“The Hunger Games” wasn’t the only film to hit box office paydirt this past weekend. Although it only opened in 390 theaters, the anti-abortion drama “October Baby,” starring John Schneider,earned the second-highest-per-screen average, bringing in almost $2 million in ticket sales.
“I was shattered when I first learned about the story. I was moved and mesmerized. I wasn’t an activist, I was just someone who was shattered by the truth,” director Jon Erwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “Here is our little film, small budget, in the top ten (at the box office). We are thrilled, blown away.”
“October Baby” follows the emotional journey of a young woman who learns that she was almost aborted, but at the last minute was instead given up for adoption. The film almost didn’t see the light of day.
“This film couldn’t find a home, no studio wanted to touch it. It was considered too controversial,” Erwin continued. “There was a real moment of despair at one point, the film wasn’t finished and nobody would take a look at it. But every time we screened it, it attracted such intense emotional reactions. So we had to raise the money ourselves, and the release process took much longer than we wanted.”
According to Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of the Christian movie site Movieguide.org, the success of “October Baby” can be attributed to a strong Christian and moral world view that touched the hearts of those who saw it. He says it’s important for more audiences to have the chance to see it, too.
“All who see it should be transformed, so considering the importance of the message, everyone should see it,” he said. “It needs more theatrical exposure.”
Erwin said they are hoping for a wider release next month, and communities are so desperate to see the film they are forming “action squads” in which Christian schools, churches and residents are coming together and agreeing to buy a certain amount of tickets to cover costs.
“We don’t have the deep pockets and resources that big studios have,” Erwin added. “So we have to take the long approach. But people are really getting behind this and rallying. People identify with it, that’s why the film worked.”
– From Prophecy News Watch
A judge has stopped a Christian from using human rights arguments in his legal case against his employer who demoted him because of his moderate comments about gay weddings in churches.
The ruling was handed down last week by District Judge Charles Khan at Manchester County Court.
Adrian Smith will continue his legal action, claiming breach of contract, but the judge’s ruling will fuel concerns that the rights of Christians are being relegated.
The ruling also comes amid deep national controversy surrounding the government’s plans to redefine marriage.
Critics of the plans are concerned that people who believe in traditional marriage could find themselves on the wrong side of the law if the legal meaning of marriage is changed.
Smith’s legal case against his employer can still proceed, but the judge’s ruling means that he cannot rely on his human rights. He will continue to argue that his employer is in breach of contract. The case is likely to be heard in the summer.
Smith was a housing manager at Trafford Housing Trust (THT) when, on Feb. 13, 2011, he posted a link on his personal Facebook page to a BBC news story entitled “Gay church marriages get go ahead” and added his own comment: “an equality too far.”
The comment was made on his personal Facebook page, in his own personal time, and was only visible to his Facebook friends and their friends.
Two colleagues read his Facebook comment. One of them posted a response asking Smith: “Does this mean you don’t approve?”
On the evening of Feb. 14, Smith posted: “I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church. The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women. If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience”.
The comments were brought to the attention of Smith’s employer, and he was disciplined. He was demoted from his position as housing manager and his salary was reduced by 40 percent. He unsuccessfully appealed against the decision.
Smith’s situation hit the headlines in October last year. The government’s Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, said THT’s actions were “excessive and disproportionate.” Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell agreed and has offered to appear as a witness in Smith’s defense.
Smith is taking legal action against THT. Public bodies are bound by the Human Rights Act in all of their activities, including their employment practices. THT provides social housing for Trafford Council and is a hybrid body—both public and private.
Lawyers for Smith said its employment practices were part of its public function, and therefore the Human Rights Act applies. Smith’s lawyers pointed out that THT disciplined him because it was worried about its reputation in relation to its public function of providing social housing.
But lawyers for THT say its employment practices are part of its private functions. The judge agreed with THT and struck out that aspect of Smith’s case.
Smith’s legal case will proceed without the human rights arguments. It is being financed by The Christian Institute, a national charity that defends the religious liberty of Christians.
