Friday, October 29, 2010

A Christian Perspective On Islam

For some time, I have been thinking about President Obama's speech to the Turkish parliament after he had taken office as President. He declared:  “The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.”  He went on to say that “our partnership with the Muslim world is critical not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject, but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people.”

The President also spoke of his “deep appreciation for the Islamic faith.”  Here is the statement in context:  "I also want to be clear that America’s relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim world, cannot, and will not, just be based upon opposition to terrorism. We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them."
In light of all of this, what is the true nature of the threat civilization now faces from radical Islam? Foreign policy analyst Tony Corn bravely addresses that question in “World War IV As Fourth-Generation Warfare,” published in an issue of Policy Review. Corn explains the struggle in terms of a conflict within Islam itself: The challenge confronting the West today is at once less than a full-fledged clash of civilizations and more than some unspecified war on terrorism: It is first and foremost an insurgency within Islam, which began in earnest in 1979, and for which the West remained, at least until 2001, a secondary theater of operations.From 1979 on, the revolution in Iran, the invasion of Afghanistan, the re-Islamization from above in Pakistan, the surge of Saudi activism in the Broader Middle East and the concurrent marginalization of Egypt within the Arab world (following the Camp David accords) combined to give birth to a qualitative and quantitative change of paradigm whereby pan-Arabism — the main movement in the Middle East since 1945 — was supplanted by pan-Islamism.

Thus: The West is at war with a new totalitarianism for which terrorism is one technique or tactic among many. .While specific forms of government vary in the Islamic world, this general understanding holds true.  Unlike New Testament Christianity, Islam is essentially a territorial religion including all lands under submission to the rule of the Qur’an. Furthermore, if the United States is to be understood as a Christian nation in the same sense that most nations in the Islamic world consider themselves to be Muslim nations, then America is at war with Islam. 

We do face a great civilizational challenge in Islam.  Islam is, in effect, the single most vital competitor to Western ideals of civilization on the world scene.  The logic of Islam is to bring every square inch of this planet under submission to the rule of the Qur’an.  Classical Islam divides the world into the “World of Islam” and the “World of War.”  In this latter world the struggle to bring the society under submission to the Qur’an is still ongoing.

This ambition drives the Muslim world — and each faithful Muslim — to hope, pray, and work for the submission of the whole world to the Qur’an.  Clearly, most Muslims are not willing to employ terrorism in order to achieve this goal.  Nevertheless, it remains the goal.

Islam and the West offer two very different and fundamentally irreconcilable visions of society.  While we are certainly not a nation at war with Islam, we are a nation that faces a huge challenge from the Islamic world — a challenge that includes terrorism, but also a much larger civilizational ambition that remains central.  Anyone standing in Istanbul, the historic seat of Ottoman power, should certainly recognize that fact.

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and a minister of the Gospel, my primary concern about Islam is not civilizational or geopolitical, but theological.  I believe that Jesus Christ is indeed, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and that no one comes to the Father but by Him [John 14:6].  Salvation is found only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of Christ is the only message that saves.

I can agree with President Obama that Islam has produced cultural wonders, but I have to see it more fundamentally as a belief system that is taking millions upon millions of persons spiritually captive — leaving them under the curse of sin and without hope of salvation.

For Christians, regardless of nationality, this is the great challenge that should be our urgent concern.  Our concern is not mainly political, but theological and spiritual.  And, all things considered, Islam almost surely represents the greatest challenge to Christian evangelism of our times.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Watching Israel, Iran, Syria, Turkey, & Lebanon

When one pays attention to the head lines today, the prophesy of Isaiah 17:1 comes to mind: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported October 8 that Google Earth photographs show extensive construction of several military bases throughout Syria and long range Scud missiles located about 20 miles northeast of Damascus. According to the report, the Iranian-backed Hezbullah terrorist group is in charge of the bases and the missiles. Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad boosted Hezbullah with a two-day tour of Lebanon’s border region with Israel.

Ahmadinejad again threatened the existence of Israel, saying, “Pay attention. This hollow Zionism feels it has reached a dead end, and may stage new treacherous acts to rescue its existence and to create opportunities for itself. I announce here and now that any new treacherous act will merely shorten this fabricated regime's disgraceful life.'' 

Persia, which is modern day Iran, is one of the nations mentioned in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy of the Gog/Magog war where God destroys the enemies of Israel. 

Turkey which was once thought to be an ally of Israel, along with Syria, and Lebanon are being turned against Israel by Iran. 

The United Nations is continuing to advocate a one world government. 

