Endtimesencouragementnews

Encouragement for End-Times Endurance brings you a look at current events around the world from a biblical perspective, including how they might be connected to Bible prophecy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Of Jehu, Manasseh, and the 2016 Election



I woke up this morning to some new news ...

(Donald Trump had won the presidential election) and to some old news... (another 3,000+ babies were going to be killed today, while in their mothers' wombs). Both the praises and the laments for the former are LOUD, while the laments for the latter can barely be heard.

Much of the evangelical church jumped on the Trump Train, hailing him as perhaps a modern day version of Cyrus (The Persian king appointed by God [Isaiah:28-45:13] to release the Jews from captivity so they could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple [2 Chronicles 36:22 - Ezra 1:8; 5:13 - 6:14]). I suppose there is some expectation that Donald Trump will be the one to release us from the captivity of the liberal/leftist/progressive/fascist elements of society, including an oversized and oppressive federal government.

May I submit that Israel's captivity had been both proclaimed by God (through His prophets), limited by God, and ended at the hand of the man appointed by God even before that man was born. So I wouldn't get too caught up in the Cyrus analogy. Perhaps a better analogy can be found in Jeremiah 8. There Jeremiah refers to the impending desolation of Jerusalem and Judah as if it had already occurred. Their fate would be the result of the people's stubborn rebellion and sin. Jeremiah's prophetic vision caused much sorrow, yet while he spoke doom and judgment, false prophets were predicting peace. The kingdom had arrived at a place described in these words:
     "'Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed,    Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment They shall be cast down,' says the Lord."  (Jeremiah 8:12)

"So what does this have to do with Jehu, Manasseh, and Josiah?" you may ask. Jehu was one of the kings of Israel, appointed to be anointed by Elijah (1 Kings 19:16-17) but actually anointed by Elisha (2 Kings 9:1-13). All of Israel's kings did evil in the sight of God, yet among them Jehu was most pleasing to God.
       "And the Lord said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin." (2 Kings 10:30-31)

The main purpose for which God had placed Jehu on the throne was to obliterate the house of Ahab, including bringing wicked Jezebel to her prophesied demise (2 Kings 10:30-37). Perhaps Donald trump's appointed task is to bring judgment upon the Clinton Crime Family. This is just speculation on my part, but the analogy is pretty clear.

Now for Manasseh and Josiah. Here the analogy is stretched a bit regarding the players, but it holds strong as to the over-arching principles. Manasseh was a king in the southern kingdom of Judah. He was extremely wicked...
      "He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, "In Jerusalem I will put My name." 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger."  (2 Kings 21:4-6)  "Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord." ( 2 Kings 21:16)

Because of the sins of Manasseh and Judah, God said that he would destroy Jerusalem and take the people into captivity. This began with Manasseh himself being taken captive by the Assyrian army, a hook being put in his nose, and being taken prisoner to Babylon. It was there that Manasseh humbled himself greatly before God and sought His favor. God heard his prayers and restored him to Jerusalem where removed all of the idols and places of pagan worship. (2 Chronicles 33:11-17) It is important to note that in spite of God's mercy towards Manasseh, which extended to all of Judah, even to 4 generations (although it proved that even the most vile of sinners can find grace through genuine humility and repentance) did not negate the nation's sin of shedding innocent blood. Thus after the 2 year evil reign of Amon, the righteous 31 year reign of Josiah (which included genuine revival), the 3 month evil reign of Jehoahaz, there began the 11 year evil reign of Jehoiakim. It was during this time that the Babylonian invasion began which would ultimately result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews. The Bible's own commentary as to why this calamity fell upon God's chosen people follows:
       "Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon." ( 2 Kings 24:3-4)

I am no more concerned with timing than Isaiah was when he prophesied the Babylonian invasion/captivity during the reign of Manasseh. Manasseh ruled Judah for 55 years - longer than any king before or after him. His sins ushered in the beginning of an Assyrian invasion, resulting in Manasseh being taken to Babylon. His repentance brought about a reprieve followed by a reformation, and several years later actual revival. There is no doubt in  my mind that the USA is as guilty of the shedding of innocent blood as was Manasseh and Judah. We have been doing it for over 43 years now, and God will judge that. When and how are up to Him.

