Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 



Aug 13, 2012

(Read Jim’s column on Rick Warren at www.wnd.com/2012/08/rick-warrens-unholy-reign-as-americas-pastor/)

An Unholy Reign

The piece I wrote for WorldNetDaily this week, about Rick Warren, has already produced a huge response. So much so that I wanted to take the opportunity at Israel Watch to once again discuss “Pastor Rick’s” influence regarding evangelical support for Israel.

Few people are unaware of Rick Warren’s influence. Over 30 million copies of The Purpose Driven Life have been sold. Warren regularly boasts of training a quarter million pastors in his PD marketing scheme. He gave the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. The pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California—one of the very largest congregations in the U.S.—is constantly interviewed by media. He counts Tony Blair and Bono as friends.

And there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that he is no friend of Israel.

I should preface my remarks by saying that the “average” evangelical is not aware of Warren’s background or present-day associations that are really at odds with biblical Christianity. For those who have the time (and I literally urge you to find the time; I have each of the following books, along with the Kindle versions that are available); there are several key resources that will stun the reader:

•The New Evangelicalism, by Paul Smith

•Redefining Christianity, by Bob DeWaay

•A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen

•A Wonderful Deception, by Warren Smith

•The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church, by Noah Hutchings

Am I really endorsing these books and prompting you to get them?

Yes, and with as much urgency as I can muster. I wouldn’t waste your time or money if I didn’t think each of the books mentioned above weren’t vital to a proper understanding of Rick Warren, the change agent. Each provides compelling evidence that Something Wicked This Way Comes to evangelicalism.

Actually, it’s already here.

Change agents began operating behind the scenes decades ago, working to transfer classic liberal theology to mainstream evangelicalism. When I was a teenager, no self-respecting pastor in America would have been caught dead even standing next to Brian McLaren. Yet in Dan Kimball’s 2003 book, The Emerging Church, forewords were written by…Rick Warren and Brian McLaren. Additionally, the cover reveals that commentary was provided by Warren, Howard Hendricks, McLaren, Sally Morgenthaler, Chip Ingram, and Mark Oestreicher.

(For a thorough critique of McLaren’s aberrant theology, I strongly urge you to search for his name at www.apprising.org)

Liberals love to complain that “critics” use “guilt by association” to unfairly characterize them. This is classic evasion with a generous helping of illogic.

We can all be measured by our associations. I associate with Bible prophecy teachers. It means that, in general, we believe the same things. For example, I treasure my friendship with David Reagan, because he is a bold witness in a dark world. If a liberal wanted to criticize me for associating with Dave, I’d say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

Liberals do not like it when their associations are brought to light because, as Spurgeon used to say, darkness hates the light.

Rick Warren should have some ‘splainin’ to do with regard to his endorsement of Kimball’s book.

He doesn’t have to explain. Pastor Rick doesn’t have to be accountable for questionable associations. He’s too powerful.

When his protégés, such as Perry Noble and Steven Furtick, mock critics and call them names, Warren’s own reputation is on the line, however.

And let me give you a brief example of how a paper trail gives strong evidence that a mainstream evangelical pastor in 2012 America is not really promoting a biblical worldview:

In Paul Smith’s book, we learn that not long after the founding of Fuller Theological Seminary, liberal influences crept in. Charles Fuller’s own son, Daniel, went to Switzerland to study under Karl Barth and when he returned, he had largely abandoned belief in Bible prophecy. Fuller the Younger then exerted his influence over the seminary for the next several decades.

Rick Warren obtained a Ph.D from Fuller. In PDL, he discourages the study of Bible prophecy and, tragically, he repeated this theme at the 2011 Southern Baptist pastor’s convention.

Prophecy, of course, is intertwined with the story of Israel in the Bible. It is foundational to understanding reality.

Add to the mix the seminary’s bent toward the Church Growth movement and other unbiblical practices, and it’s not hard to see why Warren pals around with Muslim imams, denigrates Bible prophecy teaching (see PDL), and presides over a PD system that rewards the compliant and boots “dissenters.” Strong words?

