Jan 26, 2015
(The launch of our Prophecy
Matters newsletter is here. Check it out at
The Coming Invasion of Israel
Have you ever seen anything like
the current landscape in the Middle East?
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (in
reality, a tribal chieftain propped up by Western
leaders for decades) has died and, in startling news few
seem to grasp, Yemen fell to terrorists this week!
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe,
Dutch Jews are appealing to the army to place troops
near synagogues. Stabbings of Jews have doubled in
The perpetrators are jihadists.
All the Gulf states are terrified
of Iran’s flexing muscles. Syria is teetering on the
edge. Jordan is scared. Egypt is dealing with Hamas.
Iraq is overtaken by savages.
The fact of the matter is, the
American president is a fiend. His embrace of radical
terrorists has the entire Middle East about to go up in
Now we learn that after Benjamin
Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner to
address Congress, a furious Obama first said the invite
broke protocol. Then the White House issued a statement
saying that Netanyahu “spat in our faces” by accepting
the invitation (where he’ll make his case for Iran
movement to Congress and by extension, to the American
people. That’s what Obama hates).
This coming on the heels of the
frosty French reception for Netanyahu during the
solidarity march in Paris.
It all adds up to the leadership
of the international community getting its fill of Jews
and Israel. Which is utterly bizarre, given that 90
percent of the violence around the globe today comes
from Muslims. The desire to throw red meat—anyone
else’s—at the jihadists, in hopes they won’t come for
them, is age-old.
The jihadists intend to establish
a new caliphate and install shariah law everywhere,
globally. That is their agenda.
And through it all, Israel stands
as a beacon of steadiness and poise. Hezbollah has
enough ballistic missile stockpiles to hit Jerusalem and
Tel Aviv. Iran is threatening to rain down missiles on
Israel. Hamas is rebuilding its tunnel infrastructure.
Internal terrorists (Islamic Jihad and the like) are
ramping-up attacks on Jews; only this week, a
Palestinian bred on hatred of Jews stabbed 10 bus
passengers in Tel Aviv.
After Israel last week struck
targets in Syria, pressure increased on Sheik Nasrallah
and Hezbollah to respond. But according to a report in
the Jerusalem Post, retaliation has risks:
“Its options are limited. It
could strike from its stronghold in Lebanon, triggering
all-out war with Israel. It could attack targets in
Israel, but risk a wider war between Israel and Syria,
or hit Israeli interests abroad. But all come at a
The price is risking an all-out
war with Israel, which Hezbollah would lose. A somewhat
less severe risk is a war with Syria.
Still, what with Russia becoming
ever cozier with Iran, and lethal threats emanating from
the Middle East AND combined with European hatred of
Jews, we must conclude that at least the broad outlines
of a final showdown are being set.
The key is acknowledging that we
have no idea of the timeline for the Zechariah War to
commence. However, at no time in history has Israel been
so besieged on so many levels, from so many quarters.
As we point out in our inaugural
issue of the Prophecy Matters newsletter, however, the
Lord is surely in control and so we must occupy until He
Jan 19, 2015
(Be sure and check out details
for Jim’s newsletter launch on January 22, at
The first 200 subscribers will receive a code for a free
book download of Jim’s book,
The Last War.
The newsletter will be monthly and feature original
material relevant for pro Israel supporters and Bible
In a recent editorial in
Commentary, the publication’s staff analyzed the
shootings by Islamist terrorists in Paris. It was noted:
“This is largely the result of
failing to confront the extreme ideology of Islam,
Everywhere in the West,
weak-kneed leaders are bowing to the barbaric ideology
of Islam, compromising with the murderous agenda in
hopes “they don’t come for us.”
As regular readers of this column
are well aware, I believe a key source for this brand of
appeasement comes from religious leaders including —
incredibly — evangelical bigwigs.
When one considers that Rick
Warren, Bill Hybels, Bob Roberts Jr., Shane Claiborne
and Ed Stetzer are helping to mainstream rapprochement
with Islam (my view of the situation), it follows that
those they mentor are doing likewise. This includes a
new phenomenon: embracing the Palestinian narrative,
which is a story concocted largely by the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO).
Consider the case of Eugene Cho.
A young, progressive pastor of a Seattle church, Cho’s
bio for the upcoming June “Justice Conference” explains
who he is (in part):
“Eugene Cho is the founder and
Lead Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural
and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington –
as well as founder/visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) –
a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to
alleviate extreme global poverty.
Eugene has recently released his
first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea
of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?”
The bio also introduces him as a
“visionary.” Okay. Look, these guys (and girls) are
nothing if not struck on their own supposed brilliance.
It is part of their odd brand of humility and hubris.
For our purposes, you need to
know that Cho runs in anti-Israel circles, and if you
have a child or grandchild in the evangelical community,
chances are he or she has been exposed to the
progressive community Cho helps headline.
That is bad news for pro Israel
In 2008, Cho was already
telegraphing his views on Israel/”Palestine.” In a blog
post, he introduced a friend, whose presentation of
falsehoods about the Arab-Israeli conflict stem either
from ignorance or maliciousness. Below is Cho’s
introduction to this retelling of history, followed by
his friend Cyra’s strange stew of revisionist history:
“one perspective on israel and
“Like many of you, I have been
following the recent escalation of tension and Israel’s
‘all our [sic] war’ on Gaza with much sadness,
frustration, and prayer.
As a usual sympathizer with Israel for various
reasons, I have been appalled at the current assault and
the lack of strong condemnation by the U.S. leaders
including both the current president and president
“The issues are immensely complex
and Hamas had ‘something coming’ [in my opinion] but the
fallout on this ‘all-out assault’ will only escalate to
more deaths – on both sides and on both sides of the
you’re reading up on news wherever you are, also check
out these additional news sources: BBC News
and Al Jazeera.
“I’m currently on vacation so I
don’t have time to write more but I do want to ‘share’
couple posts by others – today and tomorrow to engage
This is a note that one of our church folks,
Cyra, wrote and I thought it was worth sharing [with her
An aside: if Cho is getting his
“news” from the BBC and Al-Jazeera, I’m at a loss for
[What follows is Cyra’s
version of reality; note: portions are reprinted below;
for the entire diatribe, see
“Here’s Cyra’s thoughts on Israel
“I’m no blogger, but Matt’s at
work, and he’s sick of listening to me vent about Israel
and Palestine anyway.
“One of the hardest parts of
growing up, I think, is learning that some of the things
you were taught as a child are just wrong. Fortunately
for me, as my worldview has shifted, so has my parents’,
so we are able to agree that some of the things they
taught me were wrong. One example is the relationship
between Israel and Palestine.
“As a child, all I ever heard
about Israel and Palestine was that Israel is constantly
under attack and that as Christians it is our duty to
support Israel (since the Jews are God’s chosen people)
and encourage our government to do the same. I heard
this at home, but mostly I heard this at the various
churches I attended. Just writing this, I can feel anger
swelling up inside me toward all the people who
propagated this lie, until I remind myself that many of
those people, my parents included, were simply unaware
of the truth of the situation and had been lied to
Notice that first, Cho claims to
support Israel for “various reasons,” and next, Cyra
says she also grew up with this view. First of all, I
flat-out don’t believe Cho has been any kind of
supporter of Israel, for various reasons or any other
reason. What this does is provide cover for a
progressive to appear to be a thoughtful thinker, moving
from crude dogma to a more reasoned and humanitarian
Does that make sense? It is
classic leftist jargon, designed to insulate the writer
or speaker from the obvious, in this case: he’s never
liked the Jewish state.
