“… He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free,’ but he did not know that the Lord had left him. It’s a picture of so much of the charismatic church of America. It’s a picture of so much of the ministry that is going on, ‘we’re going to go on with our show, just as we have done it in the past … but we don’t realize that God’s left us…”
For seven years now in various universities across the globe, there have been meetings and conferences linking Israel to the actions and policies of Apartheid South Africa (usually held the first two weeks of March). For a succinct description please note CAMERA’s portrayal of these events.
They come as part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a series of lectures, exhibits and events that single out Israel for fierce attack. Students are told the Jewish state is, by nature, a racist, colonial and oppressive state. They are told Israel should be boycotted, and even destroyed. They are told this by ideologues who distort facts about the country while ignoring genuine oppression in the Middle East and across the world.
Often the focus of attention is on Israel’s SECURITY FENCE and how this symbolizes a ‘wall of oppression’ when in reality it is a barrier that has led to a 90% reduction in terror attacks. The film “With God on Our Side” tried to use this argument but never made apparent the primary use of the fence. In the film a comment was made by one observer from South Africa. This individual was contacted by the writer for further clarification and made the disclaimer that he was not speaking from a professional perspective, but only as an observer, that he felt the limitation of movement, the check points, and restrictions of personal choice of employment made ‘the West Bank … like Apartheid’. Israel does not govern Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the Palestinian Authority does. The Palestinians suffer from their own failed government. This is an important distinctive that often gets lost in the conversation.
I am a South African who was born into, and lived through nearly half of, the apartheid era. During my childhood and teenage years my family relocated repeatedly, living in every corner of that country. I changed schools 13 times, and in three years as a member of the South African Defense Forces I was stationed in five different military bases across the land. I know South Africa well. I know apartheid well. I know Israel well.
And believe me, no factual or accurate comparisons can be drawn between that South Africa and this Israel.
Let me tell you what Israel would have to do to qualify as an apartheid state. But first, a couple of clarifications:
The charge is that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs is similar to White South Africa’s treatment of South African black citizens (which included full-blood “Africans,” mixed-race “coloreds” and the descendants of immigrant Asian laborers).
The whole argument collapses right there, because the Palestinian Arabs have never been Israeli citizens. Nor did/do they have any national history as “Palestinians” – neither in Israel nor anywhere else. They are Arabs – their country of origin is Arabia.
For starters, then, it is fallacious to compare Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Arabs in any area to the apartheid governments’ relationships with their black South African citizens.
Next Goodenough makes the statement that Israeli-Arabs who comprise 20% of Israel’s population and that they “live in 15 towns and cities, mostly in and around the Galilee. They have full voting rights. Five Arab political parties are represented in the Knesset; there are 14 Arab members of Knesset, one has attained to a ministerial portfolio, one is a former and another is a current deputy Knesset Speaker.”
According to Goodenough:
Israeli Arabs enjoy complete freedom in their country. They can live, study, work and travel where they please. They have national health coverage and enjoy the same benefits as their fellow, Jewish, citizens.
What they do not have to do, is serve in the IDF (although some Druze and some Bedouin choose to do so and have served with distinction; even laying down their lives.)
He continues by describing 18 separate South African Apartheid laws and what they would look like IF in fact Israel was acting in concert with the same type of oppression. Here are a few examples
– Arabs would be required to be classified and registered in accordance with a racial classification (Population Registration Act).
– Arabs would be forced by law to live in Arabs-only residential areas and work in Arabs-only business areas (Group Areas Act).
– Arabs would have their names systematically removed from the voters’ roll until they were all deprived of their voting rights (Separate Representation of Voters Act).
– By law, Arabs would be deported from wherever they lived in Israel and forcefully settled in designated Arab-only areas (Bantu Authorities Act).
– Arabs would be evicted and have their homes destroyed if they tried to remain in “Jews-only” areas (Prevention of Illegal Squatters Act).
The detractors of Israel who participate in these events have as one of their goals to ultimately render the nation an ‘illegal’ entity. Do those in the Church who subscribe to this flawed logic (Israel is an Apartheid state) realize the outcome of their positions? Will these Christians be able to stop the momentum of hatred that seeks to justify terror against the State of Israel, even its annihilation? What kind of slippery slope is this? Granted as followers of Jesus we do not agree with all the actions of the government of Israel or any nation, especially America. However, if God’s hand is upon Israel for his ultimate purpose at this time in history, whose side are they really on?
John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.
The UN Security Council last week was one vote short of “rendering” all Israeli settlements illegal. The US stood in the way and vetoed the resolution, opting however to agree to the settlement’s “illegitimacy.” Ynet news stated:
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.” She added that the US view is that Israeli settlements lack legitimacy.