As we see technology advancing  and more of our economy going down the tubes, there is an acceleration toward the revealing of the anti-christ mentioned in Revelation 13:17, “That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The prophesy clock is moving fast forward to the "twelve o-clock hour!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Are the Jews still God's People?

Are the Jew's still considered God's chosen people? Do they still possess the land God's gave to Abraham?

In final statement of two-week conference, bishops' synod says Biblical concept of 'promised land' cannot be used to justify settlements.
Israel cannot use the Biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify new "settlements" in Jerusalem or territorial claims, a Vatican synod on the Middle East said on Saturday.

In its concluding message after two weeks of meetings, the synod of bishops from the Middle East also said it hoped a two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be lifted from dream to reality and called for peaceful conditions that would stop a Christian exodus from the region.

"We have meditated on the situation of the holy city of Jerusalem. We are anxious about the unilateral initiatives that threaten its composition and risk to change its demographic balance," the message said.
In a separate part of the document, a section on cooperation with Jews, the synod fathers also took issue with Jews who use the Bible to justify settlements in the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967.

"Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable," the document said.
Asked about the passage at a news conference, Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, said: 
"We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.

"The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians," he added. "The justification of Israel's occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures."

The synod's concluding message repeated a Vatican call for Jerusalem to have a special status "which respects its particular character" as a city sacred to the three great monotheistic religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
 To see what is happening, and understanding that the anti-christ could come from the revived Roman Empire, it looks like we are very close to the Rapture of the Church.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where are the men who fear God?

In listening to the news lately, there seems to be the feeling that we are in for a change this November, and some even think that there will be a turn around and the House and Senate will come back under Republican control, and the failed policies will be repelled.
 But if the last several administrations is any indicator, there is not much difference from one another--they support the same things.
The coming November election will not cure, nor even begin to cure, the $14 trillion debt that Congress and the White House have run up in my name, my children’s name and my grandchildren’s name. 
Any move from the socialists agenda that has been going on for the last 40 years, but more prevalent in this administration, is not going to happen over night, or in one election. And it may very well not change at all, because of the fact of the rapture and tribulation period, spoken of in God’s Word, is very near!
Christians across the land must understand that the nation is not in the shape it is in because of politicians. It is in this degraded condition because of the people who elect the politicians. In this country, we have a choice of our rulers, and as Christians we should be choosing candidates that align with God’s word. Trouble is, the two party system that has become the norm, often chooses candidates that are so similar that many voters are placed in the precarious position of choosing between what we call “the lessor of two evils.” This is why we must get involved at the local level. Get involved by becoming members of the central committees of the parties and have a say in the candidate selection process.
We also must get active about the judiciary and legal process. St. Augustine once wrote that an unjust law is no law at all. How many laws do we need? How many laws are unjust? How many judges are unjust? A law is unjust when it does not match up with the laws of God. America’s system of government was derived from the system put in place during the Exodus from Egypt. Genesis 18:21 describes the system: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rules of tens.”
This was the organizational principle on which the entire government of the United States was predicated. We see in this system of representation how the Founding Fathers established the forms of government from federal-- Executive, Judicial and Legislative bodies-- to the state and the local systems of government. There was a requirement, however, in administering these laws. Those in leadership positions needed to be “able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.” In other words, moral and Godly people were to be in charge of administering the laws. 
This is where we have failed in our personal walk with God, in not ensuring the character and quality of our lawmakers. 
We must begin again now. It may become too late if we “continue to halt between two opinions just to be politically correct!
It sure looks like a good day to fly!

Monday, October 18, 2010


On September 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers in four different states met at their school flagpoles to pray together before the start of school. The next year, the movement spread, and on September 11, 1991, an estimated one million students met at their school flagpoles across America from Boston to Los Angeles.

Last Wednesday, September 22, 2010, twenty years after that first major gathering, millions of students joined around their school flagpoles from coast to coast, in nearly every town in America (and in other nations as well) to praise and petition God on behalf of their schools and friends and families, their communities and their countries.

They started early, too. At Valencia High School in California, the students gathered while it was still dark and their breaths misted in the early morning air. Jessica Kwon woke up at 5:00am to get there on time. "It's better to come early, you get more time to pray for your school," she said. "Prayer is a powerful thing."

These students did not need adults to lead them – they did the praying themselves. When 7:15 am rolled around, the group remained deep in the middle of their worship time, ignoring the other students who stared or giggled as they arrived for school.

"It's for the glory of God, that's all that really matters" Jessica said.

