Why Donald Trump is Hated (and why it won’t go away)

The American public routinely becomes testy with the sitting President of the United States, maybe it’s boredom, maybe the culture has just moved on. In the 1940’s folks were disgusted with Franklin Roosevelt’s grandiose notions of his assuming a four term kingship. They hassled Harry Truman over his not-so-savory buddies. They fumed about General Eisenhower’s 3% inflation. Three percent??? Oh for the day!The many-sided Donald Trump

John Kennedy lowered taxes which the statists did not like. Johnson increased the debt and blacks lost their homes in record numbers. Nixon made everybody mad and the Media gained too much power thinking it could elect and remove politicians at will, and perhaps it can. President Jimmy Carter refused to kowtow to elites and Ronald Reagan refused to kowtow to the press.  George Bush #1 made the mistake of compromising, Clinton made sexual license seem like an innocent game and they hated George Bush #2, because, well they just did. Finally inert Barak Obama inaugurates the nadir of life and culture, especially economic decay. Average household loss during his years was $40,000 which he tried to blame on others, and he added a crushing economic load of taxes and regulation. Barak means in the original language “blessing” – well maybe not.

All this public kvetching usually occurs in the second term. But poor Donald Trump has not had one minute of approbation except from his dismayed followers.

The Bible says there is a spiritual cause for everything. So we are not to look to the newspaper or TV for the answers.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This Bible is two books; the Old Testament outlines the moral law, which means that everything it says is true whether you know it or follow it or not.  It applies just as equally to the dictator of North Korea as it does to the Governor of Maine.  Old-timers called this Natural Law, meaning it happened anyway; just sit back and watch.

The New Testament, in addition to its key message of salvation of the soul, tells how individuals and nations can apply the moral law to their decisions and behavior to improve on human life. The Protestant Reformation caught this message and went full bore ahead. Our world today is a reflection of this theology in practice.

At the same time our morals have deteriorated at an exponential rate, as Robert Bork wrote, Slouching toward Gomorrah; not so, we are racing there. The 50 years from 1950 to 2000 represent a wiping away of most of the assumptions that the natural law applies to us.  To wit: the wildly successful and profitable abortion industry which has slaughtered more than Murder for Hire, some 117 million babies according to estimates since legalization in 1973. But legal does not mean moral and it’s the moral law under siege here. Shabby attempts to call babies “tissue” have actually failed, but we are stuck with the law, the statistics and millions of women trying to hide guilt.

Divorce had many causes after World War 2, not the least being the dearth of males in the USA and a lopsided system of leaving women poor with child custody. Generations of poor children then became the unhappy and disconnected rebels of the late 60s and on. Today these confused, partly homeless latch key kids are now gender confused.

Churches are losing members, the one place where morals were once taught, but now someone be offended.  Heaven help us that God should offend us! Sodomy is OK now too, even embraced by churches and decaying denominations who know that sodomites have more money to spend because they don’t have children, and there is always that mortgage to pay. Reminds you of selling indulgences, doesn’t it?

Defacing monuments, as a ruse for erasing history, is still public vandalism. History is not your enemy; history is morally neutral and changing it can’t be done. Hitler tried to erase Jews. The Palestinians tried to erase the Holocaust. The Civil War is real and that’s that.

Gunning your car through a group of citizens is still attempted murder; oral sex still results in an increase in mouth cancers; opioid pills no matter how obtained, stolen or prescribed, still kill in large, unchecked numbers; maryjane is still no lady and she still seduces unsuspecting kids into drug addiction if they have addictive personalities as so many do. Adultery, child abuse, animal abuse are all too common, all taken in stride, the mother’s milk of drama and news.  It is hard to be shocked anymore but it is still evil only now they call it something else.

Weak willed hypocritical Congressmen are still exposed by their forked-tongue votes; people who make a business and practice of hate, public or private are still reprobate anarchists in spite of media white washing; Sharia Law is still a gross violation of human decency no matter how many football fields and other emoluments the Islamists finance for local schools; the world is filled with more George Soros’ just ready to do what he has done if he is gone. Spiritual wickedness in high places is not about humans or humanism, although humanism has made anti-human life possible and acceptable. It is about evil on the throne of a culture.