Next, we find Cyra’s false
narrative, very short on context and in some cases,
loaded with outright fabrications. Read Cyra’s thoughts
in more detail:
“So this was the plan: two
separate countries. Israel, though, started moving into
the West Bank and creating ‘settlements’, which has been
the onus for much of the current strife between the two
people groups. Jews are paid to move into the West Bank,
Palestinians retaliate against the occupation, and then
the Israeli government ‘defends’ itself by building
walls all through the West Bank, cutting off routes
between Palestinian cities, and randomly bulldozing
Cyra (and Cho) are lying to their
audience. The plan was, yes, two separate states, but
the Arabs of Palestine rejected UN Resolution 181, in
1947, that would have created those two states then and
there. When Israel declared its independence six months
later, five Arab armies invaded the next day.
Next, Cyra claims that the Jews
simply began building “settlements.” False. No Israeli
communities were established until nearly 30 years after
the 1948 War of Independence, and almost a decade after
the Six-Day War. Notice what Cyra says next:
“These are the documented
historical facts. Then, I learn about events like
Israel’s current bombing campaign in Gaza, and I
literally get sick to my stomach. The Gaza strip is 139
sq. miles, with a population of roughly 1.4 million
Palestinians. That’s a population density of roughly
10,000/sq. mi. The strip is surround by a wall,
controlled by Israel on the east and north, and Egypt on
the south, and the Mediterranean sea (which has Israeli
gunboats patrolling just off shore). So where can the
civilians go when the bombs start dropping? Nowhere.
They are sitting ducks. Of course, Israel claims to only
be aiming at Hamas targets (recognized by the US as a
terrorist group, recognized by the Palestinians as their
democratically elected leaders), but with 10,000 people
packed into every square mile, there are bound to be
some civilian casualties – currently 62 women and
children according to the UN, with an unknown number of
civilian men – totaling 320 Palestinian casualties and
Aside from validating the
Palestinian vote to elect the murderous Hamas
leadership, Cyra makes it sound as if Israel just
decided one day to hold training exercises by lobbing
artillery at women and children. That of course is
false, and in fact, Israel’s surgical strikes kept
civilian casualties to a minimum, even in the face of
the well-documented Hamas strategy of hiding behind
women and children in hospitals and schools. None of
this exists in Cyra’s world, or Cho’s.
Next, notice how Cyra sanctions
the murder of Jews, for the immoral (and factually
untrue) reason that Palestinians are simply frustrated:
“This current bombing campaign is
in response to Hamas rockets being propelled over the
wall into Israel. I do not, at all, excuse Palestinian
violence, and I feel as deeply for the Israelis who
loose their lives due to suicide bombings and rocket
launchings, but I sympathize for the Palestinian’s
feeling of desperation. When you have been pushed off
your land, your refugees have not been allowed to return
home, the land you had been given is being occupied, UN
resolution after UN resolution created on your behalf
has been flagrantly disregarded, and your oppressors are
backed by the most powerful country in the world, what
other choices do you have?”
This view is false. From the Gaza
pullout in 2005, to the 20-year dance with the failed
Oslo model, Israel has time and again shown the hand of
peace to the Palestinians, who work day and night to
blow that hand off the arm of its owner. Often,
One struggles to understand if
young progressives like Eugene Cho and his friend, Cyra,
really believe this stuff, or if it is just convenient
cover for their anti-Israel animus.
You need to understand that the
evangelical world in America is loaded with such
feeling. It is being fostered and nourished by older
leaders like Warren and Hybels, who are mentoring the
generation that will turn American Christianity into a
For those who claim I’m out to
lunch and a doom-and-gloomer, check the facts. Pay
attention to the conferences. Read the literature.
Notice what leaders are saying and doing.
Eugene Cho is a fixture in this
community. And only one of many.
Jan 12, 2015
Guess Who Is Calm
I’ve visited Israel many times,
including during times of tension, such as the Second
Intifada. At the height of that terror war launched by
Yasser Arafat, I stood in front of the Western Wall and
turned around to see a completely empty plaza area.
Normally, there are thousands of tourists.
I thought about that this week
in the wake of the terrible trauma that has befallen
France. When barbarians slaughtered a dozen people at a
French magazine, then took hostages near the city and
engaged police in a standoff, the whole world held its
breath. The French people are understandably rattled.
Word is that Britain is now bracing for similar attacks.
for two of the most Muslim-friendly countries in Europe.
Meanwhile, as the world wrings
its collective hands, guess who is continuing to go
about its business while daily fighting terror?
We all know the international
community cares little for Jews, and “tolerates” Israel.
Yet the Jewish state has been on the front lines for
decades in fighting terror and in fact shares more
intelligence gathering with foreign governments than
anyone really knows. No doubt Israeli intelligence
operatives are huddling with European and American
counterparts. It is also instructive to realize that
Israel deals with all this in the midst of a
breathtaking propaganda war.
Only this week, Hezbolla’s Sheik
Nasrallah “condemned” the Paris attacks(!), saying that
the terrorists there did damage to Islam. Nasrallah, a
murderous thug, realizes the value of pr in this modern
era, and wishes to dupe Westerners even further. In
point of fact, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah is one of
the top two or three terror outfits in the world.
Imagine if, in 1934, Hitler had
claimed that the brownshirts were going too far in
terrorizing the local population. Of course, the point
would have been absurd, since Hitler was responsible for
the jack-booted thugs who roamed German streets.
Anyway, Israel has perfected and
continues to perfect terror-fighting techniques on a
scale the world will soon come to appreciate, as rumors
of mass attacks in other countries mushroom.
IDF Chief of Staff
Gen. Benny Gantz spoke to a group of cadets at the
National Defense University in Washington, telling the
NDU contingent that terrorism is “the common challenge
of the countries of the world,” outlining the need for
close cooperation among allies.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
“He said that current decisions
being taken on the military's future structure and
equipment will shape events for a decade to come. ‘We
will have to know to adjust the activation [of military
forces] not according to what we planned, but according
to the reality that has developed in the meantime,’ he
Gantz then visited Canadian
counterparts, who pledged their continued cooperation.
“General [Tom] Lawson stated
that ‘Israel is Canada’s closest ally in the Middle East
and our two countries enjoy strong military relations on
a variety of fronts. This bond has been strengthened
under Lt.-Gen Gantz’s watch, and reinforced by today’s
meeting.’ The visit comes after Israel and Canada signed
a memorandum of strategic understandings in January
2014, in which both have committed to advance bilateral
ties in defense, security, and government.”
What you need to consider is
that tiny Israel, ringed by vicious terror entities, is
as safe to visit as the arms of a mother rocking her
baby…all because of the elite measures taken by Israel’s
security forces. The only time I’d hesitate to visit
Israel would be in the event of an all-out war. Short of
that, I always feel ultra-safe in the country, and would
wish that fellow Christians feel the same. Too often,
when rocket attacks are erupting, Christian tour groups
cancel their trips, which I think calls into question
just how strong support for Israel exists in American
But that’s a topic for another
In the meantime, let us not go
all wobbly, as Margaret Thatcher once famously said.
There are positives even in the midst of the terror war.
Israel is a big positive.
Jan 5, 2015
Kerry Needs to Ketchup
John Kerry is at it again.