That same morning, at Deshler Middle School in Tuscumbia, Alabama (the hometown of Helen Keller), forty middle school students wrapped their arms across each other's shoulders and sought God together. According to Mark Pyle, the owner of the local FM radio station WFIX 91, those middle schoolers joined 4000 other students from the local area in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. According to the numbers called into Pyle's station, the groups ranged in size from 10 at some schools to 300 at others.

All across America – and the world – they prayed. Kids. Kids who love Jesus.

Bless Our Schools Sunday:
They aren't alone though. Moms In Touch International has been promoting prayer in schools since 1984. These mothers (now in more than 120 countries) gather together to pray for their local schools, recognizing the power of prayer and faith in God Almighty. Whether two moms or two hundred gather weekly to pray for their local schools, the grace of Christ goes with them.

On Sunday, September 19, Moms International succeeded in kicking off the first annual Bless Our Schools Sunday, to remind churches of the importance of praying for their local schools. The day was intended to be set aside as "a time for churches to ask all the educators (teachers, administrators, staff, school board, etc.) and / or students in their congregation to stand and come forward while the pastor prays blessing over them for the school year."

The Mississippi legislature even got into it, passing a resolution that designated Sept. 19, 2010 as "Bless our Schools Day — A day of prayer for children and schools in Mississippi."

Morgantown Elementary Principal Fred Marsalis said, "I think every day should be a day of prayer for schools."  At his school, the children have a moment of silence every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance during which they can pray if they want. "We can't openly pray because of respect for the constitution and other people's (religious) preferences," Marsalis said. However, they can give the children that opportunity to pray on their own.

Even science agrees that prayer has power behind it. A study published in the September 2010 issue of the Southern Medical Journal found that intercessory prayer does indeed work. Candy Gunther Brown, professor of religious studies at Indiana University, found that deaf and blind people who received prayer through Christian ministries in Brazil and Mozambique had marked improvement after they were prayed for.

"We really don't know what the mechanisms are, but we're observing really a fascinating effect that we need to look at more closely," Gunther Brown says.
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." - James 5:16

Related Links:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Lesson of Secretariat

An interesting article was in my e-mail from Walid Shobat this week I want to share with you. It is a little lengthly but worth the reading and passing on if you haven't already seen it.

What has the new Disney movie about the Triple Crown winning racehorse Secretariat got to do with the ideals of America and lessons that can be learnt from this great accomplishment? Much can be, now let me explain.

We are witnessing right in front of our eyes the melting down of our country, the huge debts we are incurring, and the irresponsibility of our leaders, the bailouts, the removal of our freedoms because of so called fairness and the obfuscation of personal and government responsibility.

America was born out of a dream, innovation and an ideal of freedom that was achieved through grit and determination, even when the chips were stacked against its leaders and people. Todaythe American dream and psyche is deeply wounded, the innovating spirit is handicapped by a generation of an entitlement mentality. The chips are down and we need to shake ourselves out of this stupor. On November 4, 2008 we chose as a nation to sell out on our fighting spirit as a 
winning nation, even the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi 
thinks that “food stamps is the biggest bang for the buck,” is this what our 
country has become?  

The founders believed in freedom but they also believed in something else, just as important and that was winning. For over seven years the colonists fought hard and against tremendous odds to win their independence and freedom from tyranny. Most of the founding leaders were not experienced warriors; they were farmers, professionals and merchants but they were determined tobe free. They were willing to follow their dream and willing to sacrifice and allow the chips 
to fall were they lay. They gave their lives and their fortunes for that freedom and they won despite the odds. Just imagine today declaring war on the greatest super power with an inexperienced army, little resources but just the courage and tenacity to prevail. 

Why today do we as a country have such an entitlement mentality? Why is our faith in our own abilities to face challenges been reduced to corporate and personal handouts? We need to hang our heads in shame; this is not America I emigrated to 20 years ago.

The owner of Secretariat, Penny Tweedy Chenery ironically was crippled by a six million dollarinheritance tax after she and her brother were left the horse farm by their father. The inheritance also included the mare that fouled Secretariat.  Ms Chenery wished to continue the legacy of her parents and her dream to train a winning horse yet was left with a huge tax bill and no money to pay the IRS. The IRS death tax in itself is a crime against the American people 
but that is for a different article another time. Ms Chanery used her determination and innovation to sell a syndicate on the breeding rights of the untested horse with a performance clause that would have lost the ownership of the horse and possibly the farm.  This she did just to give her the opportunity to have Secretariat compete in the three great races that comprise the legendary and elusive Triple Crown.  Penny Tweedy Chenery could have easily taken the easy 
root, sold the farm, paid the taxes and be left in financial security for life.