It is interesting to note that the USA has been undergoing an invasion of people from a foreign land whose countenance is fierce and whose ideology of world conquest is veiled by a thin veneer of religion. I speak of Islam. Perhaps there will now be a temporary halt to the invasion. Perhaps there will be some reforms. Christians are well-known for dusting off 2 Chronicles 7:14 periodically, but the fruit of repentance remains sorely lacking. The continued genocide with the church's passive permission continues.

I am encouraging evangelicals everywhere, from the prominent TV figures down to the members of small village churches to take up the banner of Personhood. There may never again be a window of opportunity to put this national sin of abortion behind us and legally declare that personhood, and all of its due process protections, begins at the moment of conception. Whether Donald Trump is a modern day Cyrus, or representative of a repentant Manasseh, the duty of the church to be salt and light remains the same. As part of that, the "3.1.10 Initiative" (contacting our 3 congressmen at least 1 time per month to pass a Personhood Bill, and urging at least 10 friends to do the same) will be moving into high gear. I'm confident that Donald Trump will sign into law such a bill. May our efforts going forward outweigh our passivity of the past. In Jesus' Name!











Thursday, January 21, 2016

World News Through the 3rd Lens: Connecting the Dots

What do evolution, abortion on demand, same sex marriage, and Islamic terrorism have in common?

 The Scopes Monkey Trial, was an American legal case in 1925 in which a substitute high school teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school.[1] The trial was deliberately staged to attract publicity to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, where it was held. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant.
Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (equivalent to $1,349 in 2016), but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. (Wikipedia)
While the verdict itself proved indecisive, it opened Pandora's Box and over the next 35-40 years the theory of evolution was accepted more and more as true science and the teaching of it crept into every aspect of society. Creationism was swept aside, not even given a place as an alternate theory. Science books touted evolution, and its corresponding ancient earth (millions or billions of years old) theory; government and privately funded research projects at universities were built upon this premise; and the language of "40 million years ago this, and 250 million years ago that" became common everywhere natural history was displayed. Evolution became the science of the religion known as Secular Humanism, and of political systems such as Communism, Marxism, and Fascism. God was being squeezed out of all expressions of public life.
The anti-God crowd had several willing spokespersons. Madelyn Murray O'Hair is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963. This came just one year after the Supreme Court prohibited officially sponsored prayer in schools in Engel v. Vitale. It would take an encyclopedia to list all of the attempts to eliminate and public reference to the "Christian God" of "the God of the Bible" since then. They continue non-stop up to now, with no letup in sight.
So with evolution our national science, and God on the outside looking in, is it any wonder that man would be lured into codifying his position in the process of natural selection? Behind the scenes, Margaret Sanger, in 1921, opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY and founded the American Birth Control League. The name was changed to Planned Parenthood in 1942. Planned Parenthood championed eugenics, its founder being a rabid racist. While disguised by a lot of double-speak, the core thinking was that the black race was inferior and it should be eradicated, so why not accelerate the natural selection process. Such thinking under girded what became known as Nazism in Germany, only the inferior races included all Jews.
Do you see where this is going? In the USA, the idea that all life sprang from some random combination of proteins in a primordial soup, attacked the common concept that all human was sacred and valuable. Soon the attacks would turn into victory with the Roe v. Wade decision (by the Supreme Court, 5-4) on January 22, 1973. Since then some 60 million babies have been murdered while in or emerging from their mother's wombs. This doesn't count the number of babies killed while in the germinal stage of life by the morning after pill. All the while, a disproportionate (approximately 3:1) number of black lives are snuffed out by abortion.
Disregarding, on a national level, the fact that all human life comes from and reflects the image of the Creator has just led to more strange concepts and practices. One of them is to disregard God's definition of marriage as between one man and one woman for life. Little by little, the pressure from a segment of the population which numbers about 1-2% pushed for recognition of same-sex marriage until it became the de facto law of the land because of a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in the Obergefell v. Hodges case on June 26, 2015. It would be fair to assume that polygamy, incest, and dozens of other perversions will push for their day in court should the Lord's Second Coming be delayed.
 