The U.S. Secretary of
State/Globalist has issued a criticism of Israel
(again), through his office, this time because Israeli
citizens (known as “Jewish settlers” in the media) threw
rocks at a diplomat’s car. The incident happened when a
consulate’s car arrived to check out alleged vandalism
of Palestinian olive trees.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
“’We can confirm a vehicle from
the Consulate General was pelted with stones and
confronted by a group of armed settlers today in the
West Bank, near the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya,’
said the US State Department spokesman according to
One wonders if Kerry ever
dispatches his lackeys to visit Jewish victims of
terror, but I digress.
Further from the JPost (and
“’Rocks were thrown at them by
residents of Adei Ad. We are investigating. Arrests have
yet to be made,’ the spokeswoman said. She said she did
not know of any damage to the vehicles and had no
further information on the delegates' identities.
“An Adei Ad resident who spoke to
Reuters on condition of anonymity said that he had not
witnessed the incident but had been told by fellow
settlers who were involved that the US delegates came
within 50 yards (meters) of the settlement in two
diplomatic cars accompanied by local Palestinians.”
I find it interesting that U.S.
diplomatic sources do not routinely decry the myriad
acts of Palestinian violence aimed at Israelis, yet when
olive groves are allegedly uprooted, it virtually
becomes an international incident.
This is further confirmation that
the python of Palestinian propaganda is tightening
around Israel; it’s just the way it is.
There have been many thousands of
such reports from media since Oslo, and each serves as
another brick in the wall of international condemnation
of the Jewish state. In other words, the world is
getting sick and tired of Israel. In fact, Barack Obama
actually said that in 2013.
This morning, an Israeli friend
alerted me to a Twitter message from Munther Isaac:
“Business as usual at the UN –
but US public opinion on Israel is shifting”
Isaac is a pro Palestinian
(Christ at the Checkpoint —
teacher at Bethlehem Bible College, a notorious
anti-Israel school. He also obtained his master’s from
Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, which
I find dismaying.
In his tweet, Isaac referenced an
op-ed from Ben White, which was published in Middle East
Monitor. White, an aggressive anti-Israel activist,
cited data that indicates pro Israel support is slipping
in the U.S.:
“Speaking to the Security Council
on Tuesday shortly after voting against the doomed
Palestinian-drafted resolution on statehood, U.S.
Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power referred three times
to an ‘unsustainable status quo’ between Israel and the
“It is of course Washington
itself that bears most responsibility for this status
quo, through its diplomatic, military, and economic
support for the occupier, and leadership of a
decades-long 'peace process' that has given Israel the
cover to de facto annex its way to a permanent
“There is another 'status quo',
however, that is already shifting: U.S. public opinion.
In a poll conducted last November for the Brookings
Institution, when asked about their preferred solution
to the conflict, 34% of Americans said their government
should push for one state with equal citizenship. That
was up from 24% a year previously, a significant
Of course, one has to filter
through statements by folks like Isaac and White, but
one thing we can agree on: there is a shift taking
Anyone who doesn’t recognize that
the collective effect of American diplomatic attitudes
toward Israel, and those of young
activists/propagandists like Isaac and White are harming
Israel is not paying attention.
It is the steady drip, drip, drip
of evil media attacks on the Jewish state that is
bringing all of us to a final showdown. Those who
speculate that U.S. support for Israel is slipping are
largely on-track, in my view. Yes, tons of support still
exists from my generation and
above, but in a few years, when many of us are gone,
where will that leave the situation?
Make no mistake: Palestinian
activists like the U.S. State Department and Millennial
leaders are harming Israel.
In a perfect world, one could
wish that Kerry, Isaac, White, Lynne Hybels, Sami Awad,
etc., etc., would decry the murder of Jews by
And that is the key thing to take
away from these incidents outlined above. Jewish life is
cheap to these people; above all else, leftist worldview
is the priority. By that I mean, to further their
agenda, these leftists do not put a spotlight on the
real story: Arab rejection of Israel. Instead, they
pitch and moan about olive trees and Israeli apartments.
A further point of frustration is
watching events like the upcoming “Justice Conference”
(that’s rich), being held this summer in Chicago. The
leftist confab, stocked with “evangelical” speakers like
Bob Goff and Lynne Hybels and Eugene Cho, is also joined
by radical Princeton professor Cornel West. I’ve written
about West before: he is a hardcore leftist being
mainstreamed to young evangelical audiences by change
agents like Catalyst conferences.
One can be sure that the “Justice
Conference” will rail against Israel, while giving the
Palestinians a pass.
This is where American Christian
leadership is in 2015.
Truly, we are witnessing a
melding of political and religious forces in America
that share a single goal: the elimination of the Jewish
Perhaps one day a person like
John Kerry will get with the program and see things the
way they really are.
Don’t hold your breath.
December 29, 2014
Through a Glass, Darkly
There is a relatively famous poem
by Gen. George S. Patton — the poem was made much more
famous by the 1970 film starring George C. Scott — that
I think speaks to the spiritual warfare that has
seemingly erupted in just the last few years. When I
think of Scott striding across an ancient battlefield,
pulling on his leather gloves and squinting at Gen. Omar
Bradley, I think of our ultimate enemy, as Patton speaks
lines from “Through a Glass Darkly”:
“So as through a glass, and
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.”
The poem itself is about a
(happy?) warrior, convinced he is doing God’s bidding.
Of course, that fallen angel, Lucifer, struggles for
himself, but I think those lines perfectly capture the
multi-pronged attack he has waged, and ratcheted-up, for
Nowhere is this more evident than
in his twin attacks at the moment: rising pressure on
Israel from the international community (biblically,
“the nations”), and the choking apostasy plaguing in
particular the American church.
Those of us who advocate for
Israel wonder daily how the world can be so blind.
Inversions of the truth happen every second. This is
especially true in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.
The European Union recently dropped Hamas from its list
of terror organizations; for some time before that,
international leaders like Jimmy Carter had fought to
legitimize the murderous terror group, and this kind of
madness is difficult to fathom.
A Palestinian terrorist this week
firebombed an Israeli car, burning an 11-year-old girl
over 50 percent of her body.
Little outcry from the
international community, and that kind of indifference,
which is evil, is commonplace these days.
One wonders how Benjamin
Netanyahu can remain upright every day.
The Israeli premier is now forced
to go to early elections, set for March, and at the same
time wage war on the diplomatic and military fronts
24/7. His clear denunciations of Palestinian terror
groups should be, in a sane world, sufficient for allies
to rise up and crush these terror groups.
Yet, not only is support for
Israel slipping, it is slipping in areas previously
Regular readers of “Israel Watch”
know that I like to know why things are the way they
are, and why Israel is disliked by so many in the
church. Let me repeat myself yet again: it is the
evangelical leadership community in America that is all
but waging war on Israel today, and that is a mind melt
for many of us who grew up in the shadows of “The Late,
Great Planet Earth” and the heyday of dispensationalism.
To the point of this column:
rarely do we look at the last 100 years of American
Christianity when trying to understand our present
situation. Yet I fervently believe it is the key to
recognizing why things are happening the way they are.
A book I’ve referenced before,
“Beyond the Point of No Return,” by Calvin Johnson,
analyzes the decline of the Methodist Church. What, you
might ask, does that have to do with eroding support for
Quite a bit, actually,
The late Johnson was a Methodist
minister for 40 years, and was evangelical to the core.