The Ambassador continued on to indicate that settlements and other issues ought to be resolved through negotiations. The Jerusalem Post added that:
The resolution risks “undermining US-led efforts to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.” Rice said that the settlements have, for “four decades” undermined Israel’s security situation and hindered the peace process in the Middle East.
At the same time the Palestinian official said this veto actually threatens the peace process. Again from Ynet:
The Americans have very clearly demonstrated to Palestinians, to Arab public opinion, and to world public opinion that they are biased to the point of destruction.
If they keep trying to manipulate and water down a resolution to become a statement, and they start selling us used goods again it’s not going to work
Israel’s position on this is that settlements and for that matter the entire peace process is to be through negotiations and not via UN resolutions. A statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office reads:
“We seek a solution that will integrate the legitimate Palestinian aspirations with Israeli requirement of security and recognition,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is through negotiations. We are ready to vigorously advance negotiations and are interested in beginning the process of achieving secure peace and hope that the Palestinians will join the process.”
Was the US Administration trying to play both sides of the aisle? The settlements were always part of the peace negotiations going all the way back to President Carter’s Camp David Accord. For some reason, a non-issue became an ISSUE. I am not willing to speculate here on why this seems to be the case, but the settlements are not only legitimate, they are in fact legal. This can be traced all the way back to the League of Nations’ partitioning of Palestine and the British Mandate. To make the settlements illegal, one would have to make the judgments of The League of Nations in 1922 and the UN in 1947 in establishing a home land for Jews void. For a primer on the settlement issue please see Jewish Virtual Library, Myths and Facts, Settlements.
John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.
Ten years ago at TheCall DC, with real urgency and expectation, we announced that it was time for a new Jesus Revolution – a gospel-driven, moral and cultural reformation, empowered by the Spirit. Now, ten years later, the hour is even more urgent, and there is a deep sense that the revolution is gaining traction. It really is time for God’s people to seek His face like never before, to give themselves to His purposes like never before, and to say to the Lord, “Here I am, send me and use me to spark a holy revolution in my generation.” If not now, then when?
I believe that TheCall Sacramento could mark a turning point of real significance for the Church and for the society. Make your plans to join me there!
Dr. Michael L. Brown, President, FIRE School of Ministry
Our nation is in need of help concerning our relationship with Israel. You may be very familiar with the following passage, but carefully read the following:
I am speaking the truth in Christ- I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit- that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 9:1-5)
If left to my own reasoning I might think Paul misspoke. Surely he should have said, “belonged,” yet the text says, “belongs.” Let us quickly review the seminal oracle which established this reality.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “… I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1a-3)
If the promises belong (Present-Tense) to Israel, then certainly the genesis and source of both covenants and promises are valid today. This foundation, Genesis 12:1-3, supports the promises. The English Standard Version correctly translates Genesis 12:3 – “…and him who dishonors you I will curse…” When one makes light of God’s choice one is making light of the God who chose.
In the light of this promise, please consider this: President Obama, in an over the top display of apparently reflexive reverence, symbolically abased the United States as he paid obeisance to the Saudi monarch. Within a year’s time he displayed a dishonoring dismissal of Israel in the person of Benjamin Netanyahu. Although our uniquely obsequious Chief Executive had no problem being photographed kowtowing to the brutal tyrant of China apparently he had issues about being captured in the same lens as the prime minister of Israel. Surely, if there was ever an example of personal (Obama) and institutional (President) dishonor of Israel, this would qualify. This incident illustrates and encapsulates the official attitude of the current administration.
However, (please read this carefully) President Obama is not the primary reason our nation is having a problem with Israel. In fact, it seems to me that it is a miracle our nation recognized Israel in the first place. From the inception of Israel’s founding, our State Department has been averse to the existence of the Jewish State and they are joined by many top-level military strategists and intelligence officers who have been ambivalent, at best. State Department career employees remain in place from presidential administration to administration. Our current administration’s actions and words, led by President Obama, exemplify a long term attitude of these bureaucrats and manifest already established policy.
President G. W. Bush modified the official stance, but recently, President Obama’s administration pressed the “reset” button and seized upon an excuse to reveal and run with our nation’s official outlook. At this time our President and State Department are united in their adversity to Israel. It is reported that earlier this year our Commander in Chief was enraged with Israel and subsequently our Secretary of State went to war with words, putting down the building up of Jerusalem, Israel’s capitol. Then General Petraeus stirred up pre-existing flames of fiery opposition to our alliance with Israel. Unlike NSA advisor General James Jones’ foray into comedic propaganda, this is no joke.
These official forces are joined by our news media, the arts and academia as they participate in an ongoing onslaught of slanted information aimed at our nation’s populace. However, despite this barrage, two thirds of our nation currently remain supportive of maintaining a strong relationship with Israel. Think about it. This is a strange phenomenon. It is a manifestation of mercy. We need to stand in the gap that this mercy might increase. Why? Please consider Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!“” In the light of this verse a question begs to be asked, “If they don’t love Jerusalem, how secure will they be?”
