'Let me explain the problem science has with God.'

The atheist  professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Absolutely.'

'Is God good?'

'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

'Yes'

'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues.
'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer,
even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can
you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

Sebuah Paradox tentang iman..


Kamu bilang:"..itu mustahil!"
Tuhan bilang:"Apa yang tidak mungkin bagi manusia, mungkin bagi Allah." (Lukas 18:27)

Kamu bilang: "Aku sangat lelah oleh ber-beban berat"
Tuhan bilang: "AKU akan memberikan kelegaan dan menanggung bebanmu!." (Matius 11:28-30)

Kamu bilang: "Tak seorangpun mengasihiku (hiks..)"
Tuhan bilang : "AKU Mengasihimu! (Yohanes 3:16 ; Yohanes 13:34)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak dapat meneruskan ini.."
Tuhan bilang : "Jangan memaksakan diri, AKU hanya menilai sesuai ukuranmu.. (II Kor 12:9 ; Maz 91:15)

Kamu bilang: "Saya tak dapat mencari jalan keluar"
Tuhan bilang :"Aku akan menuntunmu (Ams 3:5-6)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak sanggup melakukan itu.."
Tuhan bilang : "Kau mampu melakukan segalanya.. (Phil 4:13)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak memiliki kemampuan"
Tuhan bilang : "AKU akan melimpahkan kasih karunia padamu.. (II Kor 9:8)

Kamu bilang: "Itu akan sia-sia"
Tuhan bilang : "...Itu akan berguna bagiKU (Roma 8:28)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak dapat mengampuni diriku sendirif"
Tuhan bilang: "AKU mengampunimu (I Johanes 1:9 & Roma 8:1)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak bisa mengusahakan kebutuhan"
Tuhan bilang : AKU akan memenuhi segala keperluanmu... (Fil 4:19)

Kamu bilang: "Aku takut"
Tuhan bilang : AKU tak pernah memberimu roh ketakutan (II Tim 1:7)

Kamu bilang: "Aku selalu kawatir dan Frustasi"
Tuhan bilang : "Serahkan kekawatiranmu padaKU (I Petrus 5:7)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak memiliki iman yg cukup"
Tuhan bilang: "AKU mengukur iman sesuai dng kemampuanmu(Roma 12:3)

Kamu bilang: "Aku tak cukup pintar"
Tuhan bilang: "AKU memberkatimu dengan Hikmat.." (I Kor 1:30)

Kamu bilang: "Aku merasa kesepian"
Tuhan bilang: "AKU tak pernah meninggalkan dan menelantarkanmu" (Ibrani 13:5)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adat Batak


…Tulisan ini akan menyentuh hal-hal yang sangat sensitif di hati orang Batak, yang mungkin akan dapat membangkitkan rasa marah dan benci bagi sebagian orang. Tetapi penulis berketetapan hati di hadapan Tuhan Yesus untuk memberitakannya.

Kehidupan masyarakat dibelahan Timur dipenuhi dengan berbagai jenis upacara adat, mulai dari masa dalam kandungan, kelahiran, penyapihan, perkawinan, penyakit, malapetaka, kematian dan lain-lain. Upacara-upacara di sepanjang lingkaran hidup manusia itu di dalam antropologi dikenal dengan istilah rites de passages atau life cycle rites. Peralihan dari setiap tingkat hidup ditandai dengan pelaksanaan suatu upacara adat khusus yang didasarkan pada pemikiran bahwa masa peralihan tingkat kehidupan itu mengandung bahaya gaib. Upacara adat dilakukan agar seseorang atau sekelompok orang terhindar dari bahaya atau celaka yang akan menimpanya. Sebaliknya, mereka memperoleh berkat dan keselamatan. Inilah salah satu prinsip universal yang terdapat di balik pelaksanaan setiap upacara adat itu. Beberapa life cycle rites yang dijumpai pada masyarakat Batak Toba di antaranya: mangganje (kehamilan), mangharoan (kelahiran), martutu aek dan mampe goar (permandian dan pemberian nama), marhajabuan (menikah), mangompoi jabu (memasuki rumah), manulangi (menyulangi/menyuapi), hamatean (kematian), mangongkal holi (menggali tulang belulang), dll. Pada masyarakat Batak lainnya (Karo, Simalungun, Mandailing, Angkola, dan Pakpak (Dairi), upacara tersebut memiliki sebutan-sebutan yang berbeda.
Persoalan besar dan sangat penting yang dihadapi oleh seseorang yang memutuskan untuk sungguh-sungguh mengikut Tuhan Yesus adalah: apakah dia masih boleh terlibat dalam upacara adat Batak yang berasal dari masa ketika leluhurnya hidup dalam kegelapan rohani (haholomon) dan penyembahan berhala (hasipelebeguon). Permasalahan tersebut muncul ketika Injil Tuhan Yesus diberitakan pertama kalinya oleh para Missionaris di Tanah Batak, dan terus berlanjut hingga masa kini. Persoalan ini belum tuntas diselesaikan, baik sewaktu Pdt. I.L. Nommensen masih hidup, pada masa gereja dipimpin para Missionaris penerusnya, maupun pada masa pimpinan gereja berada di tangan orang Batak sendiri. Nommensen mencoba membagi upacara adat atas tiga kategori, yaitu: Adat yang netral , Adat yang bertentangan dengan Injil , Adat yang sesuai dengan Injil. Sebelum masalah itu tuntas, beliau mengambil kebijaksanaan untuk melarang keras dilaksanakannya upacara adat Batak oleh orang Kristen Batak, termasuk penggunaan musik dan tarian (gondang dan tortor) Batak.

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