Enter Donald Trump 2016. Why is he so hated? The answer is plain.  The Media and the licentious generations of the last 50 years fear he will restore the Moral Law as the Law of the Land. To acknowledge Donald Trump is to acknowledge one’s moral depravity, or at least its tacit acceptance in the public square. We can’t have that; we can’t change because change means admitting what you can’t face about yourself.

Trump can’t restore the Moral Law of course, because it already rules whether the president is Mr. Trump or Maxine Waters. It rules not just individuals but also nations and the inanimate universe as well.  The collapse of law and order and the noxious culture of f-bombs filling the airways are the visible results

Your panicky efforts to be rid of the moral law won’t work; and Donald Trump can’t restore it either. The human race is stuck with truth.  Donald Trump has done the one thing modern men cannot tolerate; he told the truth.  The truth can make you free, if you can accept it. The Media will not accept that. Truth-tellers will be crucified, as you well know.

That war is now being fought out in our public streets, a valley of decision for each individual. Where will you stand?

Open Letter to Queen Elizabeth

Some television documentaries about Elizabeth, the longest reigning monarch in British history, the most popular, the most traveled and apparently the most resilient, have crowded PBS this summer.  They call these programs panegyrics because they really are over the top. What caught my eye was her statement that after her exciting life, heaven would be a “come down.”

Madam, I need to tell you about heaven.  Not only is it no come down it is so off the charts you will be astounded. You will be 33 years old and you looked great then.

You like horse racing? Well this time you are not the spectator, you can be the jockey. You like Corgis. In heaven you can have 100 of them if you prefer, although even there that may be too many. You can eat ice cream any time you want. No annoying paparazzi will photograph you; no one will ask your opinion, and your name won’t be Queen, so no one will call you Ma’m.  You’ll be Betty Windsor or something like that. You can walk anywhere in heaven and people won’t bother you. You’ll never be required to wear a hat with a matching handbag again.

If you want to walk on the bottom of the sea, I will join you when I get there. If you want a sit down with Henry the Eight, if perchance he is there, you can compare notes about the process of governing and he will straighten out all the redacted history unknown on planet earth. You’ll catch up with the news on Diana, and get a chance to see how history changed for us all on her death. And if there was any hanky-panky you’ll learn that too, if you wish.

But I rather suspect you’ll have more fun at the zoo where now you can talk to the animals. Just keeping up with the angels should have you entertained for a 1,000 years or so.

Let’s remember here that God created this fantastically diverse universe about which we know perhaps 1/10th, so the heaven He created will be glorious beyond all expectations.

The Loss of the Uniquely American Mind

American thinkers (lower case) often ask, how did we manage to have the mental giants all on the same page when they wrote our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution?

Because whatever it was, the body politic has lost it. Soros’ money may have paid for a decade of protest, riots and looting but why are younger generations doing it at all? Don’t they know their roots? It would never occur to Boomers or their elders to wear a vagina suit in public or question their gender.

Time has come to resurrect two mid-20th century prophets, Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind – How Higher Education has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students) 1987 and E.D Hirsch, Jr. (Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know) 1988. They defined the problem.

The Impoverished Souls once in the academy are now running the public schools and the Media

Our wise forefathers had one unifying factor – their common knowledge of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare.  The War of the Roses demonstrated that monarchies do not work, that succession by bloodlines leads to internecine warfare, that assorted King Richards lurk in the shadows to murder their rivals, that foreign wives are anathema as God said to King Solomon, that too much power in one group, be it the barons on the plain or the rabble beyond the pale would sound a death sentence to a Republic. To guard against any concentration of power in any section of the government they included checks and balances and a bicameral system.

Ben Franklin said we’d inherited a Republic if we could keep it.  “Ben, if you are listening, these kids don’t know what a republic is.” So when Saddam Hussein was protected in the Gulf War by a Republican Guard Democrat voters thought that was our own Republican Party?