Let us pray for the overthrow of longstanding policy in our State Department. Let us pray for the thwarting of the current administration’s antipathy towards Israel. Let us pray for our nation and our leaders. Let us pray that our government would honor God’s purposes.
Within two weeks we’ll post some heart qualifications for effective intercession for our nation.
Here are two articles that may help us focus our prayers:
Unbelief often infiltrates our hearts in the most covert ways. Sometimes we don’t even realize that it’s there. It is good from time to time to take stock of our own belief system to see what is based on God’s Word and what is simply something that we have heard repeated, even by godly leaders, and accepted as fact.
One of the most common questions that people ask me is, “Why do these incredible miracles happen in Africa but not in the western world?” I have heard very well known and well-intentioned ministers give entire teachings about why God doesn’t do it here. I have even heard one use Reinhard Bonnke’s crusades (where I preach) as an example. Some of the explanations I have heard are actually very rational and really explain in detail why it works this way. I must admit, for a long time I also had various answers to this question. And then one day, it occurred to me…the problem is revealed by the question itself.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “…He that cometh unto God MUST BELIEVE.” Anyone who approaches God with the preconception that God heals there but not here (wherever “here” and “there” may be), has already prophesied the outcome of there own request. You cannot approach God like that. Faith is the fundamental basis upon we can and must approach the Almighty.
Where did we get the idea that God does greater miracles in third-world countries than he does in the west? Many people, in asking this question, have just accepted this notion as fact, but what data is it based on? There is certainly nothing in scripture to support it. I can tell you from my own anecdotal experience, as one who ministers all over the world, that THE POWER OF GOD IS THE SAME in the Western world as it is in Africa, Asia or any third-world country. I just returned a couple weeks ago from a tour in the United Kingdom. We saw incredible miracles in every single service. Tumors were disappearing, deaf ears opening, arms, legs and eyes instantly healed. In fact, given the relative numbers, I would say that in many places in the west I have seen more healings then even in Africa – you can’t tell me that miracles don’t happen in the west!
Psalms 78:40, 41 gives us some fascinating insight on God’s frustration with the Children of Israel in the wilderness. It says, “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, AND LIMITED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.”
Of course the Children of Israel had seen great wonders and signs unlike any generation of human beings before them. They knew that God was powerful, but they subjected Him to a set of parameters and constraints based on their own experiences. God was provoked and grieved by their limitations and allowed their doubt to become a self-fulfilling prophecy (ie. Ex. 14:11 the Israelites say, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” – Num. 26:65, God says, “They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.”)
Even Jesus had a taste of this in His own ministry. When He returned to His hometown Mark 6:5 says, that He was not able to do any miracles there. I can just hear the locals asking each other, “Why do miracles happen in Jerusalem and not in Nazareth?” Their unbelief was literally enough to limit what He was able to do in their midst. Their unbelief had become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The philosophy that God doesn’t do it here, is nothing more than an insidious, demonic doctrine of unbelief, and I, for one, refuse to humor the bogus assumption discretely tucked into the question any longer. How has Satan managed to get us to buy into this baseless lie wholesale? It was in the west that the Great Awakenings took place. It was in the west that people like Smith Wigglesworth, Kathryn Kuhlman, William Branham and all of the great healing evangelists of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s witnessed some of the greatest miracles in recorded history. It was in the west that the Holy Spirit was poured out in Wales and Azusa Street and the Hebrides. The Charismatic movement, the Jesus People movement, the Toronto outpouring and the Brownsville Revival, all happened in the west.
It’s worth mentioning that this is not a uniquely western problem…it is a human problem, a problem of unbelief, a problem of limiting God. You see, for some reason, many have subconsciously bought into a philosophy that says miracles can happen everywhere except here. Those in the west find it easy to accept that something miraculous can happen far away like Africa or Asia. But I have also heard those in Africa and Asia talk about the wonderful things happening in America. The voice of unbelief says that anything can happen…somewhere else. This is not faith and it does not please God.
What other notions have we adopted into our belief system that limit God? Maybe we will find that some of our great questions have a very simple solution, one that we have actually known all along, “He that cometh to God must believe…”
One man told me recently, “I consider myself a ‘Chari-skeptic’.” He apparently took great pride in his unbelief – two sins for the price of one. I know people who feel it is somehow noble and a great service to the Body of Christ to question everything that God does. Every healing has to be verified by a doctor, every manifestation needs a logical explanation, and every miracle must be approached with skepticism and cynicism. Their default setting is to doubt their “beliefs”.
While I am certainly not one who endorses mindlessly swallowing everything that comes down the line, I would like to see a new breed of skeptics arise; skeptics that question uncertainty, doubt doubts and are cynical about unbelief.