A spokesman said: “This ruling, while not fatal to Smith’s case, is deeply concerning. It reinforces the widely held perception that Christians are not afforded the same human rights as others. If the shoe were on the other foot, if an employee had been disciplined for advocating gay marriage, it is inconceivable that human rights arguments wouldn’t apply. This ruling is particularly relevant at the present time, as the government is planning to redefine marriage. Many people who believe in traditional marriage are worried that they will be penalized for their beliefs.”
– Prophecy News Watch
April 1, 2012
“Thoughtcrimes” — opinions and ideas that oppose the status quo — were pursued and punished by the Thought Police in the future world described by George Orwell in his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Could politically incorrect thought be declared illegal — a type of “hate” crime against individuals or the State — someday in America? Since much of Christian thought seems to be considered politically incorrect these days, might it also be declared hate speech?
Although such notions may seem the stuff of futuristic science fiction, just last week, Big Journalism ran a column with the subtitle “Shorter Ann Curry: Your religious beliefs represent hate speech!” The column by John Nolte described Curry’s recent NBC Today interview with Christian actor Kirk Cameron.
What did Cameron say to deserve Curry’s “attack”? When, a couple of weeks earlier, the actor was asked his views on gay marriage by CNN’s Piers Morgan, Cameron, within a much longer answer, made these particular statements: “I think that it’s unnatural. I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of our civilization.”
Morgan immediately shot back that he found Cameron’s views “destructive,” but Curry instead wandered down the lofty road of imagined consequences when she asked Cameron: “Do you feel any responsibility saying words like that, that might encourage people to feel that it’s okay to treat — mistreat gay people?”
Cameron never even used the word “hate,” yet Curry asserted that “many people are suggesting that this is hate speech.” Then she asked Cameron, “Are you encouraging people to feel hate towards gay people?”
And there you have it. The futuristic sci-fi plot laid out, in real life, in March of 2012 on NBC:
Christian publicly asserts Christian beliefs; beliefs are politically incorrect speech; speech equals hate; hate encourages mistreatment; encouragement equals crime…
Although Curry didn’t complete the plotline by mentioning the word “crime,” this wasn’t the first time she read from a similar script. Last September, reporting on the suicide of a gay teen, she fretted: “Do you think our churches, our politicians and other adults who adhere to an anti-gay message enable some of this hate?”
The consequences of the Curry/Cameron exchange were not lost on Nolte:
What Ann Curry did to Kirk Cameron this morning is the first phase of that war [on the Christian Church]: The shaming campaign. On national television she brought the actor on to declare his religious beliefs hate speech that will encourage others to “mistreat gay people.”
We all know what the next step is, and that’s the outlawing of these opinions under the principle that the speaking of such things will cause harm to others.
This, of course, would mean the end to the church — which is the whole idea.
Glenn Beck’s recent program focused on what he also sees as an assault on the church, covering the atheist “Reason Rally” and other events supporting his claim that Christians and God are “under attack.”
GLAAD argues that LGBTs are under attack, and the organization has published an “accountability list” of Christian commentators who use “violent anti-LGBT rhetoric” and express “extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.” Prominent Christian activist and founder of Prison Fellowship Chuck Colson wrote this about being included on that list:
[GLAAD's] definition of “gay bashing” is skewed. For them, anything short of renouncing the historical Christian teaching on sexuality is akin to hate. If I say that homosexual sex is a sin, they say I’m hateful. Yet I also say that pre-marital sex is a sin, as is drinking too much. Is that hateful, too?
Dear Miss Manners recently sided with a reader who “politely” labeled certain politicians’ opposing views on gay marriage as “abhorrent,” “bigoted,” and demonstrating a “lack of intelligence.” At least Miss Manners was also too polite to use the hate-word or infer that the politicians’ opinions would encourage violence, although others in the mainstream have characterized religious opposition to Obama’s contraceptive mandate as a “war on women.”