 

Scripture declares "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34 "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." Psalms 33:12 The Bible contains many Scriptures which state that god will judge the nations. One with end-times significance is "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations." Joel 3:12 It is quite possible that God has been gradually judging the USA as we have gradually been turning from Him. Be that as it may, there are, and have been, natural consequences stemming from our unnatural national decisions. There are now millions fewer productive workers contributing to a more robust economy and contributing to the Social Security Trust Fund. Consequently the over-65 portion of our population has been increasing an to a degree is being supported by contributions from a shrinking workforce. Same-sex marriages do not naturally produce babies, and so the situation is further aggravated.
Now where does Islamic terrorism fit in? In ancient Israel, ultimate judgment for their rejection of God (often referred to as whoring after other gods) came at the hands of another nation (Assyria, Babylon, Rome). When God spoke concerning the coming destruction of Babylon by the Medes, He said, "Surely I will fill you with men as with locusts and they shall lift up a shout against you." (Jeremiah 51:14) This nation must beware of its enemies and Islam has declared itself as such. Islam is comprised of people described as "Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.  The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace." (Isaiah 59:7-8) Because of various government practices, some intentional and some by bureaucratic ineptitude, the camel of Islam has gotten its nose in the American tent.

Since 1991 it has been known that the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood is to implement social jihad in this country. The MB stated plan (General Strategic Goal In North America 5/22/1991) is to unite those who believe in their work of destroying America from within. Then rule over them. At the same time The Immigration and Nationality Act passed June 27, 1952 revised the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality for the United States. That act, which became Public Law 414, established both the law and the intent of Congress regarding the immigration of Aliens to the US and remains in effect today. Among the many issues it covers, one in particular, found in Chapter 2 Section 212, is the prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by "force, violence, or other unconstitutional means." This, by its very definition, rules out Islamic immigration to the United States, but this law is being ignored by the White House.

The Islamic invasion may not be God's final judgment upon America because she has rejected God on a national level, but it certainly seems to be part of that judgment. The irony is, the very same government which has spurned God is the government opening the doors to an evil people bent on our destruction. As though given over to a strong delusion, the government of the United States is poised to shoot itself in the foot, and perhaps the heart. "Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter." (Isaiah 59:14)

The American Christian must "...Take heed that no one deceives you." (Matthew 24:4) Jesus has told us what would happen before hand, not to scare us but to prepare us. "But he who endures to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13)





















 

 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

World News Through the 3rd Lens: Islam, the Constitution, and the Bible

Islam has been around for 1400 years...

yet in 2015, in the age of social media, everyone seems to be talking about it. It's not just social media either. In a recent edition of the Johnson City Press, the front page banner read: "Vigil seeks prayer for Muslims, refugees. One of the vigil organizers said that in the face of many anti-Muslim headlines of late, their group would be "standing in solidarity with them, supporting them as good people and Americans." She also said, "It's unfortunate that so many Americans are judging those who practice Islam by their absolute extremists, but don't do so with Christianity," as she pointed to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Robert Dear who is charged in the recent Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs,

Normally I would be the last person to criticize others for organizing a prayer vigil, but this one prompted so many questions and comments, I just could not let it pass.

     How do the acts of Timothy McVeigh and Robert Dear equate with extremist Christianity?
     Where is the Muslim community in all this?
     If more than 90% of Muslims in this country are moderate, why don't we here them proactively speaking out in support of the US Constitution and assimilation; against sharia law and special privileges?
     Why is there a difference in Islamic expression depending on the percentage of Muslim population in a given town, region, or state?
     Why are organizations like CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood given either a free pass or special privileges, in spit of written documents exposing their goal of overthrowing America?
     Why was Iran not only given an unbelievable boost in the attainment of their nuclear goals, all the while spewing epithets at the USA (great Satan) and Israel (little Satan)?
     Why was Iran recently praised by Secretary of State Kerry as being compliant with the terms of the nuclear agreement, when Iran has just tested medium range ICBM's in violation of two UN resolutions?
    
Those are just a few questions for which we should not seek answers, but our congressmen should be seeking/giving answers too?

Now for a few comments, and I'll be done (for now).

     The following document should be mandatory reading for all 535 members of Congress and for all Cabinet heads. Each one should be required to make a written commentary which constituents can access.



“ A N E X P L A N A T O R Y M E M O R A N D U M  O N  T H E  G E N E R A L
S T R A T E G I C  G O A L  F O R  T H E  G R O U P I N  N O R T H  A M E R I C A ”
 
The above Muslim Brotherhood document was entered
 

into evidence in the U.S. v Holy Land Foundation trial, and is

 
a primary source threat document that provides new insights into
global jihad organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
 
     The US government should take note of the fact that organizations like Open Doors consistently reveal "The one glaring fact that emerges from this report is that the overwhelming majority of Christian persecution around the globe today is being committed at the hands of [fundamentalist] Muslims of all races, languages, cultures and socio-political circumstances"
 
 
    
The
US government should make it a practice of looking at laws which are already on the books, and then enforcing those laws, rather than make new ones which are more politically correct. For example:
The Immigration and Nationality Act. passed June 27, 1952 and became Public Law 414, states in Chapter 2 Section 212 the prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by "force, violence, or other unconstitutional means." It also prohibits the entry of Aliens who are members of or affiliated with any organization that advocates or teaches, the overthrow by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means of the US or of all forms of law, and Aliens who publish, circulate and distribute materials teaching or advocating the overthrow by force, violence or other unconstitutional means of the US Government or of all forms of law.