Jesus was this kind of skeptic. In Mark 6:6, we read that Jesus “…marveled because of their unbelief.” Jesus couldn’t believe that they couldn’t believe. Why are the unbelievers always on the offense and those with faith always on the defense? Isn’t it more logical to trust an all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present God rather than the six inches of grey matter between our ears? I say we should be skeptical of anything that hints of unbelief.
As mentioned earlier, many people ask, “Why do more miracles happen in Africa than in the west?” My response, “Who says that more miracles happen in Africa?” I’m skeptical about the premise of that question.
Here’s another question I get asked often; “Why doesn’t everyone get healed?” My response to that is the same as the one above: “Who says everyone doesn’t get healed?” A valid question might be, “Why didn’t everyone get healed in that particular setting?” But to just assume, based on your own experience or something you have heard, that in every instance, only a percentage of those sick receive a healing, is in my opinion, founded in unbelief.
Another question I often hear is, “Why don’t miracles happen like they used to?” You see, just like it’s easy to believe that miracles can happen…somewhere else, it’s also easy to believe that something miraculous happened in the past, or can happen sometime in the future. The only thing people have difficulty believing is that God can do it right here, right now…but here and now is all we have.
I think that often these questions, and others like them, are really nothing more than a subconscious attempt to let ourselves off the hook. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Word, His power and His promises are the same. What’s more, there are plenty of people who are seeing God’s mighty power demonstrated here and now. Bottom line: there is no excuse.
Lutheran leaders have approved a statement that has been described as being a move “toward a more welcoming view of homosexuality.” According to the AP:
Delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis, approved a “social statement on human sexuality” that acknowledges differing views on homosexuality. It says the ELCA is strong enough to accommodate such differences.
The session discussing this statement was set to commence at 2pm on August 19th. Just at this time, a tornado touched down in Minneapolis and hit the convention center and church at which the ELCA was meeting. According to Fox9:
The Minneapolis Convention Center has sustained approximately 1,800 square feet of roof damage and has some water damage. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was holding its national convention at the center at the time of the storm. About 2,200 people were registered for the convention. People inside the Convention Center were taken to a safe location, and there were no reports of injury.
Pastor John Piper, who lives in Minneapolis, shared some controversial thoughts concerning the tornado in his blog entry from August 20th. He starts by setting the stage for the meeting of these two seemingly unrelated entities (the tornado and the convention):
A friend who drove down to see the damage wrote,
On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected…a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts—most saying they’ve never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city: Minneapolis.
The tornado happens on a Wednesday…during the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s national convention in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The convention is using Central Lutheran across the street as its church. The church has set up tents around it’s building for this purpose.
According to the ELCA’s printed convention schedule, at 2 PM on Wednesday, August 19, the 5th session of the convention was to begin. The main item of the session: “Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.” The issue is whether practicing homosexuality is a behavior that should disqualify a person from the pastoral ministry.
The eyewitness of the damage continues:
This curious tornado touches down just south of downtown and follows 35W straight towards the city center. It crosses I94. It is now downtown.
The time: 2PM.
The first buildings on the downtown side of I94 are the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran. The tornado severely damages the convention center roof, shreds the tents, breaks off the steeple of Central Lutheran, splits what’s left of the steeple in two…and then lifts.
After then laying out the scriptural case for the importance of the issue the convention was discussing and God’s sovereignty over nature and seemingly random events, he concludes:
The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners.
How remarkable! John Piper, one of the preeminent voices in Evangelicalism today, soberly pronounces a natural event to be a warning from God concerning the goings-on at the convention! Could this be true?
A speaker at the convention joked concerning the tornado’s timing, “we trust that the weather is not a commentary on our work.” Rather than joking about it, perhaps time should be spent in prayer to the God who actually listens and actually (in reality) acts in our current time and space, seeking His divine will and voice.
The larger question here is worth pondering. While the scriptures clearly portray God as sovereign over His creation, speaking through natural means, modern day thought both in and out of the church has relegated God to the sidelines. Reggie Kelly said it well when he stated concerning the Tsunami Disaster from a few years ago:
The ready explanations of modern geological science seem more plausible than the biblical view of nature as an agent of moral judgment under an unlimited divine sovereignty. After all, it is well known that seismic activity of this kind is a commonplace in the greater history of the planet, and is especially predictable in the area around the Pacific Rim known as ‘the ring of fire’. So is the recent tsunami disaster of the Indian Ocean simply another instance of blind brute nature ‘acting up’ according to well known natural laws? Such naturalistic explanation may appear to exonerate God from implication in the seemingly undistinguishing carnage of ‘nature’s fury’; but it would be a loss far greater than the tsunami disaster if the world-view of ‘scientific naturalism’ should prevail to rob the modern world, and particularly the church, of the significance and impact of such a costly judgment and prophetic statement of greater judgments to come.
