Jan 16, 2017
I met Brian Schrauger many years
ago during my days in Christian book publishing. He was
a gifted writer then, and I could hardly have imagined
that one day he would be half-a-world-away, reporting on
the ground from Israel.
When we met in Nashville, it was
obvious we had common interests. I noticed that Brian
had a genuine love for Israel and the Jewish people.
Emphasis on genuine; too many people I’ve met over the
years “support” Israel for self-serving reasons. These
range from monetary gain to receiving “blessings” for
“blessing” Israel. The latter one in particular makes me
Anyway, a few years ago Brian
found himself living in Israel. Over time, it became
apparent to him what his purpose was there: report on
events from the perspective of a Christian Zionist.
Already possessing sharp journalistic skills, he also
had a fearlessness sharpened by wisdom. In other words,
he would go right into a hotspot and give all of us in
America a perspective we otherwise wouldn’t have.
For example, sitting on the
front row at a “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference is
reporting from the hottest point on the battlefield. Yet
there Brian has been, actually tweeting information in
real-time, as the conference unfolds. Remember, the CATC
is a virulently anti-Israel, PLO-backed confab. Going in
there and not hiding who you are takes special courage.
Honestly? It’s the first time I
can remember in 20 years getting firsthand, accurate
information from a Christian Zionist perspective. I know
and appreciate most of the pro Israel groups and many of
them do great things.
But Brian Schrauger at The
Jerusalem Journal (www.jerusalemjournal.net)
is the only journalist of his kind, so far as I know. He
is a real reporter, on the ground in Israel, reporting
on the most interesting things for pro Israel
Christians. For instance, his recent piece on the
ghastly terrorist murder of four IDF troops is searing
“It happened without warning and
it only took seconds. ...As he plows his heavy lorry
into the cluster of soldiers, Fadi crushes four young
women and two young men. Others, glancing off the
truck's side are wounded, but not mortally. Stunned,
those who can hurry to the side of fallen friends. As
they do so, Fadi brakes his lorry, turns it around,
aiming for the bodies he has just mowed down...
“It was a sunny winter's day in
Jerusalem, ideal for orientation tours in which young
cadets in Israel's armed forces, the IDF, are provided
an eyes-on look at their capital city's geography.
Perhaps the most spectacular site is the Haas Promenade
on the southeast side of Jerusalem. Atop the Hill of
Evil Counsel, next door to a huge United Nations
compound, the view of Jerusalem's Old City is a way to
see the place as King David saw it almost three thousand
Folks, this is top-notch. And
many times I’ve messaged Brian and he’s answered my
question right away, when I needed specific information.
I can ask him about specific locations and people and he
Because of his unique
abilities, I’d like to ask you to consider helping
The Jerusalem Journal.
Any news organization needs money to operate, and the JJ
could use your help. Among other things, you can help by
donating or by bringing Brian to your church to speak,
or both. I send my highest recommendation.
On his deluxe website, you can
see several items at the top: Subscribe, Help Us Grow,
Write for Us, etc. Again, I ask you to consider helping
with one or more of these items. It is not going too far
to say that what Brian is doing is truly different, and
that’s why I think his work is critically important and
You can email him directly at:
The last time I was in Israel, I
watched from my hotel balcony one evening as
Palestinians celebrated with fireworks from Bethlehem
after a terrorist attack against Jews. I was on the
phone with Brian, and he told me eyewitness things I
couldn’t have otherwise known.
My reading and supporting The
Jerusalem Journal, you can virtually do the same thing.
Jan 9, 2017
A Model of Civility
If the last 20 years in Israel
advocacy have taught me anything, it is that people on
opposite sides of a fence can almost enjoy shooting at
each other. Divergent views have a way of doing that.
Recently a reader alerted me to
a blog post by a person who takes issue with pro Israel
Christians invoking Genesis 12:3 (“I will bless those
that bless you…”) to defend Israel’s right to the land,
etc. I read the piece and got a check in my spirit, but
not for the reason you might be thinking.
I began to get a feeling that
the writer was from a Reformed background; that is, he
is probably Presbyterian or Lutheran and this goes a
long way in informing his views of Israel in prophecy.
Just as, I might add, to some degree my Baptist
background informs my view of the same issue.
So I read the post with some
objectivity. I did not disagree with everything the
Then I contacted him.