His book is a chilling account of how men who had crept
into the church dismantled every viable effort for
evangelism, over a period of at least 70 years. Men who
knew what they were doing, and who are the spiritual
forefathers of the Brian McLarens, Tony Campolos, and
Marcus Borgs who day and night wage war against biblical
Israel is naturally a large
target. Early on in his book, Johnson discusses the
attacks on Genesis, and then presents some key data. In
a publication called “Adult Student” (April, 1951), we
read, concerning Genesis:
“The second section, Chapters 12
through 50, is made up of hero stories out of the
semi-legendary past of the Hebrew people.”
No, it isn’t.
Yet look at how much damage has
been wrought by bizarre and blatantly false statements
such as this.
When the Jewish people are
reduced to myth and nationalistic “hero stories,” then
it is a short step to making their present homeland
illegitimate. That is what is happening on a massive
scale across the globe, as Arab propaganda has found
willing dupes in the West who love to have it so.
If God did not give the land to
the Jews in perpetuity, then they are squatters,
The American church’s grotesque
abandonment of Israel and the Jewish people is a stain
that cannot be cleansed.
Johnson’s book goes on in
horrifying detail about the liberal destruction of
confidence in the Bible, touching on our own Christian
doctrine and, ultimately, the spiritual wellbeing of
Consider his remarks about the
efforts to subtly destroy evangelistic programs:
“We sent missionaries out to
administer medicine, fill teeth, dig wells, teach
sanitation, teach agriculture, and show love, but we
thought it unnecessary to tell the people that Jesus was
the only means of salvation and, of course, to tell them
they were sinners and lost, was unthinkable. That’s what
happened to evangelism.”
This is why young, influential
leaders like Cameron Strang, Donald Miller, and Shane
Claiborne have bought into leftist “justice” issues, and
it is no surprise each of these men is also pro
Palestinian. A century of liberal/leftist ideology,
first infecting the seminaries, has now spread to all
quarters of evangelical thought.
It is why some of us struggle to
understand exactly what is going on. We see through a
Through the ages, the devil has
fought in many guises, under many names, but always as
himself. His ancient hatred of the Messiah and His
people is reaching full flower.
We just happen to be alive right
now to see it unfold.
December 22, 2014
Palestinians and the
One of the hallmarks of leftists
who are infiltrating the American evangelical church is
a penchant for targeting the very heart of
evangelicalism. In other words, since the mainline
churches are now rotting corpses, those who advocate for
the Palestinians are now turning their focus to Southern
Baptists, Pentecostals, and various other straight-up
evangelical denominations and associations.
Some of us remember sometime
back when the World Vision-organized “Hope for the Holy
Land” tour, featuring PLO apologists Mae Cannon, Lynne
Hybels, and Sami Awad, attempted to infiltrate the
Calvary Chapel Association. The trio scheduled a stop at
a California-based CC. When Chuck Smith and others in
leadership heard about it, they denounced it, and
reports are that the event had no more than 50
attendees, including at least half who were pro Israel.
Good for Calvary Chapel.
But as leftists like Brian
McLaren pose as evangelicals (along with Tony Campolo,
Shane Claiborne, Tony Jones, etc.), they are getting
A couple years ago, Drew
Sumrall, then a co-host of “The Harvest Show,” with the
LeSea Broadcasting team (his grandfather was legendary
Pentecostal evangelist Lester Sumrall) invited McLaren —
and later, Tony Jones — onto the show. It was shocking,
for those of us who know who all the players are. Lester
Sumrall would have thrown McLaren right out the front
window if he’d shown up to be interviewed.
Drew thought it was cool.
Further, if you read McLaren’s
blog regularly, as I do, you’ll quickly notice that he
has glowing things to say about Pentecostals. Now, for
purposes of understanding, McLaren is a former Maryland
pastor, but he is solidly, ideologically aligned with
mainline traditions. In other words, theologically
liberal. In fact, McLaren is so liberal, I challenge
anyone to read his books (such as the provocatively
titled “Naked Spirituality”) and conclude that he is
Point being, all the
aforementioned folks are apologists for the
Palestinians. And Arab oil money is being well spent on
pr for the Palestinian cause.
In 2012, the Pentecostal Who’s
Who group, Empowered21, hosted a Palestinian love-fest
(complete with a talk by Sami Awad and a screening of
the anti-Israel film, “O Little Town of Bethlehem) at
Regent University. If you look at Empowered21’s website,
you’ll see that some in their leadership group do things
like attend (and speak at!) the odious “Christ at the
Checkpoint” gathering every two years in Bethlehem. That
conference is one big Israel-bashing event.
A major player in
Pentecostal/Charismatic circles is Steve Strang,
publisher of Charisma Media. For decades, Strang has
identified as a major pro Israel figure among
evangelicals. However, while he does plenty of pro
Israel stuff, his personal journey seems to be taking a
path through Palestinian propaganda.
In a 2008 “Strang Report,” the
publisher included some odd language in his description
of visiting Israel:
or Muslims--must remain within areas governed by the
Palestinian Authority. A 24-foot wall with guard towers
that is covered in graffiti separates Bethlehem from
south Jerusalem. It reminded me of the wall around a
“The Israelis constructed the
wall because there was so much terrorism coming from the
Palestinian areas. The suicide bombings have greatly
decreased since the wall has been in place. But that
doesn't keep the Palestinians who live there from
feeling as if their land is occupied.”
While Strang, who is a
journalist, brings some balance to the piece by
acknowledging Palestinian terrorism, he also engages in
that troubling tendency to engage in moral equivalency.
Notice how he describes Israel’s security fence as a
“penitentiary” wall. This feeds directly into the
Palestinian lie that the security fence turns
Palestinian towns and cities, including Bethlehem, into
a “big, open-air prison.” This plays well in evangelical
circles, when rank-and-file Christians begin getting the
feeling that Israel is an occupier. That is leftist
language that has found its way into American
Next notice that Strang says the
Palestinians have the “feeling” they are occupied.
“Occupation” is the single biggest battering ram the
Arabs are using against the Israelis, in Western
perceptions of the conflict. Few seem to understand that
Israel is a slender little country fighting off a
vicious, unrelenting, and sophisticated terror war
against its population.
I have also noted in this space
the curious case of Dr. Paul Alexander, a professor at
Eastern University, who this year saw his Assemblies of
God credentials revoked by the leadership at AG
headquarters in Springfield, MO. The action was taken
after complaints about Alexander’s extreme leftist views
on a variety of subjects. Among his pet projects is
helping to mainstream PLO thought in the American
Alexander’s case is most
interesting, because I get the feeling that as soon as
the AG leadership passes from the scene, he will be
welcomed back with open arms. I say that because of
conversations I’ve had with faculty at the AG seminary,
and members of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, of
which Alexander is past president.
Why are these things happening?
Because A) the culture is
changing, as Millennials drift farther away from
biblical moorings and B) the Palestinians are smart and
well funded when it comes to propaganda.
I predict that the wider
Pentecostal community (at the leadership level) will
become more and more friendly with the Palestinians.
Old-school Pentecostal leaders
like Sumrall, David Allen Lewis, and the (happily)
still-with-us Joseph Chambers would be and are stunned
by the turn of events. It’s all more evidence that
America, at the leadership level, is turning against the
Let them do what they will. The
rest of us will stay where we are, come what may.
December 15, 2014
My friend Uri Bar-Ner is a man of
many talents. He uses them all for good in this world,
including building bridges of trust and understanding
between Israel and the United States.
