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The Prospect of 2013

December 29, 2012 1 comment

The Year 2013: Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

Following the Christmas holidays, its natural for people to get sentimental, reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming year.  The media always has their “wrap-up” citing the headlines that most impacted the nation and the world.  There are wishes for a “Happy New Year,” promises, conjectured in the form of “New Year’s resolutions” (lose weight, spend more time with family, etc.).So, as I sit here and ponder the events of 2012, I must admit, my outlook is….bittersweet.  By nature, I consider myself neither an optimist, nor a pessimist.  A realist.  I know, I know, most people like to overuse that label for themselves, but truly, when asked if I see a cup half full or half empty, I will always respond, “BOTH!”Perhaps, it’s not my outlook, so much as my bull-headed determination.

I’ll stick with the previous assertion, thanks.  (Its my blog. Well, for now.)

This year has obviously been interesting with the election.  For my part, I was absolutely unclear about who was going to win, though, I certainly thought I saw tremendous support for Mitt.  However, in light of the direction the world was turning, reading the tea leaves also gave strong indications that Obama would pull through, in spite of no record, nothing what-so-ever to recommend him, and a continuing treasonous scandal.  I advocated for Romney, as much as I could, grew tense, like the rest of the country, fervently prayed, and waited.  Like many of you, that night, though I wasn’t shocked, but I was shocked.  I had been on my face, begging for God’s mercy on this country.  However, I also prayed for His will to be done.  The Lord spoke, the fate of America was solidified.

I went, immediately, to a somber state of acceptance.

Like most of you, the prospect of 2013 is dismal, in light of the political arena.  I have lost all faith in politicians, even in those I thought were truly fighting for truth and justice.  Time and time again, we have seen them bow to the will of those who grow in worldly power.

NATIONALISM VS. PATRIOTISM

I have recognized, through this process, that there is a clear distinction in “nationalism vs. patriotism.”  Nationalism retains that sense of arrogance, even in the face of God that we are better, bigger, and stronger.  That nothing will stop or hold us down.  Contrarily, patriotism is vastly different.  The patriot humbly clings to the principles that make one’s country great.  He recognizes the blessings, even undeservedly, that have been bestowed upon his nation, contingent upon obedience to the Lord and the principles for foundation.  A patriot doesn’t put faith in any man, but looks to the Lord for his sense of national direction.  He bows his knee to the Great I AM, accepting His plans, knowing that the protection of the nation is directly hinged upon what is done with the blessings and how well we uphold Biblical precepts.

As I stated before, I am an eternal realist.  My worldly outlook for the nation ,as far as the state of this planet, is grave.  Evil has been unleashed.  All too common these days, we hear of rampages of brutal murder.  People immediately want an answer,

“WHY?” 

What could possibly be the reason for such senseless violence? Now we see a spectrum of blame, polarities that want to crackdown on this heinous barbarianism.  On one side, governmental leaders are grasping, white-knuckled, to the claim that the problem is GUNS.  “We MUST eliminate firearms!” Another argument from the other side is that “We MUST revisit mental illness!”

As you might expect, I do not subscribe to either.

The problem is that all sense of morality, more specific, humility before the Almighty, has been cast out.  Society, as a whole, has spit in God’s face and pushed out any shade of godliness.  People have been hypnotized by the Dark Angel, masquerading in light.  They don’t believe in evil, unless it suits their purposes.  They don’t believe in the antithesis of evil, that being salvation only through Christ’s blood.  Instead they exchange one lie for another, until all sense of rationality and reason is subjective and without basis.

So you see, we could talk about the continued, growing scandals that have growing tentacles over the White House.  We could talk about the wildfire of Radical Islamization.  We could talk about the fiscal cliff that looms, in mere hours.  We could talk about genocidal dictators racing toward mass-extermination.

But, the crux of the matter is not as complex as it seems.  People are hung up on the thousands of symptoms of a simple, albeit, eternal crisis.The world has cocooned itself in a cozy bed of Godlessness.  They have set up their own altars, whereby they sit on their own throne.  Rather than serving the God of the universe, humans, regardless of culture, ethnicity or nation (a true testament to color blindness), embrace and worship the god “within.”

This cannot last.

Just as God is grace, He is the perfect balance of Justice and Judge, as well.  He does not force His will on man, yet retains the control in decision-making.  He can allow us to make the ridiculous choices that will cause self-destruction, both individually, corporately, as a society, and internationally.

Though He allows us our own way, don’t think for a second that He isn’t angered by it.  We cannot be so pompously deluded to think that we were created by a limp-wristed pushover.

He is YAHWEH!

THE GLASS IS HALF-EMPTY, BUT IT IS ALSO HALF-FULL.

In God’s never-ending kindness, the removal of protection can serve as a wake-up call.  When we are stripped of comforts, whether in leadership, or in security, we have the opportunity to turn to the only lasting truth in YESHUA, Jesus Christ.

