Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Apr 9, 2012

The Unreasonable Reason Rally

During the last full weekend of last month, a group of atheists gathered together on the National Mall in what was billed as the largest secular gathering in history. The organizers claimed that 20,000 to 30,000 people turned out. Because someone forgot to pray that it wouldn't rain, a constant drizzle likely kept the true attendance closer to 10,000.

The purpose of the "Reason Rally" was to celebrate secular values. The event's official website says, "The Reason Rally is a movement-wide event sponsored by the country’s major secular organizations. The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society…and having a good time doing it!"

They use the word "secular" to group together a wide range of views. Even though nearly all the speakers were atheists, a large percentage of the people at the event hold to some form of faith. Many of them still believe in God, but they dislike any type of formal religion.

The Reason Rally received only a spattering of coverage from the national press. Since atheists are big on YouTube, their message is now reaching its best audience. I spent this past week viewing some of their posts to see what they had to say.

The rally had big names like Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, and Adam Savage of the show Mythbusters. Two congressmen addressed the rally, but they were only brave enough to do so by means of videotape.

I'm at a loss to find a positive message in all the speeches I listened to. Rather than being a rally about protecting the rights of nonbelievers, it seemed more like a filibuster on the inferiority of people who have faith in God. If I had spent good money to travel across the country, I'd expect something better than a mudball-throwing contest.

Bill Maher was obnoxious to the point of blasphemous. This was their special day to exhort secularism, and Bill launched into a tacky joke about Jesus interrupting the Super Bowl half-time show, turning all the tacos into loaves and fishes. If you don't believe in God, you hurt your argument by following the mindset of His key adversary.

One interesting speaker at the rally was Nate Phelps, estranged son of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps. He gave the tale of how he realized that he could not abide the "God of his fathers." His story gradually moved from his family's repellent version of Christianity to a tamer form of Christianity to, ultimately, atheism. Phelps's family showed up to protest the rally, but they didn't have any "Nate doomed to hell fire" posters. I guess Kinko's was closed on the weekend.

The negativity of the Reason Rally reached the level of absurdity when participants started to go after Fox News. Atheists and the liberal media go after conservative outlets because they are guided by the same nature.

There was a lot of talk about why we don't need Christian morality to have a free society. Nobody bothered to explain why America has been a beacon of liberty for so many decades. There have been plenty of secular experiments, but they all eventually failed. It's easy to find flaws in our Christian heritage, but no one can find a foundation that works better.

You can't use reason to combat sin. Man has a natural love for oppressing those weaker than himself. It is not obvious to humanity that slavery is wrong. History shows that people like enslaving one another. The wrongness has to be retaught in each generation. The whole abolition movement was based St Paul's teaching that no slavery could be approved by the faith because “we are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I'm not impressed at all by what the Reason Rally organizers have accomplished. I see their temporary success as a symptom of the poor spiritual health of our nation. If we were to suffer a major economic downturn, their memberships would quickly evaporate.

The Bible provides strong evidence that the atheist movement is doomed. During the Tribulation hour, the Antichrist will perform such spectacular miracles that there will be no room for skepticism. Having falsely rejected the existence of supernatural realm, atheists will be easy prey when they are confronted with the Beast's lying wonders.

"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).


Friends, Enemies, and Betrayal

Thinking on things pertaining to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ--the remembrance of which Christians celebrated Sunday just past--set the story circulating about the Obama administration’s apparent release of information involving Israel and Azerbaijan rumbling through my cogitations.

Betrayal of friends is the fodder of many a tragedy, both in fictional stories and in historical accounts. Judas Iscariot’s treachery against the Lord Jesus is perhaps the most infamous of all such telling and retelling. Never was there a more wonderful and true friend than Jesus. He not only raised the dead, healed the blind, opened the ears of the deaf, healed the sick and lame, and fed multitudes with a miraculous breaking of the loaves and fish, but, he gave God’s Word to the people–God’s love letter to all of mankind. He saved the souls of all the men who were His closest friends--His disciples. All but one, that is...

Judas Iscariot was of the devil, lost from the beginning (John 17: 2). Judas had watched Jesus perform the miracles, had experienced Christ’s love and comfort, and had sat in on the Master’s breaking of God’s Word on many occasions. But, the betrayal was accomplished without any thought of the friendship with which Judas had been blessed to enjoy on their travels together, leading to the night he sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver.