The former Israeli
ambassador to Turkey, Uri now divides his time between
his home in Israel and the New York office of the
America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL). The “League,”
as it’s known (www.aifl.org),
is one of the premier groups fostering goodwill between
America and our wonderful ally in the Middle East.
From time to time, I visit with
Uri to get his perspectives on the Middle East,
Israel-U.S. relations, and politics.
There were several things on his
mind this week, including the critical nature of
Christian support for Israel:
“Working with Christian groups is
critical and that’s the most important part of what we
do. We need the Christian community in America to
support us. We cannot rely only on the Jewish community;
it is critical mainly also because the Palestinians are
making a major effort in this area.
In particular, this is important
in view of the fact that Christians in the Middle East
are heavily discriminated against, Bethlehem is almost
emptied of them, the West Bank (Judea;Samaria) is the
same way. We are the only ones in Middle East who give
Christians their rights; they are building churches,
worshipping, etc. We respect them, honor them
and give them equal rights.”
This point looms large, since
Arab propagandists have been busy convincing certain
American Christian leaders that the opposite is true.
For those of us who have been there and seen it, Uri’s
description of reality fits.
The ambassador also had
interesting things to tell me regarding Israel’s
relationship with Arab nations, and the Turks.
“There is a civil war, a very
bloody one in Syria, a very difficult situation in Iraq
where Sunnis and Shias are fighting. There was a
difficult situation in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood
that came to power after 80 years in Egypt, but it was
stopped by the military and we have a general, Sisi
(Abdel Fattah el-Sisi), that is head of the state.
him and Israel are very good.
“For the first time there is a
new situation where Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan
together with Persian Gulf states (except Qatar), are
really supporting Israel mainly because the villain is
Iran. All countries I mentioned are afraid of them. All
work with Israel and the USA to contain Iran in the
Middle East. The negotiations between the Five-Plus-One
powers and Iran are inconclusive. They received an
extension of seven months. We worry a lot. Iran wants to
destroy Israel, period. With all the problems they have
in other areas , this goal doesn’t change.”
What about the soured relations
between Israel and Turkey of late?
“The key person in Turkey is
[Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, of course. He was prime minister
three times, and couldn’t be elected again. So he was
elected president two months ago. The president in
Turkey has no power, the power is in hands of prime
minister. Now Erdogan is trying to get a two-thirds
majority in parliament to transfer power from the prime
minister to the president. He is far from it. What he is
doing is making sure that in reality he will have the
power. He appointed his previous foreign minister (his
right-hand man) to be prime minister. He wants to do
whatever he wants.”
Uri has keen insight into
“The policy of Turkey is, even
more now, to live in peace and harmony and economic
development with neighboring countries. So Erdogan
signed an agreement with Syria for $2 billion in trade.
Signed agreement with Iran for $10 billion in aid. He
tried with Iraq but they have no functioning government.
He was very happy when Morsi was head of Egypt because
that fits his ideology.
He is absolutely
an Islamic person. When I was ambassador in 1998, he
was mayor of Istanbul and one day gave a speech in which
he said, My goal is to have Turkey as a shariah state.”
Uri actually believes relations
can improve between Israel and Turkey, but cautions that
no one can really predict or project too far ahead in
this volatile region.
For now, he is busy fund-raising
and helping the AIFL with its tremendous slate of
programs that take people to Israel, and to bring
Israelis to America. This includes delegations for
university presidents, states attorneys general, and the
“flagship” program, YASE (Youth Ambassador Student
“The America-Israel Friendship
League is doing what others do not do. Our sole goal is
to enhance relations between Israel and the USA. We are
not a Jewish organization but an American organization
and this can help in securing peace. If you follow the
peace process in the Middle East (I have participated in
the process sin 1979 and 1983), you know a position of
strength is critical. I was in Cairo many times. Sadat
said, squeeze the Israelis, but he knew this would not
happen because of the strong relations between the U.S.
and Israel. This cemented the agreement between Egypt
“Talking about even-handedness is
dangerous, because the Arabs feel they don’t have to
make peace. Yes, to be a mediator you must be fair, but
you must be able to bring the parties to the table. The
only way to bring Palestinians to the table is if they
understand relations between the U.S. and Israel are
strong. That’s what the AIFL is doing, sending missions
to Israel, from all walks of life, professors,
In this way — and many others — a
long-time advocate for peace like Uri Bar-Ner is making
a difference. Not all is dark in the tough-nut of Middle
East politics, and I’m grateful to Uri for reminding us
all that while stark contrasts exist, nuance is also
important for developing proper perspective.
I encourage you to check out the
AIFL website; many readers routinely ask me for
suggestions for donating money to Israel-related causes.
There are several, but I give my personal recommendation
for you to consider the efforts of the America-Israel
Friendship League when making donations.
Israel and the American people,
particularly Christians, will always be linked.
December 8, 2014
Energy at Pre-Trib
those predicting the demise of Bible prophecy teaching
in America, this past week was…discomfiting.
In Dallas, the Pre-Trib
Study Group, dedicated to the promotion of what I’d call
classic prophecy teaching (Dispensationalism, Rapture
teaching, etc.), hosted its 23rd conference. The
ballroom was standing-room-only, and an exuberant (even
combative?) Tim LaHaye spoke eloquently and passionately
about the need to reach people with the teaching about
the Blessed Hope.
LaHaye, who started the
Pre-Trib Study Group a quarter-century ago with scholar
Thomas Ice, gave his partner a nod in proclaiming the
success of this year’s gathering.
I couldn’t agree more.
conversations in hallways, the lobby, and restaurants
were lively and, perhaps most important, enthusiastic.
No mention here of the gloomy forecasters who say
Evangelicalism has grown up and no longer has need for
Indeed, LaHaye and other speakers repeatedly pointed out
the obvious: the Christian who is looking for Christ’s
Return is highly motivated to live a full and meaningful
life in the here and now, and to help his or her fellow
man find the one Truth each human desperately needs.
word, the conference was sensational.
to tell you, that for all the great talks and great
conversation and resources, I was most gratified to hear
an emphasis on using prophecy teaching as an
evangelistic tool. With speakers like Donald Perkins
(www.according2prophecy.org) this emphasis was in good
Because, let’s face it, much of the American church
leadership has checked-out on this subject.
Frazier, a popular conference speaker, was tasked with
giving the final talk this week at Pre-Trib, and it was
the perfect, rousing send-off. For one thing, Gary made
no bones about his agenda, and in introducing him,
LaHaye made a key point:
Frazier is an evangelist first and prophecy teacher
second.” Frazier himself said a few minutes later, “I am
not an expert on Bible prophecy,” but rather, he
emphasized that for him, teaching prophecy was merely a
tool to reach people. LaHaye mentioned that in 65
prophecy seminars he had taken part in with Gary and Ed
Hindson, there had been 1,500 professions of faith.
book, It Could Happen Tomorrow (which I have on Kindle
and highly, highly recommend) captures the passion its
author has in reaching people with a message that defies
human attempts to marginalize it and relegate it to
irrelevancy. In fact, Gary’s talk made it abundantly
clear that this is the moment to engage people
everywhere with the message that Bible prophecy
“reinforces the existence of the Creator” and that we
can each have personal knowledge and fellowship with
Him. I sat on the front row during Gary’s talk and came
away seriously energized and even convicted that I can
be doing more to use the miraculous story of Israel, and
the wonderful examples of fulfilled prophecy to engage a
lost and dying world.
my interview with Gary — including his testimony — will
appear in the Christian edition of the Jerusalem Post,
and I hope you will also check out his ministry website
at www.discoverymissions.org. Over the years, he has
taken 1,000 pastors to Israel, resulting in untold
ministry opportunities upon their return. He is known to
be a great friend of Israel.