Our forefathers also knew Plato and Socrates. The notion of a moral leader taking the political high ground from Aristotle sounds quaint today. They knew bias against color and creed in Othello, the dangers of nepotism, bad judgment and the influence of emotional instability from King Lear and Hamlet and as a final warning, Shakespeare named his historical works “tragedies” so yes, it could happen to you too. Tragedies, as defined by the Greeks, were demonstrations of how a personal moral or character flaw could destroy a person in power not the modern day definition which is little more than “oh, what a pity.”

They knew that Protestant Huguenots had been slaughtered on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, so religious freedom was essential. As they wrote these documents they saw the collapse of France from unchecked monetary policy and a politicized state church, and from Elizabeth the First the bedrock need for a free press as well as free assembly, the core of the 1st Amendment, not the Second or Third but the very First. And yes – if we should perchance by accident or design inherit one of these rotten leaders, we need our firearms.

The national mind during the 19th century was held together until the end of World War 2 by the glue of the widely read Harvard Classics. This Public Religion, to use George Will’s phrase, is not a collection of “good ideas” but a record of the failure of Europe to stabilize, as it has yet to do even today. And because they were all originally from immigrant stock they knew Primogeniture and Entail were legal locks on personal and corporate progress. The EPA ties up our property instead now! The glaring millennium of mistakes in Europe created our national principles.

But millions today, thanks to redacted history books and influences from Communist writers like Howard Zinn, leave us with myriads not knowing a shred about all this. We have two or three generations of classroom teachers trained without the cultural literacy of any American assumptions. As a final nail in the academic coffin, there is neither Bible reading nor prayer in schools, so any literary reference to a Prodigal Son or allusions to the Hebrew Bible fall on puzzled ears.  The national division today is not between Republican and Democrat, black and white or rich and poor, but between those who know the origins of the past and those who have a new version of history seen through the lens of moral relativism.

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Interpreting the Bible “Our” Way

How often have I (we) decided something in the Bible was what we thought, but we missed the point? Take for example this scripture:

TLB Psalm 147:9  He feeds the wild animals, and the young ravens cry to him for food.

Clearly this is a metaphor. No one had to tell me that. I learned about metaphors in the 9th grade.  But who am I to micromanage God’s word? Perhaps God meant that birds speak to him and because he knows bird language, which I do not, they are speaking to God and He responds.

In the New Testament it says that there is no sound without signification, in other words, meaning.

1 Corinthians 14:10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

So when the lions grunt, or the chipmunks squeak, that is speech –  of sorts.  God spoke everything into existence and this can be just another process of communication. Audiologists tell us there are many sounds we do not hear at all. I wonder who God is talking to then.

And we have this business about the stars:

Psalm 147: 4 He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.

You do not call someone by name if they don’t have a name, and more importantly you don’t call them if they cannot also answer. How do stars talk? Or perhaps stars means personalities of some kind. Astronomers say all stars give off a distinct, unique sound. Huumm.

The heavens have a voice which is heard everywhere according to Psalm 19.

19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.

We shall not be able to decipher God’s speech to animals, birds and stars but perhaps we can restrain our assumption that we understand what the Bible is telling us. Perhaps if we just ask Him what He means, He will tell us.

 

 

 

 

The Difference between Critical Thinking and Criticism

Consider these conversations:

Two women are playing bridge. They have known each other about 2 months.

Maxine: You need to lose some weight.

Carol: (says nothing)

A month later:

Maxine: You really should lose some weight so you won’t have trouble breathing.

Carol: What makes you think you have the standing to make a comment about my weight?

Maxine: (Taken aback- says nothing)

There are 14 other people in the room and now they are all listening.

Carol: Standing is a legal term. When parties go to court the judge needs to know if they have a right to be involved in the case and the law it concerns. For example, a private citizen cannot go to court about a Home School law unless he is a home schooling parent.