This by its very definition would rule out Islamic immigration to the US, but this law is being ignored by the White House and by presidential candidates who think it divisive and reprehensible to ban the entry of those whose ideology is Islamic. All Muslims who attest that the Koran is their life's guiding principal subscribe to submission to Islam and its form of government. This is not religious discrimination because Islam, disguised as a religion, seeks to bring all people under submission to Sharia. It is in their Constitution, the Koran, which commands Islamists to conduct violence against or to kill those who do not submit to allah and the prophet--at least 109 times, in context.

  Isaiah 59:7 "Their feet run to evil, and they make hast to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths."
 
  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you." Matthew 24:4



 
 
 
    

 


    

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Santa, the Sword, and the Star

Syncretism - the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought

The picture to the left would be viewed by many as absurd, and by others as blasphemous. An Islamic Christmas tree! Of course not! Yet for decades, we in the western world have thought that we could engage Islam in economics, military aid, and a seat at the geo-political round table and that eventually they would become so enamored with our values that they would adopt them. Syncretism would carry the day. After all, Islam is just a religion, the free practice of which is tolerated in any democratic society. So here near the end of 2015 we should be asking ourselves, "How's that working?"

You see, Islam is much more than a religion; it is an economic system, a judicial system, and a geopolitical system. With respect to the latter, it is committed to world domination. It is a system where church and state are one; where adherence to "the faith" is maintained with threats of death to all who would depart. In spite of all that, there is a place for syncretism within Islam, because Islam views lying to advance the cause as a moral virtue.

As the Islamic community gains a foothold in the midst of a different culture, lies will be told over and over again to mask the real aims of Islam. Here in the United States, the lies have been institutionalized under banners of such organizations as C.A.I.R. (Committee on American/Islamic Relations).  Following the gruesome murders in San Bernardino yesterday, CAIR in a news release said, "We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured...The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence." A family member of one of the shooters expressed shock at a CAIR news conference. The twisted mindset, however, emanates from the Koran, which repeatedly instructs followers of Islam to kill infidels. While it is a nice gesture for CAIR to issue such statements of condemnation, it is scant window-dressing and propaganda. It is a step back from true Islam, employing syncretism, until a more advantageous time.

Syncretism and Christianity

Although the following words of Jesus Christ are found in the New Testament, they were spoken to an Old Testament people, in an Old Testament economy. "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men..." (Mark 7:8)

Paul would spell out a similar principle to the New Testament Church, which would apply to us today, in the 21st Century. "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

Keeping those two Scriptures in mind, let's look at two streams of Christianity. One stream abandons virtually all of Christianity's Hebrew roots while the other embraces them. Each stream involves syncretism to varying degrees. Much of the modern church, while reveling in the grace that has set us free from the Law, has at the same time syncretically embraced its own set of observances, which almost carry the weight of law. Volumes could be written about this subject, but we'll mention only one.

     Christmas

At some other time we will explore Christianity's syncretic approach to Easter. For now, because "'tis the season" we will look at Christmas. To suggest that the church should not celebrate Christmas would be tantamount to heresy, yet consider...

     While we freely abandon the commandments concerning the Sabbath and the Feasts of the Lord, we add Christmas as something to be observed, in spite of the fact that neither Jesus nor any of the Apostles commanded us to do so.

     The date, December 25th, has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.


           "In the fifth century, the Western Church ordered it [speaking of Christ’s birth] to be observed forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol [who is the sun god], as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed" (Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 edition, "Christmas").
          Shepherds would not have been watching their flocks by night in the middle of winter in Judea. Historically, the flocks would have been kept in a sheltered area at this time of year.
          It would have been the worst time of year to have people travelling for the purpose of taking a census.
          Historians calculate that the course of Abijah mentioned by Luke 1:5, during which Zacharias served, happened from June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200). When you do the math, Mary would have conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit when Elizabeth (wife of Zacharias) was 6 months pregnant with John (the Baptist). Fast forward and Jesus would have been born sometime during the last two weeks of September.
     So the church observes the birth of Christ, which we were never commanded to do, on a date that finds its origin in the birth of the Roman sun god, avoiding the biblical evidence concerning the approximate date of Christ's birth. Add to that all of the other traditions surrounding Christmas and you have very compelling evidence that syncretism has been a part of the church for centuries.