Interestingly, Gary made several mentions of a topic I
believe to be critically important in understanding
worldview. He referenced the importance of believing the
early chapters of Genesis are real history, and his
endorsement of ministries like Answers in Genesis and
the Institute for Creation Research let me know that he
correctly links faith in the validity of the Bible’s
beginnings with its endings. Further, his publisher, New
Leaf Publishing Group, has produced many bestselling
prophecy books, and it’s imprint, Master Books
(www.nlpg.com) is the world’s leading publisher of
added up in Dallas to a tremendous confidence in the
teaching of Bible prophecy in making a real difference
in people’s lives.
Tommy Ice often says…
Dec 1 2014
Incitement…from the West
In recent weeks, the Israel
Security Agency uncovered a plot by Hamas terrorists to
assassinate Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
According to one report, they had already begun
gathering operational intelligence and weapons.
Meanwhile, a Hamas leaflet showed
a cartoon-type illustration of a wave of water
bearing-down on an Orthodox Jew. In the wall of water
were a car, a knife, a meat cleaver, and a gun. All
weapons used to try and kill Jews recently in the latest
insane wave of violence directed at Jews, by
Palestinians. The title of the illustration was “The
On November 23, near the Gaza
border, north of the Jabaliya refugee camp, a
Palestinian named Muhammad Halawa was killed by the IDF.
Palestinian media reported Halawa was killed while
“trying to catch birds.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri
charged that this was a gross violation of the lull
agreement between Israel and Hamas, and “called on the
international community to take responsibility.”
All these incidents, so
tragically common in Israel and the Palestinian
territories, are part of a fabric of propaganda that is
aided and abetted by Western sources that coddle the
Arabs. We live in a time (who hasn’t in the past 4,000
years?) when the hunting and killing of Jews is not
considered to be evil by the vast majority of people. I
have long maintained that these “little” terror
incidents are in fact huge in their implications.
Take one more, for example.
According to a report on the
Facebook page of the Israel Police Force:
“There was a double stabbing
attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. A 45 year-old
Israel man was stabbed in the chest with a knife; he
said Arabs had attacked him. Another man sustained minor
injuries. Investigation revealed that the two, who had
left their yeshiva, were attacked by four Palestinians,
who stabbed them with sharp instruments and fled. The
security forces conducted a
search and detained four young Palestinians from the Old
City of Jerusalem.”
I’ve been in the Old City many
times, all through it, and the thought of bloodthirsty
Palestinians planning violence is unacceptable. Yes,
tourists are relatively safe; the terrorists usually
know the difference between a camera-carrying fellow
from Milwaukee and a yeshiva student, but the narrow
alleyways and nooks and crannies make for perfect
Where is the outrage from Western
leaders over all these incidents? The answer of course
is that they don’t exist. Not even a massive bloodbath
like the infamous Dolphinarium slaughter of 2001
prompted much in the way of outcry.
As I often do, I must say again:
where are the evangelical leaders in America who will
condemn, wholly, the targeting and murder of Jews?
The Israelis complain often about
the incitement to violence from the Palestinian
Authority. But isn’t gross silence and indifference from
Western leaders, including elitist evangelical leaders,
also a form of incitement? A hands-off approach so long
as it’s only Jews being murdered?
I have long believed that at the
root of the silence is a simple dislike of Jews. This
comes from all denominations: the mainline churches
“liked” Jews who were survivors of the Holocaust,
because that madness was simply beyond the pale.
However, they did not like Jews with guns, the IDF, and
especially after the Six Day War, the tolerance from the
liberal churches waned.
But even in the so-called
conservative denominations, I know leadership — from the
SBC and the Assemblies of God — that clearly seems to
have a problem with Jews. They might acknowledge and
even embrace much of prophecy. They might have some
respect for Israel as an ally in the War on Terror.
In their hearts, though, they
harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.
Somewhere in the childhoods, or in seminary, or around
the dinner table, they heard that Jews control all the
money in the world, or foment violence in order to
prosper. Or they’ve heard that Jews “killed Christ.”
All these dark spots on the
hearts of professing Christians add up to one thing:
stepping aside when Jews are being hurt.
Look at Jimmy Carter. How can the
man teach Sunday school and embrace (literally!) Hamas
terrorists? How can evangelical leadership gurus like
Brad Lomenick and Gabe Lyons allow anti-Israel speakers
at their conferences? How can Dr. Russell Moore of the
SBC talk out of both sides of his mouth where Israel is
concerned, even sounding eerily like a Replacement
Theology guy when discussing Israel? What about the
faculty at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary,
closely aligned with the Society for Pentecostal Studies
— a group associated with Dr. Paul Alexander, a virulent
critic of Israel? When Alexander was scrutinized by the
top AG leadership for his liberal stances on
homosexuality and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
several SPS members privately expressed solidarity with
Do rank-and-file Christians
understand what is going on in “conservative” circles?
At every turn, liberal and leftist ideology is seeping
into the fabric of church life. And in this narrow focus
of violence toward Jews and hatred of Israel, the trends
are deeply troubling.
Let me be frank. Stalwart pro
Israel leaders like Noah Hutchings at Southwest Radio
Church are in the winter of their lives. Who is
replacing them? Not enough apologists and pro Israel
leaders. In fact, the “replacements” are center-left
ideologues who privately (and soon, openly) have a bone
to pick with Israel.
Let me give you one final example
for now, to help you understand the networks.
Cameron Strang, publisher of
Relevant magazine, has had his photo ops with Barack
Obama in the White House. Why would the 30-ish Strang be
invited to a shindig at the White House? Because Team
Obama knows who the influencers are among young people,
and Strang, in the pages of his magazine, never misses
an opportunity to bash Israel.
This is what we are facing in the
not-too-distant future. An age in which the gathering
forces against Israel and her capitol, Jerusalem, grow
And fewer seem to care.
Nov 24, 2014
Giving Iran More Time
It’s difficult to watch the
madness that passes for American foreign policy these
Take the Iranian negotiations.
Meeting in Vienna, officials on
both sides of a global “effort” to reach a deal with
Iran on the terror-state’s drive for nuclear weapons are
now considering extending the deadline of November 25.
Of course they are.
As U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry poses for photo ops with Iranian Foreign Minister
Zarif, one wonders how we’ve sunk so low.
According to a report in the
“’Our focus remains on taking
steps forward toward an agreement, but it is only
natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline we are
discussing a range of options both internally and with
our P5+1 partners,’ a senior State Department official
said, referring to the United Kingdom, France, Russia,
China and Germany. ‘An extension is one of those
Russia and China. Such hostile
nations to the U.S. ensure that Iran will never be
required to give up its race for the ultimate weapon. An
extension, say to January, 2015, would require
“concessions” such as (from both sides):
“Added caps on Iran’s enrichment
of uranium agreed upon by Tehran, and the further easing
of sanctions on Iran granted by world powers, possibly
in the form of airplane shipments or the delivery of
heavy oil-drilling equipment.”