For the few of us, who are truly watching, wide-eyed at the plans unfolding around the world, faith is strengthened.  I’ve heard it said, “The national and international headlines are now catching up to the Bible.”  The cards are on the table.  We are coming to that fork in the road, whereby we can choose to move toward God, or turn our backs on God.  Sadly, the Bible tells me that many will fall away from the faith. (Matthew 7:14, 2Timothy 4) Further, Christ tells us, “15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev.3:15-17)

My hope is in the Lord.  I do not know the specifics of what 2013 will bring, but I trust that He is JEHOVAH.  I take great hope in His mighty power.  (Ephesians 6:10-18) My outlook for this world, in the direction it is hurtling toward, is bleak.  People have chosen the path of Baal.  The Lord is rousing from His Holy Hill and He will come with absolute Authority and Justice.

Though, I am desperate to see His glory and His might, at the same time, I tremble at the prospect of an angry, JUST God.  I fear living in a land that has chosen to shove the Lord’s hand of protection away for the false notion of self-preservation and governmental rule.

If this nation refuses to humble herself in fear of the Lord, it is doomed to destruction. 

Nationalism is idolatry.  It is an ideology that dominates both parties, both sides of the aisle. 

With all of this bleakness, comes great hope, when one seeks and clings to the ONLY hope we have!  We have access to TRUE LIBERTY!  We can be unfettered and freed from bondage in the hope that comes from faith in the Lord, through YESHUA.  When we recognize that He IS the source of life; we are liberated, REGARDLESS of worldly powers.

These days, I treasure God’s Word.  I recognize the NECESSITY OF IT.  It is easy to get enthralled and overly distracted with the events unfolding.  Though Christ commanded us to, “WATCH!” (Matt.24:4, 42 read all of chapter 24) I must keep my FOCUS upon HIM.  We must SATURATE ourselves in the WORD.  I am constantly amazed and deeply grateful for the Bible.  Without it, faith and hope would be very burdensome.  But again, God in His grace and mercy, gave us the Cliff Notes version.

In summary: I know how the story ends;

He wins.

——————————————————————

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON:

1 Samuel 12:24-25

24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Response to a Viewer’s Comments in “Chrislam: A Blending of Religions, a Loss of Faith”

In response to this viewer’s recent comment regarding Chrislam: A Blending of Religions, a Loss of Faith, which I thought were wonderful points for discussion:

Hello Jennifer, I would suggest that you do more research into Islam before posting about it. Theologists are not in disagreement about the relationship between judaism, christianity, and islam. There is no question the three are based on the same God, but veer off into different direction concerning interpretations of biblical events, prophets, afterlife, and messiah. Just as you have written “Judeo-Christian”, merging Judaism and Christianity (which is very much the new trend in today’s conservative Christianity, largely based on political reasons), you are contradicting yourself as the Jewish faith doesn’t reflect the criteria you stated above either: They do not believe Jesus was the Messiah, similar to Islam, they see him as a ‘good guy’, a wise prophet. Judaism does not discuss the idea of afterlife or heaven and hell much either, instead, it focuses more on life on earth, and this is in contrast to Christianity whose primary focus is preparation for the afterlife. Many conservative Christian sects today are blending Judaism with Christianity to focus on the commonalities rather than the differences, and I believe this is a good thing. People should always focus on a similarities first, and often in doing this, the difference resolve themselves or prove inconsequential. You could do the same with Islam, focusing on its many similarities with Christianity, and that is what the pastor stated above is doing, its just not the Politically Correct, cool thing to do, so of course, he is taking heat for it.

Thank you for taking the time to visit Order in the Quart. I appreciate your viewpoints and taking the time to comment.  This is certainly a topic that is worthy of discussion and I invite it.

Firstly, you state that there is no question that the three religions mentioned in the post are based on the same God.  I would disagree with that statement, though I see your argument.  It is more accurate to state that, historically, the three religions were connected and began under the same view of God.  Judaism and Christianity believe in the same Old Testament teachings.  Islam believes much of it, but they have their variations of traditional biblical stories, such as Noah and the Flood.  The historical division takes place, as I am sure you are aware, with the children of Jacob and Ishmael, children of Abraham.  The Ishmaelites are now known as “of Arab descent”.  Jacob’s descendents are now known as the Jewish people.  Finally, Jesus Christ, himself was Jewish by birth and was the Savior.  By ethnicity, many Jews and Gentiles followed after Jesus Christ’s teaching and have accepted that He is the Savior for all mankind, thus the label “Christian”.

You are correct in your assertion that Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, a similarity with Muslims.  I did not dispute this in the article.  As a Christian, based upon the direct teaching of Jesus, I believe that this is essential to eternal salvation. (John 14:6) Your assertion that Jews believe that Jesus was a “good guy” and a prophet is, however, not correct.  It is a historical and Biblical fact that Jesus was hated by the majority of the Jewish people.  The Pharisees were responsible for the death of Jesus, believing that He was a threat to the Jewish faith, tradition and a general troublemaker, who blasphemed God. (Mt. 21:46, 22:15-22, 23, 26:65-68)

Therefore, I would argue that there are great differences between each faith.