I haven’t even gotten started.

There is a mountain of evidence that Warren is not what he appears to millions who don’t know enough to question his associations and practices.

His 2006 visit to Syria, in which he gave Bashar Assad an award, reveals at the very least a man so alarmingly undiscerning that he serves as a dupe for a totalitarian regime that takes its place in the pantheon of history’s most infamous.

And consider this:

Millionaire evangelical businessman Mart Green gave Saddleback a 170-acre tract of prime land in southern California (www.ocregister.com/articles/church-310690-green-lobby.html) in 2011.

Green, founder of Mardel Christian Stores and an heir to the Hobby Lobby empire, is the financial wizard behind the curtain of the anti-Israel film, Little Town of Bethlehem. The documentary follows the lives of three men who purport to practice “non-violence” in order to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Problem is, the Palestinian Christian, Palestinian Muslim, and Israeli who tell their stories all push the basic PLO line: Israel is an occupier and we must have a Palestinian state.

This odious film, along with the similar-themed With God on Our Side, is being used to turn people away from supporting Israel. Screenings at campuses and churches coast-to-coast ensure that many socially minded young evangelicals see a skewed view of the Jewish state.

By the way, it might interest you to know that I have been counseled—even, incredibly, by pro Israel supporters—to temper my remarks on these subjects and to avoid naming so many names. Everyone is free to follow his or her own conscience. As for me, I am committed thoroughly to exposing the anti-Israel agenda being sold to evangelical audiences in America.

We are in the place we are in due in part to our past silence, or failure to see what was going on. When McLaren, Hank Hanegraaff, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer, Jim Wallis and several others denigrate Christian Zionists and Israel, it’s past time to speak up.

Let me give you another example of how associations and like-mindedness harm Israel and her Christian supporters.

Craig Groeschel is senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma. It is I believe the fastest-growing church in the country, and Groeschel is a protégé of Warren and Bill Hybels; his ministry roots come from the United Methodist Church (among other things, perhaps the premier anti-Israel denomination in the U.S.).

Groeschel is an affable, engaging, brilliant communicator who is a key player in the Church Growth/Seeker Driven methodology that is currently the rage. He is disciplined, smart, and seemingly free from the immaturity of his own, lesser-disciplined protégés Noble and Furtick (be sure and check out Furtick’s “Hey, Haters” video rant on YouTube).

So far as I know, Groeschel doesn’t take controversial stands in public. Yet his associate pastor at LifeChurch, Bobby Gruenewald, displays on his Facebook page an affiliation with the group, “Help Spread the Message of Non-Violence.”

Sounds good, right? What self-respecting Christian wouldn’t endorse a non-violent approach to the Middle East crisis? I mean, we’re not Bashar Assad, are we?

However…some rainy afternoon when your chores are done, scroll through the associations of those “members” of this group. Here are a few examples:

•Benjamin Por Boonyarit supports the “cause” titled: “Stop the [sic] Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza.”

•Janelle Gingrich-Caudle supports the “causes” titled: “International Solidarity Movement,” and “Stop House Demolitions in east Jerusalem.”

•Sami Awad, the spirit behind Little Town of Bethlehem, and a friend of Mart Green, supports the “cause” titled: “Stop Calling Muslims Terrorists.”

My question is, why would a Palestinian Christian like Awad take on this issue? Further, one has only to investigate the claims of researchers like Erick Stakelbeck, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, and Steve Emerson to conclude that not only are a huge number of Muslims either terrorists or supporters of the ideology, but that they are making alarming inroads into the fabric of American life.

The associations above (the ISM is a radical left-wing movement openly hostile to Israel) are part of what people believe. They are like-minded folks. While Gruenewald might not endorse everything these people do, he identifies with this larger “non-violence” group. To accuse Israel of war crimes is to bear false witness against the Jewish state.

(As an aside, Gruenewald, on his FB page, describes himself as having skills in the area of “activator, futurist, ideation, achiever and competition.” Huh? Can you imagine the pastor of your youth self-identifying with such New Age goo?)