You brought a charge against me about my weight without having any legal reason to do so, and on top of that you have no relevant facts in the case. I ignored your previous comments because your opinion is of no value. The judge throws out any persons who do not have standing, and I threw out what you said because you have no standing. In other words, your opinion is of no value to me.

Maxine: But I know you will breathe better if you lose weight.

Carol: That is not knowledge; that is an opinion based on an assumption.  You do not have the facts in the case. I have seen my doctor 3 times in the past 7 months and not once did he mention my weight. Bless his heart.

If you are a dietitian or medical professional you have standing, otherwise none. Is your emotional assumption more valuable to me than his professional life of medical experience? Hardly.

Maxine: But I know that overweight people have trouble breathing.

Carol: That is true, but you don’t know that I almost died at 9 years of age of pneumonia.  I was so thin the neighbor asked my mother who that child was with her. I never could begin school in September on the first day because I couldn’t breathe – my lungs were badly damaged. I never mentioned this because you are not my friend; you are a sometime bridge player. I might have asked you about bridge; you have standing on that issue.  You have no standing to criticize my health or my physical body.

I do have people in my life that I consult. One couple here in town is so important to me that no matter what they ask I respond! They asked me to run for office and I was elected.  I really had no interest in the office but because I trust their judgment, which they have proven to me, I complied. I have no history with you.

You based your comments solely on your assumptions which were wrong. In addition, comments about someone’s physical body are considered rude.

That is the difference between critical thinking and emotional opinion.  Critical thinking is based on standing acquired by information and understanding; ad hominum remarks are nothing but criticism based on assumption and personal bias.

Unfortunately most of America is now indulging in the latter and public discourse has become rotten and unhinged.

Israel and the 21th Century

A man named Jafon posted this commentary on my blog 9/29/2014. The religion (actually political party) know as Islam has two goals, (1) to overtake the nation of Israel and set up its own kingdom, and  (2) to replace US constitutional law with Sharia Law of Islam and freedom of religion with Islam. They make no bones about this.

For that reason Americans need to know what the issues are regarding Israel more than any other nation.  Here is what he wrote. It is as valid today as the day he posted it.True Israel is Larger than we think

Fact #1. The Jewish people are the Chosen People: After Adam and Eve sinned, humanity deteriorated so badly that God destroyed the early world of men with the Great Flood. Noah and his family knew the Lord, and were spared, but after they came out of the Ark and started repopulating, their descendants abandoned God, became idolatrous, perverse and evil. Then God created a special nation to be a light to the other nations. The Creator of the universe specifically chose the nation of Israel to be that unique people who would witness to His reality. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the people who are on the face of the Earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I am the Lord; and there is no Savior beside Me” (Isaiah 43:10-11). If the Chosen People were faithful to our calling, God promised to bless us above all the other nations, so that the nations of the world would know that the God of Israel is the true God who alone can save us, by reconciling us to Himself, thereby restoring us to peace, joy, blessing and life. But if we were disobedient to our calling, the Lord promised to severely punish us so that the nations of the world would learn a lesson from us, and know that it is a terrible thing to disobey the God of Israel. Either way, through our obedience or disobedience, the Chosen People would witness to the other nations of the world that the God of Israel is to be reckoned with.

Fact #2. The Land of Israel belongs to God: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). Since the entire world belongs to God, He has the right to apportion it as He chooses, and He specifically gave the nations their lands based on the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel! “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:8-9).

Fact #3. The Chosen People needed a Chosen Land, and so the God of Israel strategically chose the Land of Israel for the People of Israel: “This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her” (Ezekiel 5:5). The Land that God chose for us is located in the center of the nations, connecting the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. Because of this strategic location, the Jewish people had ample exposure to all the nations of the world.

Fact #4. The Land of Israel was given by God to the descendants of Abraham as an everlasting possession: “The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this Land’” (Genesis 12:7). God further said to Abraham: “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:7-8).