Labeling Christian ideas as hatred is apparently nothing new, as Deacon Keith Fournier noted:
The early Christians were not persecuted for their “religion” but for being “enemies of the State”. They were charged with “odium humani generis” [hatred of the human race]. We are witnessing contemporary Catholics and other Christians being accused of creating a climate of “hate” in much the same way.
The Roman historian Tacitus recorded the accusation of “hate” by the Christians during a time, as described by Fournier, when Romans “practiced primitive forms of abortion as well as ‘exposure,’ the killing of unwanted newborns” and “sought to make [homosexual] relationships normative.”
In a highly volatile nutshell that seems to have existed for over 2,000 years, we have Christians who are inspired to speak what they feel is God’s truth in love, opposed by those who claim that Christians’ words are hate and incite harm.
The power of words was examined in a previous column on American Thinker, which noted that whoever is the master of words wields great power over the narrative of our nation and the slant of its conversation.
Who is the master over the definition of the word “hate”? What is “politically correct”? Does the media or GLAAD or the majority of Americans get to define that, or are all views protected under the Constitution and its guarantees of free speech and free exercise of religion? What is the definition of Christianity? Of religion? And further, what is the meaning of “freedom of religion?”
“With the exception of Catholics and others in the religious community that closely follow such issues, few people took note of the Obama administration’s rhetorical shift from ‘freedom of religion’ to ‘freedom of worship’ in 2010,” observed columnist Ken Connor in his analysis of the implications of the contraceptive mandate.
Is there a distinction? The shift, while consisting of only one word, “moves [religious] dialog from the world stage into the physical confines of a church,” argued Catholic Online editor Randy Sly. The significant difference in meaning was also noted by Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George:
Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.
Yet the war of words in the battle to protect the freedom of religion continues. Nolte viewed the contraceptive mandate as a “dry run” “to force a left-wing agenda on the church,” and Connor saw the mandate as an intentional “bait and switch” in an “unprecedented attack” that advances “a left wing ideology that is increasingly hostile to religion”:
Indeed, there are some who believe that President Obama’s true motive has less to do with birth control and more to do with government control, sending the message that it is not God but the State that is the final authority on questions of personal conscience and morality.
Apparently, the politically correct view (for the time being) is that it is fine, commendable even, to be a Christian and attend church on Sundays — but during the rest of the week and outside the church, Christian doctrine is tolerable only when it advances the progressive definition of correctness. Even symbols hanging on the outside of the church’s walls have been deemed “too offensive” — at a worship tent in a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, the cross was banned from display; this week, the gay pride flag flew over the base.
Commentators defend Obama’s avowed Christian faith, but then they fret that other openly Christian politicians, if elected, might impose some sort of theocracy. While the example and leadership of the president in religious matters is important, the much greater power of the establishment and mainstream media over the control of our nation’s narrative cannot be ignored.
Our nation’s founders held “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” and appealed to the “Supreme Judge of the world,” declaring that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights by our Creator. A couple of hundred years later, do Americans instead look to the government as the giver and definer of our rights and judge of our thoughts? Is Big Brother the final authority?
Although it may seem as though our actions, our words, and even our thoughts are increasingly being watched by the State, there is one thing — the most important thing — that Big Brother cannot control: the faith that God is even bigger and is watching over everything.
Sefer Torah scroll opened to Leviticus, with a Torah pointer (yad).
Welcome to this week’s Torah study, which is called Parsha Tzav (Command!)
Please read with us this portion of Torah that will be read in synagogues
around the world during this week’s Shabbat (Saturday) service. We know you
will be blessed!
Leviticus 6:1–8:36; Jeremiah 7:21–8:3, 9:22–23; Hebrews 10:19–25
“These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering,
the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the
fellowship offering, which the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai in the Desert of
Sinai.” (Leviticus 7: 37–38)
Jerusalem: the Dome of the Rock sits on the Temple Mount where the First
and Second Temple once stood. In the background is the Mount of Olives,
where Yeshua (Jesus) appeared to His disciples after His Resurrection. He
also ascended into Heaven from this spot, and Orthodox Jewish rabbis
know that according to the Messianic prophecy of Zechariah 14:4, this
is the exact spot where the Messiah will arrive when He comes to earth.