Ms Chanery was a housewife with no experience in the horse racing business but she had a dream and wished to continue the great tradition of her family.  For her it was not about a comfortable time with an easy bailout it was about fulfilling a dream, freedom and winning.  If she could not win on her own terms then she would be satisfied where the chips lay.  Her gritty determination gave her the shot at her dream. We all know now how everything turned out.

On Nov 2nd 2010 when we go to the polling stations we need to appreciate not just the freedoms that the founding fathers created for us but we need to return to becoming a proud and winning nation once again. When we cast that vote we also need to understand how each one of us can become winners or improve our performance in our chosen profession, we need to sacrifice with a goal to win. The way forward will be challenging but that makes the satisfaction of winning 
even greater.  Winning for oneself is also winning for our country and having self-interest 
provides others with jobs, a purpose and opportunities. Winning is creating conditions so we can all follow our dreams and having leaders who understand this ideal. Winning is allowing individuals to be able to make decisions for themselves and not be made for them by government bureaucrats.  Winning is an American tradition, that is why America was great and that why it will be great again starting on midnight Nov 2nd when the winning American spirit will return 
from the folly of the phony slogan from the presidential campaign of 2008 of “Hope and Change.”  Maybe a better slogan for this election is “American Freedom is for Winners.”

The American people are about to put us back on the right track.  Thank you Disney for making the movie Secretariat, which showed me what the real ingredients needed to restore a once again great America.  

Our National anthem says we are the land of the free and the home of the brave; on Nov 2nd let us restore who we are.

Keith Davies
Executive Director Walid Shoebat Fdn

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hosea's Challenge to America

Hosea was a prophet who was called to declare God's indictment against the Northern Kingdom.
(Almost a century later, Jeremiah would be called to render a similar service to the Southern Kingdom.)

The kingdom divided after Solomon's death into two kingdoms: Judah and Jerusalem in the south, under Rehoboam, Solomon's successor, which in large measure remained faithful to God and the temple worship; and the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam, called Israel, which plunged into idolatry.The Northern Kingdom, with a successful standing army, recovered to Israel all the territory lost - even the possession of Damascus. They enjoyed material prosperity unequaled since days of Solomon. 
It seemed like the best of times from their own point of view.However, they also had sunk to their lowest ebb of immorality and idol worship. In addition to idolatry, other sins denounced by Hosea included social injustice, violent crime,  religious hypocrisy,  political rebellion,  dependence upon foreign alliances, selfish arrogance,  and spiritual ingratitude. 

This is the burden of Hosea: that although a loving and caring God had provided their abundance and prosperity, their sin, disloyalty and abandonment of Him will force Him to vindicate His justice with judgment.
After detailing the indictments against the nation, Hosea then declares that God is going to use their enemies as His instrument of judgment. Shortly they will be history...

The parallels with America are very, very disturbing. We, too, are experiencing unprecedented prosperity. The stock indexes are caressing 11,000. People are purchasing their third and fourth cars. Almost every home has a computer.

It's difficult to find a pedestrian without a cellular phone in his ear or on his belt. Fuel for our cars costs less than a bottle of water.

It is, indeed, "the best of times." Or so it seems. And yet we have sunk to moral depths lower than could have been imagined only a generation ago. We are so "sophisticated" that we condone homosexuality as an "alternative life-style."

We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement.
We have abandoned the sanctity of commitment in our marriages and in our business enterprises.

Our entertainment industry celebrates adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sex practices, and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the world's leading exporters of all that God abhors.

It certainly is "the worst of times" from His point of view. God rebuked Israel for their brutality: there was murder, there was violence, and there was warfare. We, too, have had Waco... and Columbine High School. New York City has recorded more crimes than England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, combined.  And we, too, have had Vietnam, Kosovo, et al. We should have been sending Bibles, not bullets and bombs. Missionaries, not missiles.

Immorality and deceit have also come to characterize the highest offices of our nation as well. Our politics have condoned and covered up more murders than we dare list.

Our public enterprises have been prostituted to the convenience of the elite. We have clearly disconnected character from destiny.

There is nothing new in the "new morality." They practiced it in 700 b.c. and were ultimately destroyed as a result. And so may we be.

Israel had neglected the Word of God for two hundred years. So have we.

All this is but a mirror of the American soul. Behind all of our problems is the big problem: that we are not recognizing God. We are virtually ignorant of God's Word. We have outlawed Him from our schools and exiled Him from our lives.

The minute you get away from the Word of God, you are doomed to failure in both your Christian life and your national life.