Happily, he wasn’t defensive,
and I told him upfront where I am coming from. I asked
if he is from a Reformed background and he said that he
is. I told him my background. We had a pleasant, brief
conversation and ended it kindly.
I won’t here go into the
theological stuff regarding Genesis 12:3, but rather
want to point out that we can advocate for Israel and
for the wonderful element of predictive prophecy…without
I have also been dismayed to see
how even those in the pro Israel camp can tear at each
other. There are different views on how best to advocate
for Israel. I disagree strongly with some approaches,
but try to deal in factual things, not ad hominem
When we have agendas—and we all
have them—often we cannot or will not be objective.
People are so entrenched in their positions, and so
arrogantly confident of their own powers of reasoning,
that nothing good comes of it.
In fact, it is common for
evangelical leaders in America to so dislike their
“critics” that they resort to calling them “trolls” and
“slanderers.” In this way, they actually avoid defending
their own position on a topic, a classic red flag that
their position is probably indefensible.
I have been criticized for
referring to some as “useful idiots.” However, I use it
because it is a precise term that has an actual
definition, as supplied by Vladimir Lenin. It refers to
those in the West who are wittingly or unwittingly used
by foreign totalitarians to advance said totalitarian’s
agenda through propaganda. I do not use such terms
merely because I don’t like an opponent.
Back to my specific point: my
correspondent today could have resorted name-calling
without a point, except to express his annoyance. He did
We were then able to have a
reasonable discussion about Israel and prophecy and I
hope we will again. And I am appreciative to the reader
of “Israel Watch” in alerting me to the post.
I believe in balance. On the one
hand, I believe in fairly aggressively defending
Scripture, Israel, the Jews, etc. But even in this, it
does no good if I tear the other person down.
Let’s keep that in mind as we
debate and discuss on Facebook, Twitter, and other
Truth always wins in the end.
Jan 2, 2017
Kerry-ing Water for the
In the latest diplomatic dust-up,
which might lead to war, Barack Obama and his outgoing
Secretary of State, John Kerry, have “stabbed Israel in
the back” as the phrasing is going internationally.
Besides abstaining from a vote in
the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334—which
declares Israeli “settlements” as in violation of
international law—the Regime in Washington also
trotted-out Kerry for a follow-up speech in which he
further attacked the Jewish state by condemning the
glistening Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, what
the world calls the West Bank.
In the analysis that has
followed, few seem to grasp the ideological bent behind
Obama’s and Kerry’s vicious attacks on Israel. Leftist
ideologues like Obama do not come to positions late in
the game; they have always believed what they believe.
When Obama was in college, he was pro Palestinian.
Neither is he incompetent. He is simply working-out his
worldview, but from a powerful perch.
In his book,
Saul Alinsky: The
Evil Genius Behind Obama, Jerome Corsi notes the
radical background of Obama:
“Even though Obama’s involvement
with Alinsky-styled radical politics had been thoroughly
documented during the 2008 presidential campaign, most
Americans in 2012 had still never heard of Alinsky.”
Saul Alinsky was a Marxist
radical and community organizer deluxe, by which I mean
he specialized in how to rile-up the disaffected masses,
for the advancement of leftist political goals. This is
a classic Communist tactic, and one developed by Obama.
So too is Kerry a radical. They
just seem to be mainstream American political figures
because they live in Washington and wear suits. They are
no less radical than CAIR, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.
Corsi puts more of a point on it:
“Alinsky taught organizers to
hide their true intentions in the words they spoke.
Denying the truth or just plain lying were both
acceptable tactics, as long as the cause advanced.”
In her book,
To Hell in a Hand
Basket, Ruthie Blum explores Obama’s statements
“… Islam has demonstrated through
words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance
and racial equality,” he said, adding that it “has
always been a part of America’s story… Since our
founding, American Muslims have enriched the United
States. And I consider it part of my responsibility as
President of the United States to fight against negative
stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Here we see Obama, early on in
his presidency (addressing members of the Muslim
Brotherhood in Cairo) making stunning lies about the
Religion of Jihad and Holy War. Obama is not stupid nor
ignorant of history. He well knows that what he said
about Islam is false. But he was advocating for our
enemies even there.
I am somewhat frustrated that too
many people call Obama an incompetent idiot, or a weak
leader. Until we understand the radical influences on
our own government, we cannot combat it. Obama and Kerry
have always hated Israel and Jews; they believe that now
there is enough of a tilt in the cultural view that they
can be more forthcoming.