Again, it’s all about associations.

Further, as of last fall, Jim Hanon, the director of Little Town of Bethlehem, attended LifeChurch.

I’m stating the obvious: like-minded folks mix with like-minded folks. We all do. The issue is, what do they believe and what do they promote/endorse? What is true and what is not true? What is good and what is harmful?

 

Let me digress for a minute to show you where a pastor who no longer teaches from the Bible ends up. Not long ago, I was watching a mega-church pastor I personally know. He favorably quoted the French philosopher Jean Paul-Sarte. I studied Sarte in college and know that among other things, he was a Che Guevera groupie, going so far as to calling the killer-thug the “era’s most perfect man.” He called Che an intellectual. Wow. Why would a pastor think that a fellow like Sarte had anything of value to say to an evangelical audience?

Here’s another one: a few years ago while perusing my local paper’s Religion section, I saw that a church was going to have a seminar entitled: “The Theological Implications of King Lear.”

Question: who cares? When did we stop teaching the Bible in America? 1792? How have we gotten to this point? Pastors today preach about sex, getting along with your boss, even fashion. The pulpit has been replaced by thin plexiglass stands, beds, cars, motorcycles, tables from Pier 1. “Sermons” have titles with words like “naked” in them, so that today’s Evangelical Pastor is more snickering 12-year-old behind a fence, reading a dirty magazine than he is spiritual leader.

Jean-Paul Sarte? Seriously?

When a church leader departs from biblical teaching—of which a chunk is a proper understanding of the role of Israel, the Jews, and Bible prophecy—he becomes a cartoon.

Back to eroding support for Israel.

It is at least plausible that Craig Groeschel shares similar views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His mentor, Rick Warren, mixes with younger evangelical leaders who are concerned about the situation in “Palestine.”

Even those who identify with “Palestine” telegraph their politics and worldview. Do you see? Palestine doesn’t exist. It might exist, depending upon the pressure put on Israel by the global body known as the UN. The international community—several leaders are Rick Warren’s friends—loathe the Jewish state.

As of yet, however, when an evangelical leader says that he is going to visit “Palestine,” we can know that he has already gone over to the left. He already identifies with the Palestinians, whose leadership at the very least wants to destroy Israel.

This anti-Israel ideology and theology is coming into the American Church like a flood.

Let me be clear about something: my litmus test for endorsing/following a religious leader is Israel. I look for other things, as well, but it all pivots off one’s worldview regarding Jews, Israel, and predictive prophecy.

My thinking is, if such a leader is right about the theology of Israel, he’s probably going to be right about most other things in the Bible. That’s why those evangelical pastors who attended last spring’s anti-Israel “Christ at the Checkpoint” event—Joel Hunter, John Ortberg, Bob Roberts—have zero credibility with me. None.

When John Piper tweets the anti-semitic question, “Who is a Jew?” as he did, I tune him out. When a Christian publisher begins to hang out with PLO groupies, I’m not listening to him anymore or supporting his propaganda.

There is much more to write, and it will be written, I can assure you.

If you are a supporter of Israel, and care about both the Jewish state and the American Church, you’d better pull your head out of wherever it’s stuck and get in the game. Time is running out; evangelical change agents are well on the way to overturning pro Israel support in America.

If you’d like to communicate with me directly about this clear-and-present danger, please do.

jim@prophecymatters.com


 

Aug 6, 2012

“Fierce and Desperate”

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah 58:12)

A recent item in the Jewish Press is but one more indicator that Israel/Jerusalem is the key puzzle piece in these last days.

The JP’s Yishai Fleisher interviewed Arieh King, director of the Israel Land Fund, and the discussion centered on the spiritual center of the universe, Jerusalem.

Interestingly, King and his friends are focused on reclaiming “stolen properties in eastern Jerusalem,” and, even more provocatively, “to expand the borders of the entire metropolis.”