In the book of Acts, the angels tell the desciples that from this place where
Yeshua accended to heaven, He will also return. (Acts 1:9-11)
Last week’s Parsha, God gave to Moses the laws of the korbanot
(animal and meal offerings). Those offerings include the olah (ascending offering),
minchah (meal offering), shelamim (peace offering), chatat (sin offering for
unintentional sin), and the asham (guilt offering).
In this week’s Torah portion, God describes the different laws of sacrifices,
providing a distinction in the processes for sin offerings, burnt offerings and
God also gives the priests an ordination offering.
While such offerings seem strange, even outrageous, to modern man,
understanding them ultimately helps us to understand what Yeshua (Jesus)
did for us on the tree (cross), and why His death was necessary.
These offerings also shed light on the New Covenant (New
Testament), in particular the challenging Epistle to the Hebrews.
Young woman reading from the Torah scroll.
Torah of the Burnt Offering
“The Lord said to Moses: ‘Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the
regulations [Torah] for the burnt offering.’” (Leviticus 6:8–9)
The burnt offerings, which are blood sacrifices of innocent animals, impressed
upon the penitent the seriousness of their sin before God.
Tzav describes the burnt offerings which were offered every morning and evening
on a fire that burned continually.
“The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go
out.” (Leviticus 6:13)
That eternal flame is a good analogy for our love for God. Let us tend to the
fire in our heart for God and never let it go out.
An Orthodox Jewish man praying at the Western (Wailing) Wall
Suffering Outside the Camp
“The High Priest [Cohen Hagadol] carries the blood of animals into the Most
Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And
so Jesus [Yeshua] also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy
through His own blood.” (Hebrews 13:11–12)
Leviticus specifies that the Cohen (priests) were to carry the ashes of the
burnt offerings outside the camp (Leviticus 8:11).
In prophetic fulfillment of this, Yeshua (Jesus) also gave himself as an
offering outside the gates of the camp.
Although, we are required to go ‘outside the camp to Yeshua’ where we may
become objects of reproach and be considered unclean, we are in God’s sight
holy as He is holy.
“Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.” (Hebrews 13:13)
Although we might be hated by men, and sometimes feel defeated and downcast, we
know we are deeply accepted by our Beloved Father in Heaven (Ephesians 1:6).
May God so fill you with the deep knowledge of His love that you will be
willing to suffer outside the camp and stand alone in the Truth if need be.
God delights in you!
A street party in Haifa
Thank Offerings – The Sacrifice of Praise
“If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank
offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil,
wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour
well-kneaded and mixed with oil.” (Leviticus 7:12)
The peace offering of thanksgiving is so important that when King David brought
the Ark of God back to its place in the Tabernacle, the first thing he did was
offer burnt offerings and peace offerings.
He also appointed some of the Levites to minister before the Ark of the Lord,
to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel with psalms, stringed instruments,
harps, cymbals and the shofar.
“He [David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the
Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” (1 Chronicles 16:4)
Tehillim (the Book of Psalms in Hebrew)
God is good, merciful, faithful, and He has done so much for us.
There are times when all we can do is stand in awe and say, ‘Thank you Abba (Father).”
Thank offerings are regarded by the Rabbis as a supreme type of sacrifice.
According to Rabbinic tradition, in the Messianic Era, all sacrifices will have
completed their educational mission – all except the one duty of gratitude.
This sacrifice of praise is to remain and continue forever.
Even in eternity, we will be singing with the angels, “Give thanks to the Lord
for He is good and His mercy endures forever.” (Hodu l’Adonai Ki tov; Ki
A Jewish man who is draped in a tallit (prayer shawl) reading from the
Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures).