What does God have to say about these and other issues? Have we as a church “graduated” from seeking His counsel and expecting Him to speak through some means, to going our own way, confident in our own understanding? Have things so substantially changed in the last three thousand years, that God no longer controls the weather, nor does He speak through it?
Whether or not the sovereign Lord was speaking through this particular natural occurrence, let’s hope Mr. Piper’s words serve as a gut-check to all of us that God is in fact in charge even of the wind and the sea, and his message to all is (as it always has been) … repent.
Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org
As our great country accelerates its slide into economic and moral Hell, be careful whom you blame. The present boldness of liberals and timidity of conservatives are only the secondary causes. Much of the blame can be placed at the foot of the church.
When I say the church, I don’t mean an institution like the Roman Catholic church, but the entire body of believers—those from all denominations who believe that the Bible is true, that people are sinners, that God sent the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, and that we are charged with spreading that message and reforming society.
Believers are God’s ambassadors here on earth, called to be salt and light in the world and to the world. When we follow our calling, individuals are transformed and societies with them. Our country is failing because too many believers have abandoned this calling.
They began abandoning it in earnest in the 1920’s. That’s when an anti-intellectual movement called fundamentalism led believers to separate from society rather than reform it, and to bifurcate life into two separate spheres—the sacred and secular. Reason was given up for emotionalism, and only activities that directly saved souls were deemed sacred. Everything else was considered secular. Careers in clergy and missions were glorified at the expense of everything else. That led too many believers to leave public education, the media, law, and politics in the hands of the unbelievers. Is it any wonder why those areas of our culture now seem so Godless? Take the influence of God out, and that’s what you get.
Secularizing public education has been the key to our nation’s moral demise. Once public education went secular, the rest of society eventually did, especially when the products of that system became our leaders. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”
The philosophy of the schoolroom is atheistic. The question of God’s existence—the most important question regarding how we should live—is not studied or debated in our public schools. Atheism is just assumed to be true and with it moral relativism. That’s a major reason why immorality dominates our schools and why our kids know more about political correctness than truth. It’s also why we have a new generation of voters more enamored with “hope and change” than defending our changeless rights from an overreaching government. G. K. Chesterton’s observation about Russia has come true here, “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”
How did this happen? In the early 1960’s, the Supreme Court, consisting of newly trained secularists, banned devotional Bible reading in our schools (apparently, for the 180 years before that, people just didn’t understand the Constitution!). That decision, and several others, has stifled virtually any mention of God or the Bible in our public schools. In effect, the most influential book in the history of the world is ignored in our educational system. What kind of a quality education is that? It’s certainly not what the folks who settled this land had in mind for public education. In fact, the first public school in the new world began as a result of the “Old Deluder Satan Law.” That 1647 Massachusetts law established the school to teach kids how to read the Bible so that old deluder Satan could not deceive them.
Likewise, most of our first universities were established to teach and propagate a complete Christian worldview. Harvard’s charter read, “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”
The founders of Harvard knew that all truth is God’s truth. There is no bifurcation between the sacred and the secular. According to the Bible, every vocation, every discipline, and every person is sacred. Nothing is secular. In sharp contrast, those running our country now say that everything is secular. That’s a long way from our founding.
“So what?” you say. “Who cares about morality and God?”
That’s exactly the problem: Who does care? When the church separates from society, it takes its moral influence with it. But respect for the moral principles upon which out nation was founded—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—is essential to its survival. Our founders knew this.
Following the Constitutional convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and his fellow founding fathers created for the nation. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Franklin knew that freedom must always be defended; that the unalienable rights for which our founding fathers pledged “their lives, fortunes and sacred honor,” were never secure unless an informed electorate held their representatives accountable to uphold those moral rights.
Recognizing that only a religious and moral people will maintain a good government, George Washington declared in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” His successor, John Adams, wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In other words, even the best Constitution cannot prevent immoral people or politicians from destroying a nation. That’s why the church cannot abandon its calling. But it has.
So if you’re a believer who is upset that life is not being protected; that marriage is being subverted; that judges routinely usurp your will; that our immigration laws are being ignored; that radical laws are passed but never read; that mentioning God in school (unless he’s Allah) results in lawsuits; that school curriculums promote political correctness and sexual deviance as students fail at basic academics; that unimaginable debt is being piled on your children while leftist organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACORN receive your tax dollars; and that your religion and free speech rights are about to be eroded by “hate” crimes legislation that can punish you for quoting the Bible; then go look in the mirror and take your share of the blame because we have not obeyed our calling.
Then start over. Reengage at every level of society. Treat every job and every person as sacred. Be a beacon for Christ and truth in whatever you do and wherever you are. There is hope if you act. After all, we believe in redemption.
Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I saw the video below, entitled The Numbers Don’t Lie, which was put out by the Bound4Life folks in June. I thought the video was great, but wondered how they could attribute the shift in public opinion on abortion directly to the Bound4Life/JHOP movement. I asked my friend Gordon MacIlvaine with JHOP:San Diego to share some thoughts on the subject, and he graciously accepted. Below is his guest article for VOR, entitled The Numbers Don’t Lie.
“Who, tho’ he has fought against thee, is now reconciled to thee, and will maintain thy cause against all thine adversaries.”– John Wesley.1
Seeds of Intercession
God contends with those who contend against His people. Then He calls us to be a kingdom of priests who do what He is doing in this generation. Intercession is much more than an activity to which we devote two hours of our time each morning and evening. Intercession is much more than a current trend into which we take refuge for a season of time and then move along as the culture sways us. Intercession is the very reason and the very lifestyle for which we are all created. The purpose of this short piece of writing is to call to account and to bring to remembrance the primary vocation of every believer in Jesus. Even though it is our inheritance to go from glory to glory in the place of intercession, we more frequently than we should lose sight of our identity in Christ the Intercessor.
Secrets of Intercession
Secret of intercession #1 – Jesus Himself made it plain, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” In another place Jesus furthers expands on this, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Secret of intercession #2 – To go humbly before God and ask Him questions. You might for example ask God, “Oh Lord, how do I pray?” This is what the twelve disciples asked Him; should we do any differently? Another question which directly relates to revival and reformation is this: “Why has America’s opinion about the practice of abortion shifted from pro-choice to pro-life within the last year?” Several recent polls have all confirmed this to be true, yet why is this happening? Why is America changing her view about abortion? If this causes confusion to you because you think that abortion is just an issue2 that isn’t worth worrying about, then you might want to ask these questions: “God, what do you think about abortion? Should men and women have the right to choose if their child is going to be born?” Many across America have asked this very thing, have heard God answer clearly, and have gone forth in obedience to His unmistakable voice. In simple terms, we cannot enter into intercession unless the voice of God leads us on, and unless the power of the Holy Spirit is alive and active in our midst.
The Red Warriors
Again, I believe that we should indeed be asking the questions, “Why have the hearts and the minds of Americans shifted concerning abortion? Does this shift reflect or relate to the increasing amount of prayer all across America for the ending of abortion and for revival and reformation? This is critical for America to understand in light of the social, political, moral, cultural, health, educational, and spiritual states of emergency into which we find ourselves today. I would dare to say that much of our crisis is undoubtedly bound to the issue of the bloodguilt of America. But don’t just take my word for it. Ask God! He is proclaiming it loud and clear. In all 50 states there are groups of people who have committed themselves to pray for the ending of abortion. Why is this? Because God loves babies!3 Bound4LIFE chapters made up of young and old followers of Jesus gather to fast, weep, and travail in prayer for the ending of abortion. We stand in front of abortion clinics and courthouses praying silently with red tape over our mouths that says LIFE. We wear red wristbands called Life Bands as a symbol and reminder of the covenant with God that we have made to PRAY for abortion to end every time we see the red mark on our wrist, to VOTE for candidates that are actively pro-life, and to OBEY God as he leads us into works of compassion and justice. And we repeat this prayer daily: “Jesus I plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation, God end abortion and send revival to America!”
If this is not God raising up a united cry for the pre-born babies who don’t yet have a voice of their own, then we are to be pitied among Christians because we stand in silent prayer for several hours every week. But if this is what Jesus is doing right now among thousands of His followers throughout America, Canada, Europe and the world, then it doesn’t take a prophetic eye to discern that the Holy Spirit is drawing forth a Moses Generation out of the bloody river of abortion; He is longing much more than we are for abortion to come to an end. In 1994 during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, Mother Theresa declared boldly before President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and many congressional leaders, “Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child.”4 Oh that the Church of America would see and embrace the truth!
The Numbers don’t lie. Thousands of Christians, young and old, are gathering together all over America to fast and pray for the ending of abortion.5
The Numbers don’t lie. Since 1973, 50 million American lives have been lost in the bloody river of legalized abortion. Each day, over 4000 children are aborted in America.6
The Numbers don’t lie.
Right now the momentum is on your side. A recent Gallup poll7 shows that in May 2008 50% of Americans considered themselves “Pro-Choice” and 44% considered themselves “Pro-Life.” In the last year, there has been a complete reversal of statistics. As of May 2009 51% of Americans now consider themselves “Pro-Life” while only 42% say “Pro-Choice.” This is a FIRST-the majority of Americans are Pro-Life.