You do see of course that Iran
will continue to ignore such “caps” while at the same
time the Western powers buckle and ease sanctions.
I have a theory that since Israel
is the only country threatened with extinction by the
mullahs of Iran, the rest of the world cares little
about Iran’s ambitions. It’s the classic case of hoping
the crocodile eats someone else before he comes for you.
As Bible-believing Christians
(which dominate the readership of RR), we have a
different perspective: Israel, via Scripture, cannot
cease to exist. This is a promise from God. It matters
little that much of the world mocks such a “simplistic”
Further, rather than obsess over
the dreadful weakness now being displayed by the
Americans and European countries, I think it is
imperative that each of us get our spiritual house in
This is all we can do, and all we
By all accounts, Iran now has
thousands of centrifuges with which to enrich uranium,
which in turn can be used to make nuclear bombs.
Remember, too, Iran is also racing to make
intercontinental ballistic missiles, with which to
threaten the rest of us.
Only a tiny fraction of the
world’s population (Bible believers) recognizes that
Israel is here to stay. We live in momentous times,
That makes it all the more
important that, rather than acting from fear at the
current terrors in the night, we act with confidence and
tell anyone we come in contact with that God’s promises
are sure and true.
Madness is enveloping the world,
but we can be serene and calm, even joyful, in the face
This is our duty.
Nov 17, 2014
I once heard a story that fabled
statesman Henry Kissinger flew to Jerusalem upon the
election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli premier. This
The story goes that Kissinger,
upon landing in Tel Aviv, was driven straight to
Netanyahu. The men then went behind closed doors for a
not-long meeting. When they emerged, Netanyahu was
ashen-faced. Kissinger immediately left and flew home to
The story might be untrue, or it
might be true. If true, one can presume that Kissinger
told Netanyahu something so astonishing, the young prime
minister was caught off-guard. Presumably it involved a
diabolical threat to the Jewish state.
I mention this little tale,
because Kissinger has been thought by various conspiracy
enthusiasts to be either the antichrist, or his
lieutenant. A Council on Foreign Relations kind-of-guy,
I have no idea if Kissinger is at
that level of power broker, but I do know he gave an
interesting speech this week in New York, at the Waldorf
Astoria. He received the Theodor Herzl Award from the
World Jewish Congress (WJC).
Kissinger’s comments about
Israel’s attempts to strike a peace deal with the
Palestinians were very interesting. Especially for a guy
considered to be a dark figure in international
politics. Kissinger said point-blank that Israel has no
business negotiating a final deal with the Palestinians
until the current overall unrest in the Middle East has
subsided. There is a general feeling right now in Israel
that the Palestinians have launched a third “Intifada,”
a torrent of terrorism aimed at all Jews.
Kissinger is well aware of the
“[Israel should] make
contributions by the understanding it shows for the
psychological and historical problems of the people with
which it lives in the same territory. But things cannot
be accomplished in a final manner in a single
With barbaric Islamic groups
burning the Middle East, there is little chance of any
long-term deal in the Arab-Israeli conflict and in fact,
there is unprecedented (and largely unknown to the
public) close cooperation going on between Israeli and
Arab security forces. Iran looms large for all
interested parties, including the Saudis, and the green
light given to Muslim Brotherhood-backed terror groups,
by Barack Obama’s limp-wristed 2009 speech in Cairo has
Kissinger also addressed the
all-important relationship between the U.S. and Israel,
and seemed to downplay current tense feelings between
Washington and Jerusalem.
“In the years ahead,” Kissinger
said, “there are a number of principles that the United
States has to keep in mind. What it will defend or seek
to achieve even if it has to do so alone. What it has to
achieve only together with others, and finally, what is
beyond its capacity.
“The survival of Israel and the
maintenance of its capacity to build the future is one
of those principles that we will pursue even if we have
to do so alone.
“It is crucial for the United
States to develop a conception of the future that we can
sustain over a long period of time,” he said. “And part
of that consensus must be a realization that Israel is,
has been, a representative of the principles in which
America believes. It is the one country on whose
geopolitical support America can always count.
“In America we have come to think
that peace is something that can be contracted in a
single effort…” he concluded. “The fact is that we are
engaged now in a process without end, but a process
which needs our convictions and our commitments and in
which the friendship between Israel and the United
States is an essential element.”
Kissinger, who fled Germany
during the Holocaust, knows about what he speaks
regarding these issues. It is unknown if he is indeed
the kind of malevolent character described by conspiracy
theorists, but his speech in New York was refreshing and
important, especially as Israel attempts to navigate
difficult and choppy international waters.
Henry Kissinger is a man who
knows many secrets. And today, Benjamin Netanyahu is
more tempered and wise and experienced as the leader of
the most unique nation on Earth.
Let us all resolve to pray harder
for our Jewish friends worldwide, and those who inhabit
the glorious state of Israel.
Nov 10, 2014
The Year of Supporting Bibi
During his first premiership,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was roundly
criticized by the left, especially media in his own
country. One brave journalist even penned a column
titled, “The Year of Hating Bibi.”
Today, we lament the shabby and
crude treatment given to Netanyahu by our own
It seems that almost every day,
there is a news item about how the troubles in the
Middle East are somehow Netanyahu’s fault.
The White House recently weathered yet another
scandal, this one involving a high-placed official
offering a crude remark about Netanyahu.
Then, just last week, Israel’s
own daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, published a cartoon of
Netanyahu flying a plane into a high-rise building.
It’s stunning that anti-Semitism
has reached such levels.
Yet all is not lost. As the left
flexes its muscles in criticizing Netanyahu, his
supporters are rallying, too. I would prefer that more
evangelical leaders in America would follow suit, but we
take what we can get.
My friends at the America-Israel
Friendship League are offering their influential support
to the Israeli leader, and it is instructive for us, I
think, to read it and consider that when things get
tough, we should keep proper perspective.
Kenneth Bialkin, Chairman of
“It is particularly moving that
the words of the leader of Israel come during the Days
of Awe, the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur
when Jews reflect on their sins of the previous year and
repent before Yom Kippur.
The image of a leader of Israel bringing a
message during the Days of Awe to the representatives of
the entire world warning of the imminence of a great
danger threatening to world peace is suggestive of the
warnings during the biblical period of the Prophets of
Old. It is
to be devoutly hoped that the peace-loving people of the
world heed the warning of the Prime Minister of Israel.”
What a wonderful thought from
Bialkin. But it is not simply a statement of affection
and support. It is a clear signal that those who covet
freedom and defend high ideals are engaged in the
practical work of supporting Israel. It is an every day
job, and one cannot help wondering if indeed those
Prophets of Old are watching to see how we respond to
this latest epoch in the history of the Jewish people.
Let’s make this the Year of
November 3, 2014
(This is my 400th
“Israel Watch” for RaptureReady. It is one of the joys
of my life to live in this community of believers, and I
want to thank Todd and Terry for their faithfulness,
encouragement, and support. Per the subject of the
following column, Palestinian advocate Porter Speakman,
Jr. recently referred to me as a “RaptureReady tool.”
Thank, you; I’m proud of the association. Much love to
all of you at RR. Jim)
began actively advocating for Israel in 1995. The large
shadow of the Oslo Accords, which bonded Israel’s
security with the newly created Palestinian Authority,
things have happened since then, of course. Today I want
to discuss a common theme at “Israel Watch” the last
couple years, but with a greater sense of urgency.