“Through Jesus [Yeshua], therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice
of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
Offering our thanksgiving and praise to God is perhaps, the greatest sacrifice
we can give – especially when things don’t seem to be going our way and our
flesh doesn’t feel like praising and thanking the Almighty.
“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I
may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)
Gratitude is so important. Becoming a truly thankful person is transforming!
We need to notice the good things that God does for us each day, and cultivate
an attitude of gratitude for those people God has placed in our lives.
Albert Einstein, the most famous Jewish physicist said, “A hundred times every
day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other
men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the
measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
We are so thankful for you–our ministry partners–people who love God
and the Jewish people, and are determined to stand with Israel. You are such a
blessing to us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945), who was a Lutheran Pastor killed by the
Nazis in WWII for his stand for the Jews, said:
“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we
give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. It is very
easy to overestimate the value of our achievements in comparison to what we
A busy street in Jerusalem on a Friday afternoon right before Shabbat.
The Consecration of Priests
“Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of
Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his
right foot. Moses also brought Aaron’s sons forward and put some of the blood
on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the
big toes of their right feet.” (Leviticus 8:23–24)
In the eighth chapter of Leviticus, we read that Moses consecrated Aaron and
his sons to serve the Lord by taking the blood of the purification offering and
putting it upon their right earlobe, the thumb of his right hand, and the big
toe of his right foot.
This represented the consecration of the entire body for the priestly service.
It also provides an important lesson for the type of lives we are to lead as Believers.
To live a consecrated life, we must have the following:
- Consecrated ears that are attentive to God;
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
- Consecrated hands that are ready to do His will and the good works He has
pre-appointed for us to perform;
“…bearing fruit in every good work…” (Colossians 1:10)
- Consecrated feet that continually walk in His holy ways
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.” (Psalm 37:23)
The Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem at dusk.
The Haftorah (Prophetic Portion)
“When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just
give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this
command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in
obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”
(Jeremiah 7: 22–23)
In the Haftorah (prophetic) portion of Tzav, the Prophet Jeremiah denounced
mechanical acts of worship that were combined with ungodliness and
God’s blessing comes with worship accompanied by real obedience.
It remains a central teaching of the Tanakh (Old Testament Jewish Scriptures)
that God desires obedience and a right heart rather than empty compliance to
the sacrificial system.
Yeshua (Jesus) also drew attention to the problem of going through the motions
of worshipping God, when the heart was in reality far from God.
Quoting Isaiah 29:11, He said, “These people honor me with their lips, but
their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but
rules taught by men.” (Matthew 15: 8–9)
Reading from the Sefer Torah at the Western (Wailing) Wall
The people of Israel held an almost superstitious belief that Temple rituals
would guarantee their spiritual security, even while being divorced from God’s
moral laws regarding justice and righteousness.
As followers of Yeshua, we can fall into the same trap, believing that going to
a congregation and singing worship songs equals a right relationship with God.
Worshipping God is so much more than “punching in and out of the time clock”
at congregational services.
Religious ritual cannot justify us or save us.
If we want to progress in our spiritual journey, to move forward, and not
backward, then God has to be our beginning, end, and centre. We need to obey
God at all times (Jeremiah 7:24).
Secular Israeli Jewish boys visiting the Kotel (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that our sin nature resists God.
“For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws
[Torah], and it never will.” (Romans 8:7)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; … And I will put my
Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my
laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26–27)
Nevertheless, in Messiah Yeshua we are transformed into a new person, and our
innermost being comes to desire a life that follows in the footsteps of the
Master to do His good works, and to also share the Gospel of His love with
Shabbat Shalom from all our ministry staff!
This message was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org from:
Bibles For Israel | P.O. Box 8900 | Pueblo, CO 81008
Watchman declaring: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
There Goes A Christian
“These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation:’ (Acts 16: 17).
“Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm:’ (Dan. 6: 3).
Such was the influence of Ron Davies, the missionary who was later killed in Kashmir, that his mere passing through a coffee¬room caused a university undergraduate of pronounced Unitarian views to exclaim: “There goes a Christian.” The most prejudiced had to admit the loveliness of his life.