Remember, whether it’s in
seminaries or the halls of politics, leftist
always mask their true intentions. Always. They do this until the
time is right to come out into the light.
promised—telegraphed—that he will busy himself in his
retirement by building up the progressive community in
this country. This he will do.
Evangelical Christians in America
who support Israel must begin to understand the true
depths of this effort. In our own community, Obama’s
agenda is promoted by conferences/groups like Catalyst
and the Justice Conference.
In the coming year, I want to
help educate our community in these realities, so that
as Obama and his pack of ideological jackals advance
their agenda, we also advance ours.
Dec 26, 2016
The Birth of Moshiach
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little
among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall
come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
Of the countless remarkable
things about the birth of Christ, the prophecy in the
tiny book of Micah is one of the most compelling.
The prophet Micah recorded
fully 700 years before Christ’s birth that the Messiah
(“Moshiach” in Hebrew) would be born in…Bethlehem.
Perhaps it’s a lame
comparison, but let’s say they were in Oklahoma then.
One would think the Messiah would be born in Oklahoma
City, Tulsa, or some other city. Instead, he would be
Being born in Bethlehem,
rather than in, say, Jerusalem, was a signal that the
Creator did things His way, and not our way.
And that has made all the
I want here to briefly
describe what I’ve seen in Jerusalem and Bethlehem
during my visits there over the years. The main thing
is, the more you drive south from Jerusalem, the more
you see how things really were 2,000 years ago. The
scene has little changed. People still tend sheep and
the ancient hills are still there. The sleepy hamlet of
Bethlehem is still there. It’s ironic now that it is
under the control of the Palestinian Authority, but
that’s a topic for another time.
In the Church of the Nativity
in Bethlehem, one enters through a low door, then stands
in a large church, where traces of ancient cultures are
still seen. Being ushered downstairs to the places where
tradition tells us Jesus was born is a bit
disconcerting. The small grotto under the church is
supposedly the “stable” and “manger” where the Lord
entered this world. The heavily Catholic flavor of the
place—with its ornate furnishings—leaves one a bit
disoriented, if one expects a scene like the rough
wooden stables set out each year at Christmas in so many
homes, then the real place is disappointing!
But one can easily imagine the
Lord coming to us here. Beyond the turmoil of the
centuries, the place is still soaked in peace. It was
here the shepherds saw the Star. It was here the wise
men came from the east. And it is where, as the great
prophet Isaiah tells us, the animals knew their Master.
We learn who Christ is through
Scripture. That is where we begin to know Him. These
historical occurrences are recorded and we can have
confidence they happened.
I want to say too that one of
the greatest evidences He came to us then, and is coming
back to us again, is that He lives within believers.
This cannot be explained through evolutionary philosophy
or self-help teachings, or the New Age.
often a tough time for many. I know many are desperate
financially. I know a man who is well into retirement
age, but he and his wife are forced to work for the
duration. Without going into details, he has made his
considerable financial concerns public, and it is
painful to think of them at this time of year.
Others have tremendous
physical challenges. Or they are grandparents raising
their grandchildren. Young couples overwhelmed with the
busyness of life.
Tonight, as I write this, I am
particularly burdened for an old friend.
I’ve had my own challenges
this year, with big transitions for more than two years.
But I am happy.
I empathize with those of you
struggling, for whatever reason. I genuinely mean that.
I feel a true kinship with my readers here at “Israel
Watch.” Many of you communicate with me, and we have
shared issues in our lives.
So please let me ask you at
Christmas to do something. Go to a place where you can
be quiet. A room, a park, a walking path, maybe even a
coffee shop. Maybe you can only find quiet in your mind.
But think of the fact that
2,000 years ago, God became man and dwelled among us. He
came to share our struggles and better yet, provide a
way out of misery that sin causes. He became the
sacrifice for our sins and here I don’t mean that in an
esoteric way. Rather I mean, He came for you in a
Then settle your mind and
heart on Matthew 11:28:
“Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
At Christmas, and you will
probably read this Christmas night at the earliest,
please try and find peace in your heart by thinking on
the fact that Christ came, died, rose, and is coming
again. I love thinking about all of it at Christmastime.