Palestinians and their many international friends —
growing in number weekly now — undermine and seek to
destroy Israel in myriad ways. I have become convinced
that this implacable enemy of the Jews and the Jewish
state is unreachable in terms of true peace efforts.
qualify that statement. I believe them to be unreachable
unless they publicly, clearly acknowledge that Arab
rejectionism and the global jihad agenda are the root
cause of the conflict.
is not happening.
Bible-believing Christian and committed Christian
Zionist, I believe — I know — one of the greatest
threats to Israel and her supporters today comes from
within the (often) self-appointed evangelical leadership
community in the United States.
Jew-hater like Stephen Sizer, the Anglican vicar from
the UK, is still outside the borders of the U.S. and
while his influence in the international community is
somewhat significant, his reach is limited in convincing
American Christians that Israel is the real problem in
the Middle East.
let me ask you a question: If you were a Palestinian
leader wishing to undermine Israel in the U.S., how
would you do it?
answer the question from my perspective: I’d reach
straight into the very heart of Evangelicalism in the
greatest nation on Earth. I’d seek to weave an elaborate
and well-choreographed lie about Israel and her
supporters, and tell it loudly and often to
rank-and-file American Christians.
would first launch this plan by getting close to
evangelical leaders. I would garner invitations to
influential conferences. I’d accept invitations to speak
in churches all over America.
above all, develop my lie with honeyed words.
is what’s happening in America right now. The erosion of
support for Israel in American churches is the greatest
underreported story around. I have hesitated to say
publicly just how dire the situation is, because I know
our enemies love it and it emboldens them. Yet I feel
compelled to speak in the limited way that I can.
virtually every pro Israel Christian organization in
existence. Many are personal friends. I love them and
feel it’s mutual. They do tremendous work.
few recent conversations leave me troubled. There is a
tendency to want to appear “moderate” when advocating
other side has no such approach. They are relentless,
vicious, and subversive. Brian McLaren, much more in
tune with Eastern religion than any evangelicals he
purports to move among, agreed with Palestinian
propagandist Naim Ateek in claiming that Christian
Zionists are a bigger threat to Palestinians than
peep from the American evangelical community. The
grotesque and malicious charges laid at the feet of
Christian Zionists, by those who have “crept in
unawares” into the Church, are met with silence by
leaders like Bill Hybels. He and his wife, Lynne, have
been befriended by Palestinians since the ‘70s…why?
Because the Palestinians are smart and realize that the
quickest way to finish-off pro Israel support in the
American Church is to get friendly with the leadership.
they have done and are doing. At an alarming rate.
the other side does not follow any mythical rules of
war. They lie all the day long and promote the
Palestinian Narrative, which claims that almost all the
problems in the Middle East are Israel’s fault.
today, let me site just one example. This week, I had
discussions with three people in the pro Israel
community in the U.S. The topic was whether the Green
family — of Hobby Lobby fame — have been misunderstood
in terms of their purported support for the
say specifically what I mean.
years ago, I broke a story about the film
(http://www.wnd.com/2011/12/374717/), “O Little Town of
Bethlehem,” produced by EGM Films, a project funded and
emotionally supported by Mart Green, head of Mardel
Christian bookstores (his brother, Steve, runs Hobby
Lobby, founded by their father).
film is anti-Israel (see it and decide for yourself),
and when I interviewed the director, Jim Hanon, he told
me that he had begun the project by visiting Hezbollah
chief Sheik Nasrallah, in Lebanon.
weird is that?)
need to understand that Nasrallah is a murderous
jihadist who openly advocates for Israel’s destruction.
Hanon told me on the record that he found Nasrallah to
be personable. This is akin to Neville Chamberlain
thinking he could appeal to Hitler.
Green produced this film with part of his fortune. EGM
Films has generous office space at Hobby Lobby
headquarters in Oklahoma City.
some of my pro Israel friends are telling me that the
Green family has been “misunderstood” on this issue.
Well, my answer is two-fold:
have no idea what David and Steve Green and the extended
family think about Israel or any of this. B) What I know
is that Mart Green produced an anti-Israel film and when
I attempted to interview him about it, he couldn’t find
week, I will attempt — again — to interview him about
this subject, because evidently, there’s been enough
pushback about the film that someone connected to the
family has claimed at least privately that they have
Green family gave upwards of $100 million to Oral
Roberts University a few years ago. Mart Green became
the chairman of the board of regents at ORU. Let me be
clear: in my view, he bought that seat, and it stands to
reason that his advocacy for the Palestinians will now
find its way into the heart of the Pentecostal world.
(The Greens also contributed
$10.5 million to Liberty University, now run by Jerry
Falwell Jr. Jonathan Falwell now pastors Thomas Road
Baptist Church and is growing in influence among
evangelicals. Although these men have given no public
evidence that they would be influenced by the seeping
views of a Mart Green with regard to the Palestinians,
they move in all those circles. There is a new ecumenism
speeding like a freight train throughout evangelism, and
people with strong views on things like the Arab-Israeli
conflict are quietly shunned or shown the door. I am
telling you point-blank that buying influence among top
evangelical leadership can yield a marketing bonanza for
Palestinian propagandists down the road. It’s done
2012, some of the aforementioned leadership was also
responsible for a screening of the “O Little Town of
Bethlehem” film to a group of Pentecostal leaders at
Regent University. Sami Awad, Palestinian propagandist,
also spoke at the gathering.
is happening right at this moment is that a
well-orchestrated, well-funded effort by the
Palestinians is proceeding nicely. That agenda is to
infiltrate — infiltrate — American evangelical churches
with Palestinian propaganda.
asked, consistently by friends, if I’m sure of my
claims. I’ve been sure for years, because I can document
it. I suspect that I am asked repeatedly because the
true horror of the implications are too much to wrap
one’s mind around. It’s easier to keep repeating our own
propaganda that “the vast majority of evangelicals
support Israel. The truth is not as bright, but it’s
Moderation is not the way to advocate for Israel today,
my friends. One does not have to resort to the
maliciousness and ad hominem arguments put forth by
opponents of Christian Zionism.
anyone thinks this fight is not open warfare over the
right of Israel to exist, he is deluding himself.
Honestly? I wish top Christian Zionist leadership would
name names and tell people what’s going on in this
isn’t that the Palestinians are attempting to co-opt the
mainline — the United Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.
They’ve already done that, decades ago.
they are doing right now is burrowing deep into the very
heart of Evangelicalism: the Assemblies of God, the
wider Pentecostal world, the Southern Baptist
Convention, etc. Astonishingly, they attempted in 2013
to infiltrate the Calvary Chapel Association, which was
don’t know what Mart Green really thinks about all this.
He won’t talk. All I know is that he is friendly with
people who don’t like Israel.
Here is another of One Man’s
Opinion: if the Greens are privately claiming they have
been misunderstood regarding this film, then I publicly
call on them to say so. Tell us exactly where you stand
on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what you think
about the film produced by Mart Green. Are they more
concerned about losing customers if the customers really
know about the Palestinian connection?
not sure. Let them go public with their views on Israel.
Greens have been duped — specifically, if Mart Green has
been duped — let’s have it out in the open and have him
go on record with a statement.
Meanwhile, his friends in the Palestinian community
continue to promote a worldview that is no different
from that of the PLO, long sworn to Israel’s
ideological opponents want us to be moderate and
accommodating and have symposiums and dialogue.
they are using brass knuckles, and a sockful of nickels
on their Christian Zionist opponents.