Fact #5. Even though Abraham had many sons, the Land of Israel wasn’t given to Ishmael, or to any of the other sons of Abraham, but only to Isaac: “Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before You!’ But God said ‘No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:18-19). God rejected Abraham’s request that Ishmael be the heir of the covenant, and appointed Isaac instead. Years later the Lord God appeared to Isaac and said, “to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the Earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 26:3-4). Knowing that Isaac was the heir of the covenant, which included the Land of Israel, Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. He gave gifts to his other sons, but he sent them away to the lands of the east, not wanting the heir of the everlasting covenant to have rivalry over the Land of Israel from his siblings (Genesis 25:5-6).

Fact #6. Even though Isaac had two sons, the Land wasn’t given to Esau, but to Jacob: One night Jacob had a dream while fleeing from his brother Esau. In his dream the Lord said to him, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the Land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.” (Genesis 28:13). God later appeared to Jacob and said to him, “the Land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the Land to your descendants after you” (Genesis 35:11-12). This promise deeds the Land of Israel to the descendants of Jacob – the Jewish people of today.

Fact #7. There is no doubt about Israel’s God-given borders because they are described for us in detail in the Holy Scriptures: “The Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever… Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you’” (Genesis 13:14-17). “The Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this Land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates’” (Genesis 15:18-21). “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates” (Exodus 23:31). Therefore we must conclude that the entire Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), Gaza, the Golan Heights, and all of Jerusalem, was given by the God of Israel to the people of Israel in perpetuity. We, and we alone, have been given the title to the Land of Israel as a permanent inheritance by the Lord. No human government or coalition of governments has the right or authority to cede portions of the Land of Israel to anyone else.

Fact #8. In addition to the everlasting covenant (which includes the Land), God swore an oath to give the Jewish people this Land: Keep in mind that it’s absolutely impossible for God to break an oath (see Hebrews 6:16-18). In the Holy Scriptures, this oath is reiterated more than forty times. Here is just one example: “He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance’” (Psalm 105:8-11). There is no other passage in which there are so many words used to describe God’s unyielding commitment to Israel: covenant, word, oath, confirm, commandment, a thousand generations, statute, everlasting covenant. A person has to have a terrible bias not to understand that God is assuring the Jewish people the perpetual right to the Land of Israel in the strongest possible language.

Fact #9. Israel’s sin and resulting exile from the Land of Israel never annulled God’s covenant with His Chosen People, nor did it permanently abrogate our right to the Land of Israel: “Yet in spite of this (Israel’s disobedience), when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors” – which includes the Land of Israel (Leviticus 26:44-45). Our exile from Israel was meant to be temporary! In Deuteronomy 30:1-5, Moses specifically predicted that we would experience a time of obedience and blessing within the Land, followed by a period of disobedience and exile from the Land, followed by spiritual restoration to God and physical restoration to the Land: “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the people where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the Earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. And the Lord your God will bring you into the Land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it.”

It’s no coincidence that after two thousand years of exile, the Chosen People are being restored to the Land that our fathers possessed, and simultaneously, we are being spiritually restored to God through the Messiah, as is evidenced by the growth of the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel and around the world.

The Son of God Himself predicted that because the majority of Israel did not believe He was the Messiah, Jerusalem would be destroyed, and we would be exiled among the nations, but eventually, we would return to Israel (Luke 21:23-24). This prophecy began in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed, and then again in 135 AD, when the Second Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire was crushed. We were scattered to the nations, and lost political control of Jerusalem. However, over the past 2,000 years, there were always some Jewish people who remained in the Land of Israel. Starting in the 1880’s, this prophesied regathering of Jewish people to Israel picked up speed, and now there is a reborn nation of Israel, with Jerusalem as its capital, with 5.3 million Jewish people regathered from more than 70 countries, just as Israel’s Messiah predicted.

Fact #10. In His prophetic Word, God promised to regather us to “our own Land”: “I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own Land… And you will live in the Land that I gave to your forefathers” (Ezekiel 36:24, 28). Again Ezekiel predicts: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own Land’” (Ezekiel 37:21). Jeremiah adds: “‘Behold days are coming’ declares the Lord, ‘when it will no longer be said, “As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but, “As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.” For I will restore them to their own Land which I gave to their fathers’” (Jeremiah 16:14-15). Ultimately this regathering to our own Land will be greater than the Exodus out of Egypt!