Conclusion

The point of this blog is not to play the Grinch and steal Christmas from anyone. It's only purpose is help you, the reader, discover that many things have been added to our Christian faith and practice that are not biblical, yet we passively accept them. This is syncretism. Contract this with Islam, which has on purpose embraced non-Islamic practices at times and places. This syncretism, while not usually displayed by hanging scimitars on trees topped with crescent moons, enables Islam to be welcomed into societies as a non-threatening minority. The first to show their true colors are said to be "radicalized." As numbers increase, what was once radical becomes normal.
The warning to the church is also the same. What was first embraced by a few radicals (heretics) becomes normal a generation or two later. You've seen it; you can imagine it.
 

Jesus is the Reason for Any Season!


 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving (To whom? For what?)

Thanksgiving...

To whom? For What?

On my way to a meeting this morning, Glen Beck on the Patriot Channel on Sirius XM Radio announced that Turkey had just shot down a Russian war plane and that World War III had begun. NATO would be holding an emergency meeting in two hours in Brussels, a city still on extended lock-down because of terrorist threats. The US Department of Homeland Security had just issued a warning to all travelers to be on the alert this extended holiday weekend. And JC Penny announced that, for them, Black Thursday would begin at 3 P.M. And the verse of the day on my Bible app reads: "but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57

As I reflected on this verse, I remembered that it was written as the conclusion of Paul's defense of the resurrection. He had made the point that if there were no resurrection then Christ could not have been raised from the dead. If that were true, then we (Christians) would be the most miserable of all people, still dead in our sins and trespasses. Many Christians walk around in the shadow of the cross, overlooking the significance of the empty tomb. If Jesus had only died, claiming that His death was for the remission of our sins, but had not risen from the dead, at the end of day He would have been nothing more than a dead liar.

Paul even makes the outrageous claim that if Christ had not risen from the dead, it would be better to embrace the Epicurean philosophy ("Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die.") than to embrace Christianity. But Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead. Paul had already presented incontrovertible proof of that fact, leading to the next fact: we too shall be raised from the dead. That is both good news and bad news.

Some of us remember the old Schlitz (?) Beer commercial: "You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can!" It was a modern take on Epicureanism, and at it's core was the lie that when you die, that's it. Eternal nothingness! But the truth is, all will be raised from the dead, some unto everlasting joy and some unto everlasting torment. It all depends on what we do with this Jesus. Do we believer in His atoning death; justifying resurrection? Do we confess (accompanied by obedience) His Lordship and do we believe He is coming again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

If the answer is "Yes!" then there is a glorious eternity awaiting us. Current events are not so alarming, because as we pray, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!" we understand that things on planet Earth must wax worse and worse until He does. We understand that things like wars, famines, and earthquakes will increase in both intensity and frequency. Apostasy will increase within the visible church while the true church will be purified in the fires of affliction. There is the side of our prayer that we verbalize and the side we internalize. One cannot happen without the other.

It is with that truth in mind that we can "speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," Ephesians 5:19-20 And... "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18








Friday, November 20, 2015

The Refugee Conundrum (Pt. 2)

The Refugee Conundrum (Pt.2)

Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question


This blog may seem to be a bit disconnected unless you first read the one posted yesterday (November 19, 20150). Moving on from there, I notice that many of my Christian friends have suggested that we should welcome refugees of any and every ilk based on...
     "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same."  (Romans 13:1-3)

So let me ask a number if questions, all pertaining to life here in the USA. Who are the governing authorities? Whimsical, egotistical men or duly enacted laws? Are these men or laws operating within the guidelines of God's authority? Are these men/laws a terror to good works or to evil? Put another way, are these men/laws promoting good or evil? If our good works receive praise from these men/law, does that not assume that these men/laws are good?

While you're mulling over those questions, please allow me to introduce you to a Federal Law that, until a few hours ago, I had no idea existed. The following is a reprint of a blog from a respected friend, Bill Wilson (The Daily Jot, November 20, 2015). I have gone to the website and the pdf document. This is accurate as far as I can tell.