Pew Research8 recently discovered a radical trend indicating a massive loss of support for abortion. Tracing back to August 2008, the number of people that think it should be illegal in all or most cases is dramatically increasing, and those that think it should remain legal is desperately decreasing.
Rasmussen Reports9 recently conducted a study that shows that 58% of Americans now think that abortion is morally wrong. Among them, 64% are women.
In spite of what you hear OR MAY NOT HEAR in the media, America is changing her views on abortion. Bound4LIFE believes this can be directly attributed to the mass mobilization of prayer targeting the ending of abortion and revival in the nation. To put it another way prayer and fasting are in fact shifting the hearts and minds of America. Clearly minds are changing when increasing numbers of people are calling themselves “Pro-Life” and thinking that abortion should be illegal in most cases. The fact that more people believe abortion is morally wrong means that hearts are shifting too.10
Why is this happening? The secret of intercession is found in the blood of Jesus. It is found in the priestly calling of every believer to appropriate the blood and in so doing we give God all the glory. The secret of the Intercessor who stands in the gap on behalf of the land is bound to the fact that He pleads with blood. What does it mean to plead with blood? It means blood for blood. It means life for life. God established the system of atonement during the time of the Levitical Priesthood for this purpose. Ezekiel expresses profound insight into the necessity of bloodshed, sacrifice and atonement, “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.'” (Ezekiel 35:6). Of course the Torah of Moses is 100% fulfilled in Jesus Christ; He gave everything because of the demand of righteous blood in order for the fulfillment of God’s justice. Jesus pleads with His blood, with His life given over to Father on the cross of Calvary. This is the call to prayer. This is the call to intercession. This is the call – to plead His blood over our sins and the sins of our nation – For He is worthy of it all.
The Future of America
The numbers don’t lie. The reason that Americans now lean more towards pro-life values than we did one year ago is because men and women have counted the cost and have subsequently left all behind, for the sake of pleading the righteous blood of Messiah Yeshua over the future of America. There is no political remedy to the shedding of innocent blood in our nation. The only thing that will cover our sins is the pure, undefiled, innocent and Holy blood of the Son of God. Oh that the destiny of our nation would not be aborted! The perfect justice of His intercession on the cross has set us free. HE is the giver of freedom. For whom the Son sets free shall be free indeed. It cost Jesus His own life, blood for blood, life for life, and freedom for freedom; should we do any differently?
Let me say this clearly, men and women are forsaking the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; instead we are turning aside to seek the greater reward11 which is God’s dream which is the Cross of Yeshua. For it says of Jesus that He was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God’s dream is incomparably more excellent than the humanistic self-empowering American dream in which we ourselves demand from the state the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The eternal reality of God’s everlasting kingdom bears witness to a much more excellent way. Only God can give life, only God can give freedom, and only God can give us the gift of happiness. Let us pursue Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. For it will require all -inside and out – soul, spirit, and body entirely surrendered unto Him who is mighty to save, since there is only one place that true freedom can be found – on the cross.
This is why America is turning pro-life. God is speaking to us that abortion is wrong, and thousands from all over the nation are refusing the dream of America and accepting the call to plead the better blood of Jesus12, though it may cost them their dreams, their ambitions, their careers, and their very own lives. For it says of Jesus that for the joy set before Him he endured the cross and despised its shame.
Seeds of intercession always bear fruit, provided that they first fall to the earth and die. Jesus Himself declares this in John 12:24. The bloodguilt of America is not beyond God’s power to reckon, nor is it past His people’s place of intercession which is to stand and plead His blood over our sins so that abortion ends. We are crying out for speedy justice. Their blood cries out. His blood cries out. God is alive and He will not be silent, “Life for Life.”
1. John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible, Isaiah 51:22. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.ii.xxiv.lii.ii.html
2. Many would consider abortion a “health issue” when in reality it is purely criminal. Moreover, in God’s eyes this is hardly an issue, it is a spirit of murder which always seeks to destroy God’s plan and purpose and destiny for an arising generation of deliverers.
3. Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
I was practically screaming at my television set as I watched this. I don’t usually get so carried away when scientists say things that are intellectually dishonest. Actually, I guess I’ve come to expect it after many hours of watching NOVA and Steven Hawking. But this time, I couldn’t contain myself.
This was an episode of Naked Science on the National Geographic Channel that aired on Sunday, July 26th. The show’s thesis was that, new scientific evidence is suggesting that human beings had somehow made their way to the Americas thousands of years earlier than archeologists once thought. And these humans were not the hairy knuckle dragging cave men that your high school textbooks might suggest, but rather highly intelligent sea-faring engineers of amazing skill.
For the most compelling evidence of this they turned to J.M. Adovasio, PH.D, who is the director of Mercyhurst Archeological Institute. Adovasio is excavating an archeological site at Medocroft Rock Shelter, 35 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his team have been peeling this excavation site back layer by layer for the last 33 years. Each layer is carbon dated for age and they are able to record their findings for each chronological snapshot of time like flipping through the pages of a history book.