Morley Punshon has aptly said: “Don’t let the question ever be asked about you, • Is such an one a Christian?’ The very necessity to ask suggests a negative answer. Some painters in the rude times of art are said to have put under their works, • This is a horse.’ Of course! it was necessary for no one could possibly recognise it without being told. But it is a poor sign when either a work of art or a work of grace needs to be labelled. Who thought of asking where Moses had been when he came down from the mount? They looked at him, and they saw the glory.
Let your consistency be thus steadfast and pure. If you know that the • writing is signed’ which will throw you upon the world’s pity or cruel scorn because you will keep your conscience inviolate, take heart from the example of Daniel. Don’t shut your lattice window. Men may ridicule you, but they will respect you notwithstanding. And if they do not, you can afford to do without their good opinion, while God looks down upon you with complacency, and the light of His countenance shines, broad and bright upon your soul.”
From scheme and creed the light goes out, The saintly fact survives;
The blessed Master none can doubt Revealed in holy lives.
“He answered him to never a word.”
He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men, but he would not say a single word for himself. “Never man spake like this man,” and never man was silent like him. Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice? Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us? Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin? Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge. Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence. The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom. Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning. Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.
“He shall see his seed; he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
Plead for the speedy fulfilment of this promise, all ye who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God’s own promise. How can he that gave the word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless his Son, his covenant binds him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give him. Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draweth near, when the Crucified shall receive his coronation in the place where men rejected him. Courage, you that prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory. Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own wants, your own imperfections, your own trials, but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ himself, and then, as you draw nigh to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of thy dear Son.” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by labouring to promote the Lord’s glory.
– Bible Gateway.Com
Posted: 31 Mar 2012 02:18 PM PDT
By Barry Rubin
It is the year 2012, which seems to be going by very fast and is already one-fourth finished. People are walking around with smart phones and all sorts of electronic devices undreamed of not long ago. There has been what is called an “Arab Spring” stoking fantasies about instant democracy. An African-American was elected president of the United States, and that was after his party’s nomination, and thus probably the White House, almost went to a woman!
Times have changed.
Yet the hysterical hatred for Israel in the Arabic-speaking world and among Muslims in general has only increased; the philosophy of rejectionism is as strong as ever or, put another way, even stronger. Indeed, it is no longer safe, and certainly isn’t comfortable, for Jews in much of Europe and even, for those who support Israel, on American college campuses.
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Two examples of how the lynch mobs are out in force in places where formerly they were least present.
In previously moderate Tunisia, now under Muslim Brotherhood rule, thousands of Salafists paraded, chanting to kill the Jews in order to enter paradise. The new Tunisian constitution contains a provision that the country could never recognize Israel. Almost a half-century ago, Tunisia’s then leader was the first Arab politician to call for recognizing Israel. We’re still waiting.
In Morocco, perhaps the overall most moderate country in the Arabic-speaking world, a meeting of the Mediterranean Parliamentary Union was held. Israel, which has a parliamentary system and is on the Mediterranean (I can see the sea from my roof), is a member of this group. Consequently one Israeli attended the meeting. The result was a riot in which thousands of Moroccans assaulted the building and the leader of the ruling Islamist party complained at how the country’s soil had been tainted.
I won’t bother citing a thousand other examples. But with the triumph of revolutionary Islamists and the throwing down the memory hole of decades of disastrous Arab anti-Israel policies, the Arabic-speaking world is becoming more radical on this issue. It is now joined by Turkey and Iran.
They hate us; they despise us; they want to kill us.
In this situation there is a strong temptation for Westerners to say that if only Israel didn’t exist (radical version) or if it made huge concessions (liberal version) then all of the problems in the Middle East would go away and all the region’s conflicts with the West would go away, too.
And in this situation there is a strong temptation for Western Jews to say that if only Israel made more concessions on territory or tore down the settlements there would be peace; hate would turn into love or at least benign indifference, and all the problems of the Jews would go away.