     "Islam, by law, is prohibited from US immigration
      The Immigration and Nationality Act passed June 27, 1952 revised the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality for the United States. That act, which became Public Law 414, established both the law and the intent of Congress regarding the immigration of Aliens to the US and remains in effect today. Among the many issues it covers, one in particular, found in Chapter 2 Section 212, is the prohibition of entry to the US if the Alien belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by "force, violence, or other unconstitutional means." This, by its very definition, rules out Islamic immigration to the United States, but this law is being ignored by the White House. 

      The laws prohibits entry of "Aliens who the consular officer or the Attorney General knows or has reason to believe seek to enter the United States solely, principally, or incidentally to engage in activities which would be prejudicial to the public interest, or endanger the welfare, safety, or security of the United States." It also prohibits the entry of Aliens who are members of or affiliated with any organization that advocates or teaches, the overthrow by force, violence, or other unconstitutional means of the US or of all forms of law, and Aliens who publish, circulate and distribute materials teaching or advocating the overthrow by force, violence or other unconstitutional means of the US Government or of all forms of law. 

      Islamic immigration to the US would be prohibited under this law because the Koran, Sharia Law and the Hadith all require complete submission to Islam, which is antithetical to the US government, the Constitution, and to the Republic. All Muslims who attest that the Koran is their life's guiding principal subscribe to submission to Islam and its form of government. Now the political correct crowd would say that Islamists cannot be prohibited from entering the US because Islam is a religion. Whether it is a religion is immaterial because the law states that Aliens who are affiliated with any "organization" that advocates the overthrow of our government are prohibited. It also prohibits those who distribute literature that advocates the overthrow of our country, which would include the Koran. 

      In fact, there are many verses in the Koran that command Islamists to kill those who do not submit to allah and the prophet. If Congress so desired to hold the White House accountable to the current immigration of refugees (which also must comply with the law), it has the Immigration and Nationality Act to cite. The Administration is breaking that law. The question is "does Congress have the political will to do something about it?" Or shall we be a nation like that in Isaiah 59:14 where, " justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." I think you know the answer, at least for now. But there are a handful of Congressmen who are studying this. Pray."

      To read the law, go to this link and scroll down to Chapter 2, Section 212: 
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-66/pdf/STATUTE-66-Pg163.pdf

In the vetting process, all middle-eastern people should be asked these questions:
     1. What is your religion?
     2. If the answer is Islam, the next question should be, "Do you uphold the teachings of Mohammed, the Qur'an, and the Hadith?
     3. If 1 and/or 2 are answered "yes" then admittance to the USA should be denied.
     4. If 1 and/or 2 are answered "no" then further vetting should be conducted unless reasonable proof of another religious following is provided. It is virtuous, according to the Qur'an to lie for the purposes of furthering the objectives of Islam. 
 
In the realm of common sense, just look at various sections of Europe and the USA where Muslims have gained a plurality. Suddenly "No-Go" zones are established and Sharia Law is imposed on the residents. Democracy and the First Amendment are embraced wholeheartedly by Muslims until they have the numerical strength to do otherwise.

Next I want to share with you a biblical principle which is at odds with the growing principle driving the federal government - that is that all direction and provision needs to trickle from the top down. This can be summarized in the short quip: "Big brother knows best." The Bible, however, espouses a bottom-up principle.
     "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." ( 1 Timothy 5:8 )
     The ESV Study Bible commentary says, "Provision for one's own family is a spiritual issue of utmost importance. Failure to live out the gospel in this way is tantamount to a denial of the faith.
     "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." ( Galatians 6:10 )
     While this is not to the exclusion of unsaved friends, co-workers, and people in another land, our allegiance to God and His Kingdom finds its primary focus in family and the church.

If you would like to help Christian refugees from the middle east (which the present administration has relegated to the back of the line), go to the following websites to find out how...
http://www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org/    Check out the site, go to donate and do as you're led. I know William Murray - he is a man of integrity, not afraid to tell the truth. Another one is...
http://www.mercuryone.org/ although some of you might have a problem with the fact that Glen Beck is involved with this project.

With respect to helping a veteran, I would suggest finding some place local to do that good work.

As always, cover every endeavor with prayer...
     "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." ( 1 Timothy 2:1-4 )








 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Refugee Conundrum (Pt. 1)

The Refugee Conundrum (Pt. 1)

Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question.