It is vital to understand that simply because I use the term “Judeo-Christian” does not imply that I fully embrace the Jewish faith.  

However, the Jewish people share the same Old Testament (Christians refer to it as old.) It is congruent with the New Testament. Further there over 400 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.  Judaism refuses to acknowledge this, continuing to look for their Messiah.  So when I refer to Judeo-Christian values, there is no conflict in doing so; Christians have adopted the same scripture and laws that were set forth by God, but we have recognized the prophecies set forth in the Old Testament as fulfilled and leading directly to the person of Jesus as Messiah.

Further, just as there are many sects that proclaim Christianity, there are also sects of Judaism that do not depend upon a strict adherence to traditional, historical values.  Take for example Jewish mysticism, Kabballah, and the many contradictions between that and Orthodox Judaism.  The Old Testament makes many references to hell, often called Sheol, and heaven, so I would disagree with your assertion that Judaism does not discuss the idea of an afterlife. (Isaiah 26:19, 14:9-15, 2Kings 2:1-14) I would also disagree with your assertion that linking Judaism and Christianity is “very much the new trend.”  The linking of the faiths stems from the fact that Jesus was Jewish by birth.  Most of the original disciples were Jewish by birth.  Paul, who was called Saul prior to his conversion, was Jewish by birth.  Traditional Judaism has been linked to Christianity from the onset.

So in summary, as far as the link between Judaism and Christianity: there are differences, but Christianity was, quite literally, birthed from Judaism.

The Qu’ran is not steeped in the tradition of Judaism.  The book’s claim is by a man named Mohammed, who is referenced no where in the Bible.  Further, his assertions and “prophecy” about Allah contradicts Scripture, unlike Judaism and Christianity.  As a prime example, Allah commands that “infidels”, Jews and Christians be killed because of their faith, that being, the lack of faith in the god of Islam. The God of the Bible is the Father of the Jews and Christians.  How is this reconcilable as the same God?  This is only one of the many contradictions of the portrayal of the God of Islam to Judaism and Christianity.

I agree with you that there are many similarities in issues of morality, but I do not accept that the God of Islam is the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity.  I believe that there are many ways, outside of the acceptance and adoption of the Muslim faith, that we can build bridges of communication and respectability.  Mr. Warren’s idea is not one.  He is not finding similarities, he is forsaking the foundations of one faith and attempting to fit them into another.  Essentially, he has put a circular peg into a square hole and is trying to lead people into believing that this is the right way to faith.

Lastly, the comment you made, “and that is what the pastor stated above is doing, its just not the Politically Correct, cool thing to do, so of course, he is taking heat for it.”  I find that very ironic and actually quite the opposite!  The Politically Correct idea IS to embrace all faiths and have “tolerance” for other religions.  By tolerance, as defined by those who ascribe to PC is to accept without reservation. I do not believe in that.

Mr. Warren is actually doing the “cool,” trendy, acceptable thing.  As a follower of Christ, I am not into what is cool, acceptable, and trendy.  I am interested in truth, based in love.  I am happy to find commonality and respect for people of all faiths, but I will NOT compromise my faith and my belief system to accept and adopt theirs.  That is not loving.  Jesus tells us that there is ONE way to heaven and that is through him.  It is my calling to live out that truth.  He ate, taught, and had discussion with people who were different than his “people.”  But he never compromised the truth of what he knew.  He never sold himself out for the sake of popularity and economic gain.  He loved without abandon, he was desperate for the people to know Him and accept him as Messiah.  (The Jewish people need the Lord, too.  I do not overlook this.) Truth and love are only achieved in perfect balance when we embrace Christ and are lead by the Holy Spirit, not enticed by culture, fame, and prestige.

I pray that you continue to search for the truth, as only found in Christ.  God bless you.

Osama bin Laden – How should the Believer respond?

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden.  Say that name anywhere in the world and some type of response will be elicited.  The fact that the man is now dead, brings a myriad of emotion and strong rhetoric out of many people internationally.  Nearly everyone will have an opinion and a strong one at that.  Most say he got what he deserved.  So many people are moving to the streets in celebration.  Strong emotion, strong language, strong partying…?? 

My initial raw, gut reaction was to move into the streets, laugh and rant and rave.  (Not literally.  In midwest suburbia at midnight that would be strongly frowned upon for other reasons.)  But, then a Voice got a hold of my heart and reminded me that this was folly. 

The fact is the guy was utterly lost and seriously depraved. He served the devil whilst he was certain he was serving “God,” nonetheless we are commanded (!) to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. I, by no means, believe that we let criminals get off “scot free,” but I think there should be a sense of candor and grace in OUR actions, NOT because he was deserving, but because we belong to One who saved us from our sin. God said, “The vengeance is mine.” We act with justice, but we, as Believers, are to be set apart, reverent, and act as though Christ would. Did Christ ever get angry? Absolutely! But, did he revel in someone’s demise? Never… He used sober judgement, warning us of the perils of sin and the eternal judgement that awaits those who refuse to give their lives to Him.