Fact #11. In His prophetic Word, God calls this restored Land “Israel” – not “Palestine”: “I will open up your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the Land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12). The name “Palestine” comes from the Philistines, the ancient enemies of the Jewish people. “Palestine” was the derogatory name given to the Land of Israel by the Romans after they conquered us. But throughout the Word of God, this Land is always called Israel – never Palestine.

Fact #12. God, speaking to us through the prophet Ezekiel, informs us that this Land is specifically reserved for the Jewish people: “You O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel; for they will soon come. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown. I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities will be inhabited and the waste places will be rebuilt” (Ezekiel 36:8-10). 2,500 years ago Ezekiel told us that in the Last Days the Jewish people would be restored to our Land. The Land would begin to prosper and the Jewish population would greatly increase. In the past century these prophetic words have been coming to pass. The Land of Israel, which lay barren for centuries, has seen increasing numbers of the sons of Israel returning to our ancient homeland, repopulating the cities and cultivating the Land.

Fact #13. 2,500 years ago the Lord also told us that the Jewish return to the Land would provoke a reaction from Israel’s neighbors: “Because the enemy has spoken against you ‘Aha’ and ‘The everlasting heights have become our possession’ … Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who appropriated My Land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and scorn of soul, to drive it out as a prey” (Ezekiel 36:2-5). Even though the nations surrounding Israel would claim possession of the Land of Israel for themselves, and try to drive out its rightful Jewish inhabitants, God repudiates the claims of these nations. Even though the majority of the Jewish people were exiled from our Land (there always was a remnant of Jewish people who remained within Israel), that doesn’t give anyone else the right to claim the Land of Israel for themselves. If a landlord has some bad tenants that he evicts from his property, he does not expect anyone else to enter his vacant property and claim it for their own. Due to our sins, the Landlord of Israel evicted most of us from the Land, but that didn’t give the Romans, the Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Ottomans or the Arabs the right to claim God’s holy Land for themselves.

Fact #14. God will severely judge any nation who divides up any part of this special Land: “In those days and at that time when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My Land” (Joel 3:1-2). When Messiah Yeshua returns, the fortunes of the Jewish people will be fully restored, and the nations will be summoned to Jerusalem, where they will be judged for scattering the Jewish people and dividing up our Land.

Fact #15. Eventually this conflict over the Land of Israel will entangle the entire world: God, speaking through the prophet Zechariah in 12:1-3, in the Sixth Century BC, predicted: “Behold I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around” (the nations will react to the regathering of the Jewish people with senseless behavior and irrational hatred); “and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples” (Israel’s Islamic neighbors want to destroy the hated “Zionist Entity” because the Islamic worldview teaches that the entire world will ultimately come under the control of Islam.

A Jewish state in the midst of the Moslem Middle East is by its very existence an insult to Allah and Islam, and must be destroyed. Islam can have no true and lasting peace with Israel – only a temporary cease-fire. Hostilities will once again be renewed when Islamic strength is renewed. At its core, this is a religious conflict – not a political or economic one); “all who lift it will be severely injured.” (The nations of the world will be drawn into this conflict and try to remove the Jewish presence from Jerusalem. However, be warned – every nation that tries to remove the Jewish people from our Land and capital city will be severely injured). “And all the nations of the Earth will be gathered against it.” (The world’s united nations will wage a final world war in the Middle East, directed against Israel).

It’s amazing to see this 2,500-year-old prophetic scenario shaping up before our very eyes! Zechariah’s prophecy continues and informs us that the army of the united nations will be defeated; God will destroy all those nations that fight against Israel; Israel will be miraculously saved and recognize Yeshua as the Messiah!