 

According to Scripture, the world's first refugee was Cain, who just happened to be the world's first murderer (Genesis 4:9-12). His status as a "wanderer and a fugitive" was the result of a self inflicted disaster caused by jealousy of his brother and disobedience to God. This is not to say that all refugees find themselves in that status for the same reasons, but it does set precedence: all refugee situations are intrinsically bound up in strife, turmoil, or pending danger.

The world's entire population following the great flood was centered in Babel. God dispersed them to the for corners of the earth by confounding their language. For the most part they continued to migrate into unpopulated areas of the globe, some staying and building cities as they went. Centuries later, Abraham, "Father of the Faith" (Romans 4), left Ur of Chaldea, not as a refugee, but as part of a family pilgrimage. They camped out in Haran for a while, and then God spoke to Abraham, saying, "Go... to a land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1). Shortly after reaching that land (Canaan) a famine broke out and Abraham and company became refugees as they travelled into Egypt. The story is filled with perceived danger, lying, and deceit. Ultimately Abraham left Egypt a blessed man - no doubt due to the unconditional promises God had made to Him.

Two of the world's largest refugee and resettlement scenarios involved the Jewish people. In 722 BC Assyria utterly defeated the northern kingdom of Israel, deported all of the people and resettled the land with foreigners (2 King 17). Later, over a period of 20 years between 605 BC and 586 BC., Babylon thoroughly defeated the southern kingdom of Judah. Most of those who were not killed were deported to Babylon.

We could go on and cite other biblical examples. Each one makes for interesting reading, but we find it difficult to come up with a biblical mandate as to how to treat refugees. Some have gone to the New Testament citing the parable of the good Samaritan, or Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem. Neither of those are refugee situations. Mary and Joseph and the Christ child did sojourn in Egypt as refugees for a season until it was safe to return to Nazareth. That is more a story of a father being obedient to God for the protection of his family than it is a story of refugees. 

To develop a biblical response to the refugee crisis the world is facing, it requires one to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as a doves (Matthew 10:16). It also requires one to view the situation from both a national perspective and from a personal (Christian) perspective. From a national perspective it is very difficult to ferret out the truth from the lies, the different political agendas from Constitutional duty. The Declaration of Independence includes these words:

     "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by   their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

The government of these United States of America, as presently constituted and functioning has all but forgotten the Creator and has undertaken such policies and practices over the past fifty-five years to remove Him from public discourse. Furthermore, the three branches of Government have made it possible to legally murder and eradicate from our midst some 57 million of it most vulnerable citizens. The genocide has not stopped, in spite of scientific advancements confirming the biblical fact that human life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5). It has not stopped because one political party or the other is in the majority. It has not stopped in spite of the public display of the ugly horrors which take place in the abortuaries. So I have little faith in a government when it parades the refugee crisis as something which requires our humanitarian response, that they are not just leading us into the inevitability of Divine judgment.

I have little faith in a government which has imposed unbearable burdens upon its citizens by running up debt that not even three generations could pay, and by deceitfully increasing the cost of essential services, calling it the Affordable Care Act (which includes, unless one is able to successfully fight it, provisions for abortion). I have little faith in a government which disregards nature and nature's God and begins to meddle with the fundamental building block of an orderly society - the family, which includes at its core the marriage of one biological man and one biological woman united in the covenant of marriage. Pandora's box has been opened and there is no telling what perversions will become normalized before Almighty God says, "Enough!"

We have never been perfect, either as individuals or as a nation, but for decades there was always an effort to honor God. As long as we did, it was obvious that God was "shedding His grace on us." Now, in wholesale numbers, even people who profess to be of the household of faith have adopted and sanctioned practices which are clearly abominable to God (Romans 1:18-32). So I believe that what may appear to some as a humanitarian act [opening our borders to the floodgate of people, most of whom are adherents to a religious/social/political system (Islam) bent on world domination through virtually any means possible] would be to invite terror to our very doors. I would try to prevent this using the same effort with which I try to prevent abortion on demand.



That said, if a Syrian refugee were to settle in my village, or even in the house next door, I would do my best to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them, always looking for fruit indicative of genuine repentance. In the meantime, I'm not going to just rant about the government being willing to spend billions for refugees while ignoring the plight of many of our veterans. I'm going to look for more ways to help veterans, including bringing the Gospel to them. And... I'm going to place an order for Gospel Tracts written in Arabic and Farsi.
     "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4