And in this situation there is a total temptation for Western leftists—including a disproportionate number of Jews among them—that if only Israel disappeared or made huge concessions than socialist utopia would come speedily in our time.
In fact, for the first time in history we are seeing a concerted, well-funded campaign to destroy the base of support for Israel among American Jews. It is rather ironic that this is happening in 2012.
After all, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, southern Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and parts of the West Bank. Since 1993, Israel has not established a single new settlement nor expanded the geographic size of existing settlements. Israeli governments offered (twelve years ago!) to accept a Palestinian state in all of the Gaza Strip, almost all of the West Bank, and in much of east Jerusalem.
And so on.
Now we are told by the highly publicized and very smug that if only there is an economic boycott of settlements, Israel will be saved.
We are not told that if only there is a willingness among Arabs and Muslims to make peace, plus the total defeat of the revolutionary Islamists, peace is far more likely to be achieved.
That real solution has two differences from the first one:
–There is literally nothing we can do, no concession or risk, which will bring about that outcome.
–Thus, we do not have the power in our hands to resolve this conflict. We can stand up, sit down, walk by the way, or return to the 1967 borders and it won’t matter.
About 25 years ago, I was convulsed with laughter when covering a Palestine National Council meeting in Algeria while watching a young American Jewish Peace Now kid try to explain to a group of Fatah guys that they really did just want a state of their own to live alongside Israel. They kept explaining to him that this wasn’t the way they thought at all. They wanted “all of Palestine from the river to the sea.”
This well-meaning boob thought he knew better than the Palestinians what was their actual political stance.
It is not comforting to acknowledge that there simply isn’t going to be any formal peace agreement or end of the conflict. I won’t say “never” but I’m pretty sure for the next 30 to 50 years, and somewhat less certain for the rest of this century.
But, of course, in time antisemitism in Europe went away—oops! It didn’t, but you know what I mean.
Does saying these things make me “right-wing”? Not at all. It is also the consensus position of the great majority of left-of-center Israelis and it should be the position of liberal Jews in other countries. The whole point is that this is not a matter of our will or preference or program but something that is being forced upon us.
Sure, I want a two-state solution, but not as a launching pad for the next round of would-be genocide. I want the ideal solution of peace and good neighborhood but I don’t expect that is going to happen. Not my fault; not our fault.
Let’s face reality, stop blaming ourselves, and get on with our lives. Let us improve Israel’s society, economy, and culture. Of course, let’s also defend ourselves. Let us try to preserve as much as possible of the rapidly disappearing Jewish people. And if you want to boycott someone, why not start with those who insist on remaining our enemies and who would like to murder us?
Makes sense to me.
PS: In this sermon Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch says all these things in a very articulate and persuasive manner. You can also read my more detailed assessment of the blame-Israel-pretending-to-support-it-while-trying to subvert-its-existence crowd and those innocent and well-meaning people fooled by them.
A different version of this article was published in the Jerusalem Post. Please read and link to my version above.
“The Muslim Brotherhood nominated its chief strategist and financier Khairat el-Shater on Saturday as its candidate to become Egypt’s first president since Hosni Mubarak, breaking a pledge not to seek the top office and a monopoly on power,” reports the New York Times. “Because of the Brotherhood’s unrivaled grass-roots organization and popular appeal, Mr. Shater, 62, a multimillionaire business tycoon who was a political prisoner until just a year ago, immediately became a presidential front-runner. If he wins the June election, the Brotherhood, a previously outlawed Islamist group, would control the presidency, the Parliament and the committee writing the new constitution, moving toward a confrontation with Egypt’s military rulers over the country’s future. His candidacy is likely to unnerve the West and has already outraged Egyptian liberals, who wonder what other pledges of moderation the Brotherhood may abandon. The Brotherhood is also engaged in a standoff with the military over its calls to dissolve the military-led government, and the degree of civilian oversight of the military in the new constitution. The Brotherhood’s participation also turns the election into a referendum on the role of Islamist politics in post-Arab Spring governments that is sure to resonate across the region. Mr. Shater faces Islamist rivals to his left and right — one a more liberal former Brotherhood leader, the other an ultraconservative Salafi. Indeed, the Brotherhood may have entered the race in part because a win or near win by either rival Islamist would badly damage its authority as the primary voice of the Islamist movement in Egypt….An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to comment specifically on Mr. Shater but called the nomination a worrisome turn. ‘Obviously this is not good news,’ the official said. ‘The Muslim Brotherhood is no friend of Israel’s. They do not wish us well. The big question will be how pragmatic they will be once in power. It could go in either direction.'”