Fact #16. This will be a time of great difficulty for the Jewish people, but they will be miraculously delivered out of it: “Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it” (Jeremiah 30:7). The fires of anti-Semitism will reach their hottest point in the near future, but with God’s help, we will come through our fiery trials to a time of unparalleled salvation. Israel’s salvation and blessing will then overflow to the other nations of the world.

END

Americans by custom and nature don ‘t want to be drawn into other people’s arguments. We hesitated to enter both World War 1 and 2 because we don’t like to take sides. In Genesis 12:1-3 the Lord promises to stand behind Israel; he also promises to curse any nation which comes against Israel.  That could be America if she doesn’t get smart.  The issue of Islam vs. Israel, and by extension The Whole World will not go away. It is our problem too.

Unalienable vs. Inalienable Rights

Our Declaration of Independence reads, in part:

“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 …”

Frequently we hear this passage quoted as inalienable rights.  What is the difference, if any?

I read a long treatise on this by a legal expert. He said unalienable rights come from God and because they are God-given they cannot be taken away, or, using Thomas Jefferson’s term, alienated from us. An alien has no rights in the kingdom where he does not have his official residence.  Hence, we are members of God’s original kingdom and the rights are ours.

Now as for inalienable; that means that human beings can take those rights away through war, fiat, or the practice of police action, but they are still our rights even though some agency has tampered with their administration. A nation which does not believe in God therefore may not be overly concerned with individual rights. In fact we see this in the news all the time.

We are told that there is no relationship of church to state but clearly this is not true. Religion and beliefs about God color and influence all our political decisions, perhaps more so today as they are publicly challenged.

The Difference between a Sin and a Mistake

Recently I’ve noticed an interesting tendency for people to admit to mistakes rather than sins. It happens at every level, whether someone is caught cheating on their spouse, filing false insurance claims, or shoplifting from a clothing store. After the National Inquirer broke the news about John Edwards’ affair, he said.

“Two years ago I made a very serious mistake, a mistake that I am responsible for and no one else.  In 2006 I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, and asked God for His forgiveness. And we have kept this within our family since that time.”

On the surface, this admission looks humble and contrite. What more could you want?  But when someone refers to this kind of behavior as a mistake rather than a sin, he or she is either consciously or unconsciously evading responsibility.

Why? Because of the fundamental difference between the two.  Many think they are synonymous but they are not.

The term “mistake” implies an error in judgment – something done unintentionally.  For example, a legitimate mistake might be:

  • Turning onto a one-way street the wrong way
  • Pouring salt not sugar into your coffee
  • Mistyping a web address and ending up on a porn site.

These could all be legitimate mistakes because we are distracted or careless.  But sin is more than a mistake.  It is a deliberate choice to do something we know is wrong.

The word “transgression” is even stronger.  It implies deliberately stepping over a boundary.  The word “trespass” is similar.  It implies entering a person’s territory or property without permission.

At the bridge table recently one player told another woman she needed to go on a diet. Yes, the other player was fat but the critic did not know her well enough to be advising her on a personal matter like that.  She stepped over a social boundary.

Unlike a mistake, we choose sin.  Therefore we must accept responsibility for it – and the consequences that follow. This is a measure of maturity and marks the transition from adolescence into adulthood.  It is the foundation of civilized society.

What can we do to make sure we preserve this distinction between sins and mistakes? I suggest 5 actions.