It’s a shame that people have stooped to the same level that much of the Arab world did on 9-11. Just because they danced in the streets, is not a license for us to. I, myself, had to really examine what my response should be and felt that the Lord would not be pleased by the celebration and sheer folly of the termination of any life, even one so graphically vile, as bin Laden’s. 

Further, I think that the celebratory and congratulatory attitudes that are wildly flaunted right now in the media, in politics, and on main street are only fanning the flames of hatred, violence, and plots to destroy American soldiers and civilians.  After pondering the news, I reflected upon the images that were flashing upon televisions and computer screens worldwide, knowing that this was going to further support the uprising that has been continuing to seep across the Middle East.  Radicals will use these images for propaganda to encourage stronger, more complex, violent schemes toward our country.   I am constantly amazed that most in the media are not recognizing this and certainly not urging caution and restraint in the public’s actions. 

Those who were directly affected by the devastation of September 11th will feel this more than the rest of us.  The troops who have been lost, the families who have lost their loved one’s who bravely served in an attempt to eradicate our world from this evil, have a claim at the sense of justice.  The fact is the though that evil never sleeps.  Evil is not thwarted by our desperation for vengeance and glory.  However, this does not mean we simply let evil have a physical presence in this world.  But, we must recognize that there are works that our eyes often do not see and the only way to fight this battle is with the army of the Lord.  Evil doesn’t die in our strength, but only by the power of Christ’s blood.   In fact, if we give in to the same bloodlust, we are tools in the hands of the enemy…

Evil will take reign in us if we aren’t aware, aren’t cautious, and aren’t pro-active.  The best weapons we, as Believers hold, is to recognize the war that we wage is not against flesh and blood, but powers of darkness.

Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version)

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

As Believers we are commanded to love our enemies.  That does NOT mean to tolerate what they do and allow reckless behavior!  But, it means that our response should not be out of bitter anger, but of righteous thinking, even righteous anger!  Righteous anger comes from the Holy Spirit within us.  The things that anger God and violate his Word, should anger us, but only in the sense that it is HIS authority that is violated, not our own

I don’t have this attitude perfected.  I am merely a lump of clay that He continues to mould and break.  But, these are the reflections that I have had in these last 48 hours. 

You Don’t Wanna Miss This….

Turning a blind eye

Today I learned a valuable lesson.  (When you have twin toddlers, the lessons for parents never end.)  One of my three-year olds decided that deodorant could serve a variety of purposes.  My oldest happened to walk by the restroom to find her little sister contentedly squeezing the life out of a stick of deodorant.  After yelling for my attention, I found the happy, little vandal wringing her creamy, fragrant hands over a scattered pile of Suave flakes covering the bathroom rug.  I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, grab the camera or start to pray.  After I cleaned her hands and picked up the bigger remains of the anti-perspirent, I took the rug outside and shook it.  The bathroom now has a heavenly aroma of powder.  We can all take comfort that the rug will avoid embarrassing pit-stains for quite sometime.  Who knew that even deodorant serves a variety of purposes?

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a frustrating trend amongst many of my brothers and sisters-in-Christ.  Unfortunately, this mindset has sadly been either openly promoted or quietly reinforced by the Church.  Like much of the Bible, many people like to take the portions that they are comfortable with and happily toss the rest out.  This “a la carte” mentality is often coupled with blatant misuses of scripture.  However, I know that many of my brothers and sisters don’t fall into that “blatant” category.  Understanding the true meaning and intent of biblical texts can, at times, require tremendous study, reflection, and consultation.  Further, because of the abuses that many of the “blatants” have placed upon scripture, people can have a tendency to shy away from certain topics or texts for fear of being misunderstood or even lumped in with the “blatants.”  There is, perhaps, no more “taboo” topic in Christian circles than prophecy or end-times theology. 

Thanks to predecessors such as Jack van Impe and Harold Camping, those of us who enjoy researching scripture and discussing “That Great Day” can often be silenced or immediately written off as, either kooks or scholars.  (I claim to be neither, though some would disagree about the first.)  I expect that the majority of the world might come to the “nutcase” conclusion and that doesn’t bother me.  It is the reaction of the Christian community that ruffles my feathers.  When I have brought up current events and scripture or even the mere word “rapture,” with fellow believers, I am often met with naysaying, which can instantly terminate the discussion.  I hear one phrase:  “Well, you know, the Bible says that we can’t know that hour or the day.”  What I hear is, “Case closed!”  I take the hint and move on.