The Palestinians of course oppose this, as do their friends—especially, odiously, those in the mainline and evangelical communities. The United Methodists, for example, have been decrying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem at least since Oslo 20 years ago. We also well remember Barack Obama’s chilling quote from last year, in which he felt compelled to say that the international community is getting tired of the status quo in the peace process. That means he and his friends are sick and tired of Israel.

If Zechariah can be believed, this is precisely the scenario required for a climactic battle involving the global community.

Fleisher, whom I’ve met, discussed in the piece  an ambush he was the victim of in a narrow street just north of the Old City. When I was there 10 years ago, during the Second Intifada, it was common to see Hamas posters on the streets.

Just around the corner from this area is the so-called Orient House, from which the PLO operated for years. King had this to say:

“There’s no question that once Jews are not there, there is no sovereignty, police are not entering there, this is the basis for anti-Israeli organizations to put their roots …There’s no question, if Jews were living there, things like that would not happen.”

Christians are often not aware that this section of the city is a nest of terror activity, and home to terror operatives. From the Fleisher article:

“King got his start as a security guard in the City of David in 1997.  Then most commonly known as Silwan, the area was wrought with strife and was targeted frequently by local Arabs for attacks, despite his position just adjacent to the most significant place in the city, the Old City of Jeruasalem.  Born on Kibbutz Alumim, King is one of the ten original residents of Ma’ale Zeitim (Ras-Al-Amud) where he currently resides with his wife and children. He started the Israel Land Fund while trying to recover property on the Mt. of Olives in 2007.

“According to King, the battle for Jerusalem is fierce and ‘desperate.’”

As Hillary Clinton, the UN, the British, and religious leaders grind their teeth in heavy handed efforts to get Israel to stop building Jewish communities in the Land of Israel, King’s group has had some success. Apartments have been built in Beit Orot, and in Shimon HaTzaddik.

“Up until now, King’s focus has been on areas specific to eastern Jerusalem – the Mount of Olives, Shimon HaTzaddik (the burial place of Temple high priest Simon the Just),  Beit Hanina, Beit Tzafafa,and  Jabil Mukaber, areas he said nobody was talking about 10 years ago.”

Despite assertions that Israeli Jews are stealing Arab land, King makes it clear that his group has actually worked with local Arabs to determine land ownership, even extending back to 1948.

Overall, King’s initiative would extend Israeli sovereignty to the north, and south by the year 2050:

“As part of the plan, Gush Etzion in southern Judea will become a suburb of Jerusalem, as will Maale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev.”

To give you some perspective, the gleaming community of Maale Adumim sits just east of the Old City, and is populated by thousands of Jews. This is a central location involved in the global negotiations to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict. It is a place that folks like Bill Clinton know very, very well. The problem for the globalists is, this suburb and others like it are like a force of nature. It isn’t a few tents here and there that can be uprooted. Read Amos 9:15.

The international community loathes this reality, it really does.

We live in momentous times, my friends. Prophecies are being fulfilled on the ground, literally, day by day. As King says:

“Many ruins in Jerusalem are waiting to be built.”

 

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Jul 30, 2012

The Sword of Damocles

From Greek legend we learn of the so-called “Sword of Damocles,” a story about a member of the court of Dionysius II. The courtier, Damocles, was a typical sycophant and often remarked to the king how majestic he was, and how it must be amazing to wield such power.

One day, Dionysius allowed Damocles to switch places with him for a day, in order to have the experience. The king, however, arranged for a sword to hang over Damocles’ head, held in place by the single hair of a horse’s tail. The point of course was that yes, power might have a certain magnificence and allure, but in the end, one cannot find happiness under the constant threat of destruction.

Thus the Sword of Damocles has often been invoked to describe the precarious nature of power among rulers and kingdoms. On July 12, at a conference in Tehran, Cyber Hezbollah—sophisticated terrorist entities operate in a variety of spheres—dealt with “Syria, the First Line of Resistance.”

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

“Cyber Hezbollah is an organization that was established in the summer of 2011 by supporters of the Iranian regime who operated in cyberspace against the reformist opposition during the riots of 2009. The organization’s first conference was convened in August 2011.