I hope and pray for you that
your Christmas season has been relaxing and fun. If it
has not, though, it’s not too late to enjoy it and make
it even memorable, as the year peace came to your heart.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Dec 19, 2016
One of the examples of
infiltration of the American Evangelical community by
the Left can be seen in the rise of Millennial
“journalists” who are in fact change-agents determined
to remake America along socialist/Marxist principles.
It almost goes without saying
that a big target of this group is the Jewish state.
From the time of Israel’s founding until now, the Left
has hated the commitment to freedom and Zionism that
defines the state of Israel.
In all this mix is a key
change-agent: Jonathan Merritt. He is what I call
“evangelical royalty,” as the son of former Southern
Baptist Convention President James Merritt. A graduate
of Liberty University, young Merritt now lives in New
York City, where he writes for Religion News Service,
the Atlantic, and the Week.
From these perches, Merritt writes from a
left-wing perspective even as he pontificates about
A few years ago, he spoke at an
event hosted by the Telos Project, a pro Palestinian
group. Merritt addressed “storytelling,” a foundational
issue for Millennials. In essence, “storytelling” helps
a person shape his or her perspective, for the
consumption of a particular audience.
An example of storytelling is
the claim by Palestinians that the Israelis oppress
them. They do this by claiming, as a specific example,
that Israel steals “Palestinian land.”
It is very difficult for a
person in the United States reading one of these sad
stories to verify its truth. Just as past generations
actually believed that evening news anchors were
unbiased readers of the news (they were anything but),
many readers and viewers believe the negative stories
Merritt helps the Palestinians
and their advocates peddle the narrative that Israel and
her supporters oppress the Palestinians.
Last week, Merritt tweeted the
conventional wisdom in Washington and New York that
Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem is a provocative act, and one that could lead
“This move could ignite conflict
across the region. Scary.”
His comment was in response to a
Politico tweet, quoting Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway
as saying that moving the embassy is a “big priority”
According to Caroline Glick in
the Jerusalem Post:
“Since 1948 the US has refused
to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or even as
part of Israel. This policy of non-recognition –
embodied by the US refusal to transfer the US Embassy to
Jerusalem – has been maintained by a bipartisan
consensus despite the fact that for the past 20 years,
US law has required the State Department to recognize
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy to
“When Trump promised to move the
US Embassy to Jerusalem, his words were greeted with
“In one fell swoop, moving the
US Embassy to Jerusalem will correct a great deal of the
damage that eight years of President Barack Obama’s
foreign policies have caused to US credibility
“There is no single step the US
can take that will do more to rebuild US credibility as
an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem. By taking
the step that none of his predecessors would take to
stand in support of the US’s most embattled ally
worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be
trusted. And moving the embassy will accomplish this
goal without placing one US soldier at risk, and will
cost US taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for
construction and moving fees.”
Now, Merritt’s tweet reveals
what I believe to be both his left-wing bias about the
Arab-Israeli conflict, and his lack of broad-based
understanding of the conflict.
Why do I say that?
Because one can rightly wonder
where Merritt has been the last 20 years, as the Arabs
and specifically Muslim terrorists have burned the whole
of the Middle East, accounting for untold casualties.
Ignite conflict? The
Palestinians ignited conflict 50 years ago and have
never let up, not for a day. Over 20,000 acts of
terrorism have been aimed at Israeli Jews.
Really, Jonathan Merritt? An
American embassy in Jerusalem—which would be our
nation’s first-ever acknowledgement of Israeli
sovereignty in its chose capitol—would be the catalyst
for conflict in the region?
I call for accountability for
his statement. Is Jonathan Merritt so ignorant of
geopolitics and Middle East history that he actually
believes his tweet? Or is he merely using a left-wing
tactic by dispensing false information?
Further, has a 20-year pattern
by American presidents to refuse to move the embassy (in
violation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act) to
Jerusalem resulted in peace and calm?
In fact, it has led to the
opposite, for whenever the Palestinian leadership
squeezes a concession from the West, 30 more demands
surface immediately. This display of American weakness
and not standing with a key ally gives the PA/PLO energy
Americans of a certain age, who
stay abreast of the news and history, understand that
Merritt’s tweet crosses over into useful idiot status
that would have pleased the Soviet leadership. However,
to Merritt’s intended audience—next-generation students
and leaders—the tweet is akin to any typical Black Lives
Matter propaganda: it sounds reasonable.