The reference to this brow-beaten response is found in Mark 13:32, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  It is vital to understand and grasp this statement straight from the lips of Jesus, himself.  So when you hear of supposed theologians and self-proclaimed scholars who say they have determined the day that Christ is to return DO NOT LISTEN.  This is a direct contradiction of what scripture tells us!  That is a point that should be stressed and underlined.  Yet, many Christians stop here and go no further with what Jesus continued to say.  What a tragedy!  There is much more to his exhortation even prior to this statement!  But, following the place where people close the book and continue daydreaming, Jesus has this to say in the same chapter,

33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (emphasis added)

Jesus is making emphatic, strong statements here!  He commands that we keep watch.  At this point in scripture, the disciples, naturally wanted to know what they were to watch for.  In other words, *hushed whisper and gasp* they wanted signs. WHOA!  Imagine that!  You got it! Jesus was the first prophecy geek!  (You know the more I live, the more I realize that Jesus was a radical.  So I’ll take that label as the highest compliment!)  So, Jesus, being God (GOD!!) and having the authority to do what ever he wanted, decided that He wanted to give us specific clues (there it is again *gasp* SIGNS!) as to what the disciples (all of us, not just the dudes in dirty sandals and robes) should look for (not stumble upon, but LOOK FOR. “Watch!”).  He said this, after he gave the signs to his return, in verses 28-31,

 28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 And just because He knew many of us probably still wouldn’t get it, He went on to say this,

“When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 12:54-56, NIV)

I love storms.  I especially love just when the storm approaches and half of the sky is bright and the other half is getting increasingly dark.  The wind blows strong and the lightning begins to flash!  It’s one of the most amazing beauties of this earth.  A few days ago, I went to take a walk with my dog and noticed a fast moving wall cloud approaching.  I knew there was a chance for thunderstorms, but, really, when can the weather report be trusted, right?  I had just begun my walk, when I am saw my favorite part of the storm approaching.  I rounded around the block, knowing that this probably couldn’t be a long walk.  I wasn’t fearful, just knew my time was limited and I was going to enjoy the view!  My sister-in-law who lives on the street behind us, actually drove by and asked if I needed a ride.  But, this was the best part of the storm!  Before it actually unleashes!  So I thanked her and my pup and I continued.  As I approached my house, big droplets began to fall.  We just got inside and then hail, larger than pea-sized, pelted the house. 

Now, once I saw the wall cloud and then the darkening sky, I knew what was coming.  I didn’t take a Sunday stroll, oblivious to what was going on all around me, but neither was I afraid.  I had no idea the storm, though swift, would get that violent, and I was so thankful that my dog and I weren’t bombarded with the shards of ice falling from the sky.  I knew my destination.  Though the beginning signs of a storm are exciting, I knew that the assault would really begin, and soon.  I was focused on getting home, but anxiety didn’t color my journey.  I didn’t have to wonder what would follow after the first indications of weather change.  Wall clouds lead to wind, lightning, and rain.  I didn’t know there would be hail, but I prepared to be in the shelter.

This is how Christ expects us to act when we see the clues he gave us about his return.  We are on a journey and recognize the signs of the impending storm.  We aren’t to be anxious and fearful, but remain vigilant and focused on our destination.  Though catastrophe and destruction swirls around us, we know that these things lead to our redemption and so we take joy in His soon coming.  The damage and pain in this world is heart-wrenching, but it cannot weigh our hearts down in dissipation and overwhelming anxiety. All the while we pray for the afflicted, persecuted, and those who don’t have the Hope that we hold on to…our Shelter from the storm.

Watch, dear brothers and sisters!  Don’t get hung up on only one part of the message.  There is so much more to what Jesus was trying to tell us….

Revisiting “The Fight for Egypt – The Muslim Brotherhood Unveiled”

February 7, 2011 1 comment

The Crisis for Egypt that will Affect the World.

Over a year ago, I wrote a piece about the Muslim Brotherhood.  At the time, Egypt was in flux, resisting the leadership of Hosni Mubarak.  Media and leaders around the world praised the “Arab Spring.”  Even recently, with the democratically elected Morsi, our own President has called to congratulate his election and just days ago announced the formal invitation to visit the United States and hobnob with the Obama administration.  However, dissent is still in the ranks.Literally.

While Morsi assured the military forces that he would not, he has reconvened the parliament, mainly Islamists who have been questioned about thier legitimate electoral status.  Morsi, just weeks into his power, has blown through this promise.  Coptic Christians are fearful.  The military is on the verge of a coup.  In early 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood assured that they were not looking for their own place in politics, they only wanted to support Egypt’s right to democracy.  We now see their political prescence in Libya, Tanzania, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern nations teetering on regime changes.

It is clear what they desire is a revived Islamist calliphate. 

While they speak a desire for cooperative government with diversity, they spew hatred for Israel.

This election is so fresh and the Muslim Brotherhood is just entering the platform on the international stage.

And now, we dance.