“A memorandum of opinion released by the organization shortly after it was established listed its goals and objectives, which include bringing together regime supporters who are active in cyberspace, organizing courses and training for the activists, holding meetings to acquaint the activists with tactics of cyber warfare, and mobilizing the activists for online activities. Since its establishment, the organization has provided a supportive environment for philosophical and cultural discourse between figures considered close to the radical right wing bloc and regime supporters.”

The situation in Syria is complex, and indicative of a wider complexity with regard to how various countries and terror states in the Middle East interact.

Bible prophecy students have been keen in recent weeks on the idea that Syria’s Bashar Assad, as a last, desperate act, would launch a missile attack on Israel, thus inviting a withering response that would bring Isaiah 17 into fulfillment.

However, I don’t think the coming destruction of Damascus is that simple. While Syria and Egypt launched conventional wars against Israel, the regimes were sane and rational in the sense that they did not want to hasten their own destruction. In this way, the situation was akin to American-Soviet stances during the Cold War.

But with the Middle East now aflame with jihad—thanks in no small part to (intentional?) blunders by Western leaders like Barack Obama—I believe the opportunities for Isaiah 17 are richer in the context of a coming Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Syria.

If Bashar Assad is going to use WMD against Israel, he’d better hurry up. He is closer to ending up like Gaddafi or Mussolini than he is to attacking Israel.

The Iranians have long backed Syria, used as a proxy in the terror war against Israel. Were the Brotherhood to take control in Damascus, Tehran’s ability to manipulate Israel’s northern border would be uncertain. Assad is a puppet of the Iranian mullahs and while they evidently wish to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, I don’t believe Assad is in position to make his own decisions at that level.

Again, from the Meir Amit report:

“Cyber Hezbollah’s ninth conference, held in the presence of Hamed Hassan, the Syrian ambassador to Iran, was dedicated to the current developments in Syria, with its participants expressing the Iranian regime’s continuing support for President Bashar Assad and his government.

“Speaking at the conference, Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari, Iran’s former ambassador in Damascus and chairman of the international Ahlulbayt Association, addressed the developments in the Arab world, saying that the enemies of Islam are concerned about the ‘Islamic awakening’ in the region and are attempting to hold back the progress of the Islamic movements in various ways, which include hitting the front of Islamic resistance against Israel, whose center is in Syria.”

Akhtari listed several reasons why he feels the situation in Syria is different than other uprisings over the past year, and it’s clear that he wants Assad to remain in power. The Iranians, like all clans, are at odds with various other terrorist/jihadist clans in the Middle East. Akhtari feels that Al-Qaeda operatives working against the Syrian regime have done little to help Hezbollah or Syria against Israel.

These are tactical differences.

The Iranians feel that the Syrian situation represents a form of the Sword of Damocles doctrine, in that if the West were to act directly against Assad, a “retaliatory blow with a sword whose edges are Syria and the Islamic resistance in Palestine and Lebanon” would commence. The jihadists loathe American military might, and relish the idea that the U.S.-led West would never find contentment with the constant threat of destruction in place.

(Notice too the use of the word “resistance.” This is propaganda, since the jihadists opposing freedom and the West are not technically resisting; they are advancing with an offensive war whose ultimate goal is world domination. Yet the word “resistance” seeps into the gullible Western mind, and too many view these killers as freedom fighters.)

In short, while all these jihadists—from the Iranian mullahs to the Wahhabists in Egypt—have the goal of Israel’s destruction, I do not feel Assad (more of a secular strongman than religious martyr) will be the triggerman. Much more likely Isaiah 17 will find its fulfillment in a Muslim Brotherhood-led Syria, which will follow its religiously motivated imperative to strike Israel.

jim@prophecymatters.com


Jul 23, 2012

At the Summit

I told you last week that I’d report on the Christians United for Israel Summit, held in Washington D.C. It was the first one I’ve attended (CUFI is six years old).