So long as “journalists” like
Jonathan Merritt get away with their propaganda, we can
be assured that conflict will continue to be ignited
across the Middle East.
Dec 12, 2016
In the world of Marxist-style
propaganda we now live in, when truth is turned on its
head by media and political forces, it should come as no
surprise that CNN’s chief international correspondent
Christiane Amanpour is bashing Israel again.
Reading from the playbook now used
by American evangelical leaders (such as Lynne Hybels of
Willow Creek fame), Amanpour, for a recent segment,
interviewed two “peace” activists who are virulently
(Remember, anti-Israel activists in
the evangelical world routinely point to their friends
in Israel-“Palestine” who are “committed to achieving
peace through non-violent means.” Really? Then why is it
always Israel’s fault?)
According to a report from CAMERA:
“Amanpour, broadcasting from
London, interviewed a pair from the ‘peace’ group – Ms.
Shifa al-Qudsi, in Nablus (West Bank), a Palestinian
Muslim would-be suicide bomber who was intercepted by
Israeli authorities the night before her planned
bombing, and Chen Alon, in Tel Aviv, former Israeli
military officer ‘turned peace campaigner.’
“Combatants for Peace consists of
former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian
combatants (ie. terrorists). Alon and al-Qudsi,
representing the group, convey the message that Israel
is mainly (if not entirely) responsible for the
conflict. Alon expresses contrition for Israel's role,
but shows no concern for fellow Israelis victimized by
Palestinian violence. Meanwhile, al-Qudsi adheres to the
Palestinian victimization narrative heaping all the
blame on Israel.”
A partial transcript is provided in
the CAMERA report, and is well worth your time.
This is all a classic leftist
tactic. Claim that you are working for peace, while you
are really strengthening Israel’s terrorist enemies. I
kid you not, this is exactly the type of evil developed
and worked by Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union.
Publicly utter a direct inversion of the truth, and
watch the masses believe you.
Amanpour’s father was an Iranian
Muslim, and she was raised in Tehran. She is a classic
leftist “journalist” peddling the truth as she wants
people to understand it. In her play, Israel is always
Finally…with Trump’s election, it
seems that the scales are falling off. People are now
waking up to what we’ve been living in for generations.
And when the People begin to understand what our Media
really are, they will shed them. This has broader
Just as “secular” media are now
scrambling to crawl under rocks, so too are religious
types feeling the heat.
For several years, beginning in
2011, I investigated the documentary produced by Mart
Green, an heir to the Hobby Lobby franchise. Titled
“Little Town of Bethlehem,” the film purported to
present a balanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Three principle interviews propped-up the lie, but all
three are anti-Israel. I, along with a few others,
exposed this propaganda masquerading as balanced
journalism, and the evangelical power player Green
refused to speak publicly about the controversial film.
Ironically, I just happened
to meet Green three times: once
in a hotel lobby and twice in
airports. Always cordial (if
remote), he smiled when I asked
if I could interview him. He
told me to get in touch with his
office and to email him. I did
this many times, including a
request to Dr. Billy Wilson,
president of Oral Roberts
University, who has worked with
Empowered21, a Who’s Who of
global Pentecostal leaders.
Empowered21 also moves in the
same circles as those traveled
Not a single time did either man,
particularly Green, agree to speak with me. Instead, he
went silent and virtually underground. “Little Town of
Bethlehem” is still available on the EGM Films website.
Just like secular media do not want
to answer uncomfortable questions, so too do evangelical
power brokers go silent when their dark schemes are
Circumstantial evidence sheds some
light on Green’s views of Israel and Jews. His EGM Films
also produced “Beyond the Gates of Splendor,” and “End
of the Spear,” documentaries of famed Christian
missionary Jim Elliot, murdered by the Huaorani people,
a tribe in the jungles of Ecuador, in 1956. Elliot’s
widow, Elisabeth, was an icon in evangelical circles,
having carried on her husband’s work and became a
prolific writer and speaker in her own right.
In 1968, Elisabeth Elliot published
her account of visiting Israel in the weeks after the
Six Day War. I have a copy of this book,
In the Furnace of
the Lord, and view it to be a hit-piece on Israel.