The Fight for Egypt – The Muslim Brotherhood Unveiled.  (Original publication date: February 2011)

Most of us watching the media coverage in Egypt regarding the political crisis have come to understand the key players involved.  Obviously the central character is that of Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt.  Then there are the protestors.  There are the “pro-Mubarak or pro-government” protestors and the “anti-government protestors.”  And then there is the “Muslim Brotherhood,” residing in the mix of the mayhem.  Without any further investigation, at the onset, one is initially led to believe that this Muslim Brotherhood is merely the opponent of Mubarak.

Since coming to power in 1981, Mubarak has staunchly rejected and attempted to ban the Muslim Brotherhood from obtaining any power or influence within Egyptian culture.  However, now 30 years later and with the rapid decline of law, the Muslim Brotherhood, or MB, is making a strong and explicit presence in Egypt.  Though there were several days of violent protest, the MB claims that they renounce any form of violence, blaming all of the violence on the government and their “pro-Mubarak” protestors. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood insist that they have adopted a peaceful stance for over sixty years.

So, then, who is the Muslim Brotherhood?  What do they stand for?

Historical compunctions to the Muslim Brotherhood can be negative in looking to another Islamist organization, one in which we are all familiar with.  Hamas.  Incidentally, one might find the fact that Hamas is an official American terrorist organization with the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood is not, concerning.  Upon further investigation into how Hamas got started we find some dark spots on the MB’s claim at innocence.

Hamas grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political organization founded in Egypt with branches throughout the Arab world….In 1973, Yassin established al-Mujamma’ al-Islami (the Islamic Center) to coordinate the Muslim Brotherhood’s political activities in Gaza. Yassin founded Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood’s local political arm in December 1987, following the eruption of the first intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas published its official charter in 1988, moving decidedly away from the Muslim Brotherhood’s ethos of nonviolence.

Non-violence? Are we sure about that?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abdullah Azzan are two important names to consider.  The first name is likely familiar.  KSM is known as the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.  The second, Abdullah Azzan, was the mentor for Osama bin Laden, the point man behind 9/11 and the most wanted man in the world.

Both were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

(Exhibit A)

 Naturally, we can count on the Obama administration for a full display of their “speak first, think later (or never)” policy.  Mere days into the political decline in Egypt, the administration was giving their critique of Mubarak and support to the MB.  A wide range of media outlets were posting the raving (no pun intended) reviews of Obama behind the Egyptian protestors, subtly condemning the government and welcoming the MB as potential captors for the political crown.  NPR reported that while the U.S. has had limited contact with the MB,

“’The White House isn’t overly concerned with the Brotherhood being part of a more open and participatory politics in Egypt…There’s not a deep fear that if there’s any Brotherhood participation that that spells the end of U.S. interests in Egypt. In fact, there is a sense that U.S. interests in Egypt dictate that Islamists should be participating in more vibrant politics along with everybody else.’” 

Further, the article asserted that,

 “The Obama administration understands that a lot of people in Egypt think religion should have some role in public life, whether they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood or not — and that the U.S. shouldn’t turn its back on the group just because it’s Islamist.” (emphasis added)

(Based on that gripping and oh-so-comforting thought, an elaboration on certain terms, free of charge, will be provided to assist in our understanding of the insanity that lies within.  The first in our lesson today, courtesy of Dictionary.com, will be “islamist.”)

Islamist  (ˈɪzləmɪst) 

 — adj

1.  supporting or advocating Islamic fundamentalism

— n

2.  a supporter or advocate of Islamic fundamentalism

Let us continue. 

The article went on to highlight the striking similarity of these events and that of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which landed us where we currently reside with Iran.  (That, being a maniacal, genocidal, psychopath at the helm in pursuit of nuclear weapons.)  Isn’t there some wild notion going around that we should learn from history?  I guess this particular event isn’t ringing any bells. In the same article, Samer Shehata, an assistant professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, conveys his fear that “too many people will draw parallels with that time.”

I didn’t know that it was a bad thing to be mindful of heinous events that begin to play out in similar fashion, Mr. Shehata.

 “’There are many people in Congress, and in the general public, of course, that when they hear Islamist politics or the Muslim Brotherhood and so on, there’s no understanding. They immediately think of al-Qaida or Hamas or Hezbollah even. And this is a fundamentally different type of organization,’ Shehata says.”

Right.

 “Leslie Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, says no one knows for sure if that will change once the ban on the Islamist group is lifted. The Muslim Brotherhood says it supports democracy and free speech, but it is also anti-Israel and opposes the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement.” (emphasis added)

Are you scratching your head, yet?  Don’t worry, I didn’t know that you could be pro-democracy, pro-free speech and genocidal either. Let’s call this “Exhibit A.”

Now let’s investigate some key historical documented evidence that might weigh against the MB’s new-found utopian movement, shall we?

In a piece, entitled, An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America, detailed goals and instructions are given by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.  As I sifted through and read the document, I came across two passages that were highly troubling.