(photo: “The Muslim Brotherhood nominated its longtime strategist Khairat el-Shater in the Egyptian presidential election.”/Moises Saman for The New York Times)
Mar 31, 2012 02:31 pm | Robert
This is yet another example of the cultural and societal initiatives I wrote about at length in my 2008 book Stealth Jihad: Muslims demand special accommodation for Islamic law and practice, and reinforce the principle that wherever Islamic law and practice and American law and practice conflict, American law and…
Mar 31, 2012 02:24 pm | Robert
Islam forbids unmarried people of the opposite sex to mix unchaperoned. Will the Islamophobia never end? “Boy, girl killed in Afghan acid attack ‘over friendship,'” from AFP, March 31 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): GHAZNI — A 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been killed in an acid…
Mar 31, 2012 01:59 pm | Robert
Why not? Do you think they would have hesitated to prosecute if a “right wing extremist” had threatened to blow up the White House? “Obama Administration Won’t Prosecute Saudi It Claims Threatened to ‘Blow Up White House,’” by Edwin Mora for CNS News, March 29 (thanks to Barbara): (CNSNews.com) -…
Mar 31, 2012 01:58 pm | Robert
Willy Brigitte is a convert to Islam who misunderstands his new, peaceful faith. “Militant who targeted Australian nuclear plant held in France,” from Australia Network News, March 30 (thanks to Kenneth): A man convicted five years ago of planning an attack on an Australian nuclear plant is said to be…
Mar 31, 2012 01:34 pm | Robert
The Obama Administration continues its war against the truth about Islam and jihad. If any of this material was really inaccurate, then certainly it should have been removed. One wonders, however, who was judging its accuracy — was it Muslim Brotherhood-linked operatives intent on whitewashing uncomfortable truths about Islam? Or…
Mar 31, 2012 01:24 pm | Robert
Delivered in mosques all over the nation’s capital city, this sermon was based on Qur’an 5:82, which says that the Jews will be the worst enemies of Muslims. It’s noteworthy that this sermon was delivered in Malaysia, half a world away from Israel: clearly the Malaysian enmity for Jews is…
Mar 31, 2012 12:58 pm | Robert
It is good to see Italy upholding the principle that all those within its borders are subject to the same law. That principle is eroding in Western states today, under pressure from Sharia advocates. “Supreme court sentences non-Italian father for child abuse,” from ANSA, March 30 (thanks to all who…
Mar 31, 2012 12:45 pm | Robert
We have seen several reports about Muslim support for the Jew-killing jihad murderer Merah. We have not seen any reports about Muslims speaking out against him and against Islamic antisemitism in general. Yet the official government and media narrative is that only a tiny minority of extremist Muslims are violent,…
Mar 31, 2012 10:57 am | Robert
AFDI/SIOA Calls for Congressional Inquiry on Obama’s Sabotage of Israel’s Defense Against Iran NEW YORK, March 30, 2012 / Christian Newswire/ — A prominent national human rights organization is calling for Congress to open an inquiry into allegations that Barack Obama has leaked information to the press in order to…
Mar 31, 2012 10:11 am | Robert
They’re not sure which ones, but they know it involved Misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace. “Three deadly explosions hit Yala in southern Thailand, officials say,” from the BBC, March 31 (thanks to A): At least eight people have been killed in three explosions in the southern Thai province of…