I shall do that, but give my impressions rather than a straight report. Much happened, and it was all good. While at the event, I had a chance to talk to a great many people, including CUFI Executive Director David Brog, scholar Alex Grobman, and brave Palestinian pastor Steven Khoury.

The gathering was an encouragement, since the thousands who attended were treated to outstanding speakers, workshops, and a renewed sense that as the opposition to Israel grows stronger, so do her defenders.

I arrived Sunday and had the pleasure of having dinner with a few folks, including CUFI Eastern Coordinator Victor Styrsky. I can tell you that pro Israel activism is in deluxe hands with people like Victor. The passion, intelligence, and sophistication of the CUFI operation is impressive to see up close. Victor told me that the grassroots organization is growing by leaps and bounds. With that growth, challenges grow, as well.

“We know that Replacement Theology is a serious problem,” he said.

Perhaps the thing that surprised me most was the level of coordination that is rising between evangelicals and Jews. Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations, gave a stunning address. The forcefulness of his message drew wild applause.

“We stand for living Jews and for a living Jewish state!” Hoenlein thundered.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the gathering via satellite from Jerusalem. He said with obvious genuineness that Israel does not feel alone, with such friends advocating around the globe.

(In a moving and almost ironic coincidence, the CUFI leadership hosted a screening of a new film, “Follow Me,” which chronicles the life of Jonathan Netanyahu, the PM’s older brother, who was killed leading the successful hostage rescue at Entebbe, in 1976. About 600 people attended the screening, and afterwards, during a panel discussion, I was almost taken aback by the outpouring of emotion from those who rose to ask questions and comment. One woman said she was speechless for the first time in her life, and that the film had changed her life. If your church would be interested in hosting a screening, let me know via email and I’ll pass that along to the producers.)

I also had a chance to visit with CUFI executive director David Brog, the classy architect of the group’s advancement to the million-member mark. David is a Palestinian advocate’s nightmare, and he emphasized that Israel advocates would begin “push-back,” rather than tolerate lies and slander about Israel from her enemies.

Another highlight of the week was the chance to sit down and visit with Steven Khoury, a Palestinian Christian pastor from Bethlehem. Steven, who was willing to say that he loves Jews, stands apart from some other Palestinian Christians who peddle the PLO/PA line about Israel. I asked him what we could do to help the Palestinian people, and he asked for prayer, and for folks to check out a new initiative he’s part of: www.bethlehemfreedom.com.

That website will give you an idea of what it’s like to live as a Christian under Muslim rule. Steven also told me that reports that the Palestinian Authority had shut down his church were not accurate. The church still operates.

As I mentioned, cooperation between Jews and Christians continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Alex Grobman, executive director of the America-Israel Friendship League, attended CUFI for the first time. The AIFL is a non-partisan group based in New York, and exists to build friendships between people who share common values and respect for freedom for all people.

We applaud Reverend John Hagee and his wonderful staff for making this conference such a moving experience,” said Grobman. “What makes CUFI conferences so inspiring are not only the excellent speakers, but the incredibly dedicated people you meet at these events. They have an infectious enthusiasm, a profound love for Israel, and an understanding of the importance of the Jewish state as being in the forefront in the war against terror. They recognize that Jews and Christians are in this fight together for the future of our way of life.

“May God give supporters of CUFI the strength, the wisdom and ability to continue their holy work to preserve our freedoms.”

The Rev. William Harter, a Presbyterian who has been heavily involved in combatting the boycott and divestment campaign in mainline churches, also attended for the first time and came away amazed by the experience:

"The conference provided convincing and detailed information underscoring the necessity of understanding the Israeli/Palestinian struggle as part of the ongoing search for authentic pluralism on the part of minority peoples---Jewish, Christian, Muslim and others---in the larger Middle East as well as significant portions of Africa and Asia.

“The conflict between authoritarian and triumphalist world-views and those who advocate human and civil rights including the rights of women and children was articulated very well."