We who know Christ for salvation, which came about as a result of Christ’s going to the cross, are nonetheless thankful for the betrayal. By that, I mean in the sense that God turned around the evil intended by Judas’ father, the devil, and used it for absolute good, making reconciliation possible for all of lost humanity.

Betrayal is an ugly thing. It, when it is come to fruition, exposes the abscess in the core of character–lays bare the disease called sin that resides at the center of the soul. Sadly, there is an analogy to be made between Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and the betrayals that have become increasingly manifest in recent months with regard to America’s diplomatic interaction with our one-time best friend, in terms of international relations. I’m referring to Israel, the nation with which the United States has enjoyed what can only be described as a supernatural kinship, constructed by the God of Heaven.

The prophetic portent presented by the betrayal, is, of course, less world-changing than was Judas’ betrayal of the Lord. America’s selling out Israel, in this and every instance it has happened as of late, is staggering in its implications.

The case can be made most effectively, I think, by exposing the current presidential administration’s turning its diplomatic back on God’s chosen people, while considering the dangerous drama building between Israel and Iran. The following news excerpt helps portray the subterfuge perceived by a well-known former diplomat.

Former U.S. diplomat John Bolton alleged Thursday that the Obama administration leaked a story about covert Israeli activity in order to foil potential plans by the country to attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration, was responding to an article in Foreign Policy magazine that quoted government sources claiming Israel had been granted access to airfields in Azerbaijan — along Iran’s northern border.

The article did not state exactly what the Israelis’ intentions were, but it suggested it could point to a possible strike on Iran.

“I think this leak today is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack,” Bolton claimed on Fox News. ("Bolton accuses administration of leaking story on Israeli planning along Iran border," 3/29/12, FoxNews.com)

Azerbaijan is a small country strategically located along Iran’s northern border. Israel has had an ongoing relationship of relatively good will with that country’s leadership.Observers of the diplomatic world report that the friendship goes much, much deeper than simply diplomatic courtesies. The relationship between Azerbaijan and the Jewish state has been compared to an iceberg, meaning that things of great diplomatic weight going on beneath the surface belie the almost insignificant-appearing niceties for public consumption.

Reports are that those within the Obama administration fear that the Azerbaijan-Israeli friendship has resulted in the selling of an air base to Israel for the purpose of providing a place to land, once a strike takes place on the Iranian nuclear development facilities. Thus, the planes would not have to risk refueling in air, necessarily, or risk returning to home base in Israel proper without taking on more fuel.

According to an interview with Lt. Col. Oliver North, the biggest concern within the administration is for the dangers posed to the reelection of President Barack Obama. North said those within the Obama campaign will do anything and everything it takes to keep the president out of trouble as the 2012 effort at reelection runs its course. The Israelis must be prevented from attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities at all costs is the reelection imperative.

North spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday, April 2:

"Sean, what is happening here is a full-court press that is political and ideological because there is this naive utopian hope within the Obama administration that if they can simply bring about some kind of Palestinian-Israeli peace accord, all the problems of the Jihad being waged against us will go away — it won’t work…

All of it is being done to prevent Israel from launching an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites,” North said. “If the only goal is to have Barack Obama survive this presidential election, it makes political sense and the ideology of this blissful hope that some kind of Palestinian-Israeli peace accord is going to solve all of our problems — again, extraordinarily naive and utopian.”

Col. North went on to say that no Israeli prime minister, whether Benjamin Netanyahu or some other, less hawkish, leader can ever fail to remember Israel’s uncompromising principle for survival: “Never again!”

American leaders should never forget a principle that is much more important. Friendship with Israel--even if it means conflict with Israel’s enemies that might lead to war--must never be betrayed. That principle is issued by the very Creator of all things: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

***Prophecy Conference in Ohio Announced!***

The 2012 Midnight Cry Prophecy Conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, at Harbor of Hope Church in Clairsville, Ohio. The sessions begin at 7 pm on Friday will run from 1 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday. The address is 67667 Warnock Rd. St. Clairsville, Ohio 43907. Phone: 740-695-2922.

Speakers will be Eric Barger, Gary Kah, and Bill Salus. They will be speaking on a variety of today’s most crucial topics, including: Chrislam, the emerging church, one world government, Israel, Iran, etc... For more information, check out the conference website at www.harborofhopeag.org.