It was thought that the first Americans arrived on the continent 13,500 years ago, but when Adovasio reached the 13,500-year mark he kept digging. He describes what he was finding as, “unprecedented materials”. After another year of digging, they found an artifact that would “re-write the history books”.
Adovasio himself holds up a small black rock that appears to be polished in a slightly triangular shape. He twiddles it back and forth in this fingers holding it close to the camera and declares, “This very delicate tool is the oldest form tool from the site. It’s slightly older than 16,000 years.” Then the host says with confident assurance, “This find suggests that there was human life in North America 16,000 years ago…BECAUSE IF THERE WAS A TOOL – THERE WERE PEOPLE.”
This rock is SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE worthy of REWRITING THE TEXTBOOKS that human beings lived in America much earlier than previously thought. They were certain that people must have been there because tools don’t just make themselves. Could they observe the people who were there? No. Could they touch them or talk to them? No. The remnants of one of their tools was evidence enough. “…IF THERE WAS A TOOL – THERE WERE PEOPLE.” Its as simple as that.
It would be one thing if they found a typewriter or a bicycle or a computer chip…but they found – a rock…a polished rock. This little black rock is considered watertight scientific evidence that people were there because, “…IF THERE WAS A TOOL – THERE WERE PEOPLE.”
Wait…Are you telling me that that little triangular rock couldn’t have just kind of evolved that way? Don’t you think it’s feasible that the water or weather or something other than an intelligent human designer could have contributed over thousands of years to the slightly triangular shape of this rock? Yet there is no dispute from the scientific community. The evidence is conclusive – “IF THERE WAS A TOOL – THERE WERE PEOPLE”. Any moron could make such a simple deduction…right?
Now I’m no scientist, but I see a little bit of hypocrisy here. If a tiny, black, triangular rock, is scientific evidence that intelligent people must have made it, what are we to think about the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of atoms that make up our planet, each with electrons spinning with the synchronization of a Swiss watch around a nucleus made of protons and neutrons, like a self contained solar system?
What about the unbelievably complex design of our bodies that employ the aid of over 200 muscles just to take a single step?
What about the human eye, which is so elegant that scientists still don’t fully understand how it works? It completes 100,000 separate functions in a single day and it even conducts its own maintenance work while we sleep. It has automatic aim, focus and aperture adjustment. It even provides color and 3-D images and it can automatically function from darkness to bright light instantly. It can discern over 10 million color hues, including 500 shades of grey alone and can take in more information than the largest, most complicated telescopes ever invented.
What about our skin which contains in ONE SQUARE INCH; 4 yards of nerve fibers, 600 pain sensors, 1300 nerve cells, 36 heat sensors, 75 pressure sensors, 100 sweat glands, 3 million cells, 3 yards of blood vessels and 9000 nerve endings which send messages to our brain at speeds of up to 124 mph?
What about our brains, which only weigh about 3 pounds and yet contain 12 billion cells each of which is connected to 10,000 other brain cells, making 120 trillion connections. The brain stores so much memory data that by the age of 40, it would take the Empire State building full of computers just to store the same amount of information. It generates more electrical impulses in a single day then all of the world telephones put together, yet it uses less energy than a refrigerator light.
What about the DNA molecules in our bodies – the most complex molecules in the universe. Their code is so unbelievably elaborate that if you typed out all the DNA code in your body, it would create enough books to fill Grand Canyon 40 times.
What about bacteria such as E. Coli, which is equipped with a propulsion system, complete with a motor, rotor, stator, drive shaft, bushings, universal joint and flexible propeller; 40 moving parts in all, made solely from protein molecules. The ion powered motor can rotate at up to 100,000 rpm, can reverse direction in only 1/4 of a revolution and has an automatic feedback control mechanism. In spite of it’s enormous complexity, its size is only 1/100,000 of an inch (1/4,000 mm) in width.
Of course I could go on and on and on talking about the wonders gravity and magnetism that science still cannot fully explain, the flawless rhythm of the solar system, the perfect balance of nitrogen and oxygen in earths atmosphere that makes life possible, the amazing order in nature that forms a self supporting system of life, reproduction and disposal. But is any of this necessary? The scientific community is holding up a triangular shaped rock as conclusive evidence of intelligent (human) design.
Now I’m not asking any scientists to fall on their face and confess Jesus as Lord, all I am asking for is a little bit of honesty and humility. If there is a tool than simple logic suggests that there must have been a person who fashioned it and if there is an amazing world full of incomprehensible wonders of design then maybe, just maybe it’s possible that there is a designer. No wonder Psalms 14:1 says, “The fool saith in his heart there is no God”.