  1. Choose your words carefully. Don’t minimize your sin by calling it a mistake.  The meaning of the Greek word  homologeo – translated confession in I John 1:9 is “to speak the same word.” In other words your words should be the same as God’s words.  If He calls it a sin, so should you.  You cannot be cured of a sickness if you continue to deny it.
  2. Take responsibility for your behavior. If you have sinned, own it. In fact, if you have made a mistake own that too. Take the hit. Even if someone else provoked you, own the response. If they were 90% responsible, accept 100% of your 10%. When it comes to sin there is never an excuse unless you are a true victim.
  3. Acknowledge your guilt. It is normal to be guilty when you sin. Guilt is God’s gift, designed to motivate you to initiate reconciliation.  The sooner you acknowledge your responsibility the sooner you can resolve the problem, if the other person receives your confession. And never follow the confession with the word “but.” This is a preface to an excuse. It negates everything you have said before.
  4. Change your behavior. Words are cheap. Some people are very adept at saying they are sorry – but then – nothing changes. Repentance is not just a change of mind; it is a change of direction. Unless you change your behavior, you have not fully repented, no matter how many tears you may have shed.  Repentance in  the Bible is the word for “change your mind.” Once your mind is really changed so will be your actions.
  5. Ask for forgiveness.  You can’t demand it. You are not entitled to it. You can only ask and hope that the person you have sinned against will extend grace. Sometimes they will wait until you have demonstrated a change of behavior, called the fruit of repentance (see Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:19-20.)

The world is watching the Christian to see how he/she reacts to real life.  It is a part of our public testimony.

What the Snake said to Adam and Eve

This three word sentence is the oldest question in the Book of God. The snake says:

Hath God said?  

Every day the bombardment of media on our ears is this same sentence – we have a choice to listen to and believe what God said or what man and his systems say. What we choose to believe determines the course of our lives just as it did for The First Pair.

It was originally said by a snake whose presence in a perfect place, the Garden of Eden, indicated that maybe there were imperfections to start with, imperfections no one thought would be there.  Adam and Eve were not just innocent, they were also gullible.  So an enemy showed up and asked a question. They had no idea what an enemy was.  All they knew was good.

There are two sides at the very least to any piece of information, truth or fiction. That lies, deception and corruption might be lurking about never occurred to them.  They had not been given questions and answers before; in fact they had only been given answers. That is not what we expect – we expect questions to come before answers. They had been told only to obey God in all things. They had no concept of options, of other ways to live, of death or disease, discomfort, jealousy, fear or anger, or what we see on the cat’s face, guilt.

Did the snake ask “What is that animal out there? A rhinoceros?” After all Adam had named all the animals. No, the snake asked the one question which would generate either obedience or defiance to God. The snake knew the consequences to disobedience because he’d already been through his own test and failed.

But now – they have been presented with a question.  They will need to think about the answer.  What will they answer?  Will they obey God their creator or this shifty voice of doubt and option?

A five-year old steals a cookie from a plate in the kitchen. His mother, the legal authority in the home, said not to touch them before dinner. The child is faced with the question – Hath God (the authority) said?

He steals the cookie and is introduced to the concept of personal sin and judgment. As years go by the situations are different; now he is tempted to steal pencils and legal pads from an employer, to steal answers to a tough algebra exam, to steal a girl’s virginity (its called rape) and a thousand other areas where he has seen himself defy what God said.

Millions do this and bring shame and trouble on others. The girl who has a child out of wedlock brings the family into poverty. She may be reacting to the sin of a parent as a child herself. But the piling up of defiance to God’s word continues from generation to generation and the consequences are like the rippling waves of a stone cast into a giant sea of humanity.

It is sin. And it takes a specific, directed effort to reverse the tide of sin-history. The company who fouls the water which results in deformed children throws a stone in the waters of society only known because it involves so many more people, but it is no different from those sins committed by individuals on a daily basis hidden from public view.

Today thousands of years later we, that is the seven billion people now living on planet earth, have this same question.  What has God said and what is our response. Thomas Edison’s mother was told her son was too stupid to stay in school.  She didn’t believe it.  She home schooled him and he later filed over 2,000 international patents for inventions including the lowly light bulb, motion pictures and audio recording.  It matters what and who we believe. Mrs. Edison’s refusal to believe the school system changed life for the whole human race.

Teens today can be confused over what gender they are.  But what has God said? Patients are told they have a terminal illness.  Get another opinion and then find out what God says as well.

We learn later that if Adam and Eve had obeyed God they would have lived as perfect beings in a perfect environment for eternity, never touched by evil or even knowing it existed.  But they didn’t, and neither would we had we lived in their shoes.  We have the same option today as they had then – to find out what God said and live in that.