Bill is a dear friend of mine, and he is also a Christian director with AIFL. He’s hosted delegations to Israel via “The League,” and works closely with chairman Ken Bialkin, and Grobman. What makes Bill’s work with the AIFL important in the context of attending the CUFI Summit is that it brings a mainline church perspective together with CUFI’s base of evangelical support.

I was most excited about this. When you have a sophisticated group like AIFL—with its advocacy for Israel headed by an urbane fellow like Bialkin—linking arms with veteran Christian Israel advocates like Bill…I think this represents a key element in CUFI’s rise to prominence. Truly, the organization now is represented in all denominations, and the close cooperation between these disparate groups bodes well for Israel.

All in all, the Christians United for Israel “Washington Summit” was a smashing success, and I already greatly look forward to next year. I invite you to go to www.cufi.org to find out more.

jim@prophecymatters.com



Alex Grobman of the America-Israel Friendship League listens as evangelical publisher Thomas Sharp (Balfour Books) makes a point during the CUFI Summit last week in Washington.


Jul 16, 2012

(Next week I will report on the Christians United for Israel Summit, being held in Washington D.C. this week.)

Bearing False Witness

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)

There are two definitions of words that you should commit to memory.

Misinformation is the spreading of untruths, unintentionally. Disinformation is the spread of untruths, intentionally. In other words, the latter is misinformation, Soviet-style. The practice of spreading lies about an individual or an entity with the intent to cause harm is a scourge in our world today. Israel gets a disproportionate amount.

One often hears about “the occupation.” This refers to that territory the world calls the West Bank. Bible-believers and other Zionists call it Judea and Samaria.

The region is the heartland of Israel, and is loaded with historical meaning. Kings have fought there, and most of the great biblical figures lived there at one time or another. For centuries, it was largely uninhabited, although both Arabs and Jews have lived there since time immemorial, as they say.

Until 1917, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Then, the British took control before knocking the dust off their sandals 30 years later and leaving it to Jews and Arabs to fight it out. After Israel’s War of Independence, which ended in 1949, Jordan controlled what King Hussein would come to call the West Bank.

In the 1967 Six Day War—which Israel-haters call a land grab, and Israel supporters remember as both a fight for survival and a miracle—the vaunted IDF gained a wide swath of territory, including the biblical heartland. Ever since, the international community has scorned Israel for holding the territory. But Ariel Sharon once told me that the nation can’t be conquered if the IDF controls the ground.

It is a very telling viewpoint and in fact, the wily old general was right. The mountainous terrain—the hills that dot the landscape, at sharp angles—is relatively easy to defend. It is almost impossible to take.

When the Israel-haters on the battlefield, the Arabs, realized military action was a non-starter, they turned their attention to “diplomacy” and propaganda. That is where we are today. They also utilize the Israel-hating bent found in many Westerners, including of course those in the American Evangelical Church.

I want to point out two errors that these self-described evangelicals make in this propaganda war. Some know they are lying; others simply spread misinformation.

The first involves the security fence or, as the Israel-haters call it, “the Wall.” Many are now taking their cues from the Sunday school teacher, Jimmy Carter, and call it an “apartheid wall.” They are bearing false witness against the Jewish state and will one day answer the Almighty for their lies.

The fence was put up in the wake of the homicide bombings that have claimed so many Jewish lives. Let’s be clear: many Israel-haters consider Jews to be scum, so they don’t truly bemoan the deaths of innocents, if they are Israelis. They talk about a commitment to Israel’s security, but that’s a lie.

Now, there are many sincere Christians (dupes) who are being used by the PLO/PA to undermine and attempt to destroy Israel. These people feel they are human rights activists.

But they are being misled on a colossal scale.

More than 90 percent of the security fence is barbed wire. Only a small percentage around certain Arab and Israeli towns is a concrete barrier.

Few people know that.

The vast majority of Americans will never visit Israel, so they rely on someone else to tell them what’s up. The “apartheid wall” (so-named to link Israel to the South African regime that oppressed blacks) in fact only encircles Arab dwellings here and there.