 “4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.” – Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood, Page 21

Oops. I guess they forgot about the non-violent change of heart. Perhaps this was prior to their renunciation?  Not so.  The document is dated, May 22, 1991.  A mere twenty years agoNow, I’m no math whiz, but last I checked twenty was less than sixty.  

 I think it’s safe to say the claim of a “heart change” sixty years ago can officially be busted.  (Exhibit B)

Maybe the warm fuzzies came over the Muslim Brotherhood within the last few years?  At first glance their official website, Ikhwahnweb.com, you would think “peace and love” were key components to the MB.  A beautiful Egyptian little girl’s face adorns the heading with the word, “peace,” after all.  You can even click on their statements and see all of the condemnations of violence, repugnance of Al-Qaeda, and commitments to social justice and reform.  But even hidden within their Western-marketed, English website shades of their truest, darkest colors shine through the pretty words.  Go to the by-laws of the Muslim Brotherhood and deep within, you’ll find these statements,

G – The sincere support for a global cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia, which would safeguard the personal rights, freedom of speech for  active and constructive participation towards building a new basis of human civilization as  is ensured by the overall teachings of Islam.

E –The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing an Islamic state.

A member of the Guidance office must acknowledge the country’s interests, constantly attend its meetings, preserve the confidentiality of its internal deliberations and commit to implementing the decisions even if it goes against what he believes. Has no right to criticize or challenge the decisions as long as they are issued  legally. He must completely  accomplish  tasks assigned to him. If the member breaches his duties, Member of the Guidance Office are entitled to reprimand, warn or suspend his membership for not more than a month or exempt him from office and he must be taken to the Shura Council at a meeting attended by the members in which he explains his arguments.

Whoa…does that sound like free speech to you?  How about democracy and non-violence?  I didn’t think so either…(Exhibit C)

And here is where our second word definition comes in. Wikipedia has this to say about “Sharia”:

Sharia can be divided into five main branches: ibadah (ritual worship), mu’amalat (transactions and contracts), adab (morals and manners), i’tiqadat (beliefs), ‘uqubat (punishments).

In most interpretations of Sharia, conversion by Muslims to other religions, is strictly forbidden and is termed apostasy. Muslim theology equates apostasy to treason, and in most interpretations of Sharia, the penalty for apostasy is death. During the time of Muhammad, treason and apostasy were considered one and the same; nowadays, many scholars differentiate between treason and apostasy, believing that the punishment for apostasy is not death, while the punishment for treason is death.

In an attempt at brevity, which I have sadly abused, time does not permit the specific, individual punishments for other issues, such as theft, adultery, and homosexuality, but, they range from maiming to death. Given Muslim Brotherhood’s goals for North America and their by-laws for members, one could deduce their intent to bring and enforce Shari’a law worldwide.

 Is this how you want your country governed? (Exhibit D)

So when Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman, makes comments that “Washington will try to work with any power brokers [in Egypt].” and “that a reformed government “has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.” I’ll admit, I’m a little skeptical. When Gibbs said the U.S. government has had no contact with the Muslim Brotherhood because of questions over its commitment to the rule of law, democracy and nonviolence. But the group is not listed on U.S. terrorism lists, as the militant Hamas and Hezbollah organizations are.  I’m thinkin’ we may want to pause for a moment and REALLY think about that.

Perhaps we should even reconsider the last bit, Bobby.  Just sayin’.

 (Case closed)

Update: Headline – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood honors Osama bin Laden

References

http://www.cfr.org/israel/hamas/p8968#p2 retrieved February 6, 2011

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/islamist  retrieved February 6, 2011

http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=22687 retrieved February 6, 2011

http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf  retrieved February 2, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-fg-us-egypt-20110201,0,2958266.story retrieved February 6, 2011

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/03/133455504/post-mubarak-muslim-brotherhood-could-play-role  retrieved February 6, 2011

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia_law retrieved February 6, 2011

The Bible – Reliable News Source, Thousands of Years in the Making

January 30, 2011 13 comments

Egypt Erupts in Riots and Looting

If you have flicked on the T.V. and watched headlines for even a brief moment within the last few days, you are aware that something major is going on the Middle East, specifically Egypt.  As a self-described “news junky,” and a student of the Bible, it’s as though I am reading one source in the same.  One difference, the Bible was written in the span of 1500 years, hundreds to thousands of years ago.  With the amount of media coverage that the chaos in Egypt is receiving, it was natural for me to open the “Good Book” and see what may have been written about the topic.  What I found is staggering…

Isaiah 19

A Prophecy Against Egypt

1 A prophecy against Egypt:

See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud

and is coming to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt tremble before him,

and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.

2 “I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian—

brother will fight against brother,

neighbor against neighbor,

city against city,

kingdom against kingdom.(emphasis added) 

3 The Egyptians will lose heart,

and I will bring their plans to nothing;

they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,

the mediums and the spiritists.

4 I will hand the Egyptians over

to the power of a cruel master,

and a fierce king will rule over them,”

declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

—————————————–

Ezekiel 30

   A Lament Over Egypt

 1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

   “‘Wail and say,

   “Alas for that day!”

3 For the day is near,

   the day of the LORD is near—

a day of clouds,

   a time of doom for the nations.

4 A sword will come against Egypt,

   and anguish will come upon Cush.[a]

When the slain fall in Egypt,

   her wealth will be carried away

   and her foundations torn down.

 5 Cush and Libya, Lydia and all Arabia, Kub and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

 6 “‘This is what the LORD says:

   “‘The allies of Egypt will fall

   and her proud strength will fail.

From Migdol to Aswan

   they will fall by the sword within her,

            declares the Sovereign LORD.

7 “‘They will be desolate

   among desolate lands,

and their cities will lie

   among ruined cities.

8 Then they will know that I am the LORD,

   when I set fire to Egypt

   and all her helpers are crushed.”

For skeptics of the Bible, let me ask you a question. 

How do you explain this??

Israel Joins Tea Party Movement

October 29, 2010 4 comments
Hear ye!  Hear ye! The outcry for freedom is goin’ global! 

Courtesy: ihr.org

Recently, it was announced that Israel, inspired by the American conservative Tea Party Movement, has decided to join the fight against the dominating Obama administration policies. In particular, the administration’s continued “strong objection” to apartment construction, so- called, “settlements.” 

“We believe President Obama is trying to force us to do things that most Israelis believe are very dangerous,” Mr Kleiner said. “We are being blackmailed to sacrifice our security and vital interests by another country, which is unprecedented…We also believe Netanyahu is crumbling and is going to give in on the [settlement] freeze.”

While peace talks have stalled due to the expiration of the self-imposed settlement freeze, many Israeli’s, most notably members of Netanyahu’s Likud party, are committed to the sovereignty of the state of Israel.  

The idea that “land for peace” will eventually pacify Palestinians is an ongoing joke.  The forsaking of the Gaza strip and the Golan Heights has proven time and time again that Arabs will not accept the Jewish state.  The violence and rockets continue.  Unfortunately, so often, Israel’s leaders, in desperation, resort back to the inducement that, perhaps, a little more land will finally satiate the Palestinians. 

Now there is just a sliver of land left.  At Israel’s widest point it expands a mere 71 miles, east to west., at the smallest point, a mere 9 miles.  North to South, it’s longest length is 263 miles.  Physically, Israel is about 8% smaller than New Jersey, and 2% larger than Massachusetts. It would fit into the USA about 440 times.  However, the country boasts a population of 7.4 million inhabitants, a flourishing economy, and a vast range of international exports.

Barack Obama and his administration spend time brainstorming about how they can manipulate and force Binyamin Netanyahu to hand Jerusalem over on a silver platter despite the fact that THEY AREN’T JEWISH OR ISRAELIS!  Hello??

So, let’s paint this pretty picture.  Suddenly Russia decides that they are going to call the shots (highly plausible) and they decide that part of New York should belong to Canada.  And since no one has come to an agreement about what should belong to the US and what belongs to Canada, any Manhattan apartments, luxury town homes, or project housing that are built are considered “unlawful” and a “violation of peace”.  Would our government tolerate that? I think not. Or how about this scenario:  Suddenly Mexico thinks they own Texas.  Many of those living on the Mexican-Texan border begin illegally crossing and creating chaos and violence toward the Americans.  Would our government tolerate that? Oh, right…uh…hmm…

 Israel is feeling increasingly isolated and shunned.  Though a maniacal dictator continues threats of extinction, feverishly working to back those threats, the majority of the world sits on their hands.  A country that is just above 8000 square miles waits, hopes, and prays.  Her “friends” have all but abandoned her.  Her closest ally currently holds a president who speaks of “an unbreakable bond” in a darling, media stunt and then condemns with words that haven’t been used, even for the madman who waits to assault them with nuclear weapons. 

Thus, the conservatives in Israel see the rally for freedom within America and see hope.  Not from Mr. Hope and Change, but from the people within. You see, the Tea Party movement is more than just about American issues.  It’s about standing for what is right, what is rational, and what is true.  Freedom is not a national issue, it’s an international issue.  This world is teetering on a precipice from which it may not recover.  The American people must demand our “leaders” quit pretending we are in some psychotic form of Monopoly™ where the paper money never ends and the players are just little metallic pawns. 

 The world is watching us.. Not the western world.  The entire world.   Every nation and culture is hinged upon what will happen hereWhat happens in the United States of America ripples through all oceans, touching each land on every continent.  We have an obligation not only to ourselves and our democracy, but to the international community to stand and exercise our right to tell our leaders who we are and who we want to be as a nation.  All eyes are upon the red, white, and blue.  Some, wondering if we will continue to allow this nation to plummet or if we will take back the reins and steer it back on course. 

The outcome will gives someone more power –

The politicians?

The maniacal dictators?

Or the free world?

 It’s our decision.

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