A supremely interesting plot point here is the fact that the Christian Palestinianists in America who are being schooled by folks like Sami Awad will tell you that Bethlehem has become a “prison” because the fence has completely encircled it.

That is false.

The security fence does not go all the way around the town (a thoroughly Jewish area, especially from biblical times, but in the 90s control was given to the PLO). I asked that question on the Facebook page for “Little Town of Bethlehem,” the anti-Israel propaganda film produced by evangelical businessman Mart Green’s EGM Films.

The person who maintains the site answered (in reference to my question: “Does the security fence completely encircle Bethlehem?”) that he/she didn’t know.

I no longer see my comment on that FB page; I’m sure it’s been taken down because it doesn’t fit the Palestinian narrative.

What if your life story was largely based on lies? What if the so-called Palestinian narrative is disinformation?

A second interesting question is the settlement of Judea and Samaria by Jews. One can fairly hear critics hiss when they say, “sssettlements,” and this of course is a linchpin in the narrative about the “occupation.”

Yet consider these facts:

Most of it is uninhabited. Only 10 percent has been settled (and that includes Arab towns like Ramallah and Nablus). Ninety percent is empty!

Further, only three percent of the built-up sections is Jewish!

You don’t hear that on the news, do you? You especially don’t hear it from the American Christian Palestinianists, who—I can tell you from personal experience—“turtle-up” when asked direct questions that don’t fit the Palestinian narrative.

One of the problems with embracing the Palestinian narrative, which is really, largely Soviet propaganda going way back, is that it causes people to make wrong choices.

The American Christian Palestinianists like to say that Christian Zionists affect America foreign policy, due to our Israel advocacy.

How absurd.

Is that why the official American foreign policy affirms the creation of a new Arab terror state (Palestine) alongside Israel? Is that why American presidents sit on their hands while PA leaders deny Jewish history in the Holy Land? Is that why political leaders in Washington maintain intense pressure on Israel to not only cede half of Jerusalem, but refuse to place an embassy there? Prediction: if the day comes when we see a state of Palestine come into existence, American diplomats will trip over themselves to cut the ribbon at their embassy in east Jerusalem.

Let me explain to you how American foreign policy is affected by Christian and Jewish Zionists.

In 2011, the Global Counterterrorism Forum was formed under the leadership of the United States, to “provide a unique platform for senior [counterterrorism] policymakers and experts from key partners in different regions to share key insights and best practices.”

 

That’s okay, I guess. Here’s what’s not okay. The countries making up this elite “counterterrorism” forum include:

 

Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.

What? Seriously? Is this a joke? Are we on Candid Camera?

Russia, and Arab states are members of this forum? Have we gone mad?

Yes, we have. The world is insane. Oh, and the country missing from this panel of elites?

Israel.

The whole sad affair surrounding the embrace of the Palestinian narrative/disinformation affects not only foreign policy, but has hijacked the Church.

Recently, at York, England, the Church of England voted “overwhelmingly” to strengthen ties with something called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel[*].

*Nice they included the country that actually exists in that region.

The EAPPI is into the whole “BDS” movement: boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Notice this from the EAPPI website:

We have a deep concern for the safety and dignity for all those we work with, and provide protective presence wherever possible. However, the protection we provide is by presence alone and as such is limited – we recognise that we cannot protect civilians from suicide bombings, rockets or military operations because of the nature of such acts.”

Some of the “sending organizations” working with EAPPI include:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Maryknoll Missioners, Episcopal Church, Church World Service, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

So, a key lie in the disinformation campaign aimed at bringing-down Israel is that Christian and Jewish Zionists control American foreign policy.

I wish we did.

Some of the Christian Palestinianists in America are sincere humanitarians who feel their work advances peace. I’m sorry for them, but at least they come at it from a pure heart.

Others, though, know exactly what they’re doing. They don’t like to answer uncomfortable questions, and they don’t like supporters of Israel at all.

The whole thing is diabolical, and is very much about bearing false witness.

The world embraces lies about Israel. Misinformation and disinformation. Deceiving and being deceived.

God help them.

jim@prophecymatters.com