While she appears even-handed in part of the book, she
resorts to several anti-Israel propaganda techniques. I
attempted to interview Elisabeth Elliot about this book
in 2000, but she declined. It is important to note that
every “Christian Palestinianist” leader in America has
declined my repeated requests for interviews in the past
several years. They do not want rank-and-file Christians
to connect the dots.
(The late Elisabeth Elliot was a
member of the Episcopal Church, a mainline denomination
that would at the very least not consider the
specialness of the Jews and Israel in biblical history
to be significant.)
It is no accident that Green felt
an affinity with Elliot, and I am certain that their
association at least in part fed his anti-Israel agenda.
I’m glad that “the People” are
waking up to the profound bias that exists in Media and
Religion, and the CNNs of the world are passing from the
Here’s to a new era.
Dec 5, 2016
ISIS in the House
As the Israelis battle arson fires set by
Palestinians, the first official engagement between ISIS
terrorists and the IDF occurred. A terrorism report was
more clinical in its description, but rest assured, ISIS
was vaporized in the exchange:
“In the southern Golan Heights, the first incident of
its kind occurred this week between an IDF force and
operatives of the Shuhada al-Yarmouk Brigade affiliated
with ISIS. ISIS operatives opened fire at an IDF force.
An Israeli aircraft attacked their vehicle and four
operatives were killed. In
addition, an Israeli aircraft
attacked a facility used by ISIS in the southern
How foolish are the enemies of the Jewish people.
Further detail of the ISIS incident was provided in a
November 29 report:
“In the early morning hours of November 27, 2016, an
incident occurred between
an IDF force and a force of the Shuhada al-Yarmouk
Brigade, affiliated with ISIS.
machine gun placed
van, several hundred kilometers away from the
border. The IDF forces returned fire.
“The IDF had no casualties. This is the first
incident of its kind between an IDF force
and operatives affiliated with ISIS who control the
southern Golan Heights. Up
till now, those operatives refrained from engaging
the IDF. During the incident, an Israeli aircraft
attacked the vehicle and the operatives who fired from
it. Syrian media reported that
of the Khaled bin Al-Walid Army were killed
as a result of the attack.
In addition, an Israeli Air Force aircraft
the shooting (IDF
spokesman, November 27, 2016). The facility which
was attacked had served
However, it has been deserted and nowadays it serves
ISIS operatives for training.
According to the IDF spokesman, ISIS operatives used
that facility to establish their
presence in the vicinity
of the border and for attacking the IDF force.”
ISIS has been operating in the Sinai Peninsula as
well, but is sandwiched between Egypt and Israel, and is
being pummeled. The terror group has also lost 56
percent of its territory in Iraq and 28 percent in
Syria. I expect them to disappear altogether as the
Trump Administration progresses.
An interesting thing is going on internationally, as
geopolitics shift after eight years of corrosive,
Marxist policies of Obama. Israel now has “friends,”
several of whom sent help to fight the arson fires. I
also suspect many nations both remember Israel’s doing
same for them after natural disasters, and as they
scramble to find expert help in combatting terrorism in
their own countries. Nobody does this better than
As I often like to say, geopolitics can change on a
dime, and upend all our “prophecy” projections. Only one
month ago, no one could have imagined where we are now.
America and Israel will officially become close once
We must always keep our eyes on Scripture. We do not
know the exact timing of the great last days prophecies,
so we must honestly admit that the status quo might be
maintained yet for decades, or it can be permanently
altered next week. We just don’t know.
What we do know from looking at Scripture is that one
day, Israel will lose all her human friends. And, it is
important to note that while Democrats have suffered
historic losses in the recent election in America, they
and their leader Obama have always kept the eyes on
their prize: the next two generations.
The fact is, a “progressive” political agenda—one
rooted in Marxism—continues to chug up the mountain. In
other words, my “concern” is not for the immediate
future, but 20 years down the road. Currently, scores of
“evangelical” youth voted for Hillary Clinton or the
fringe candidates, Gary (“What’s Aleppo?”) Johnson and
Jill Stein. In human terms, that is profoundly
So long as God remains on His throne, He will
continue to make the IDF a source of supernatural
strength, and we can rest in that! Israel has and is
winning miraculous victories against her enemies.
Nov 28, 2016
Israel is Burning
One of the endless wonders of Israel, especially for
a visitor, is the forests and other foliage that blanket
this once-barren wasteland.
But Eden is burning.
Twenty five years of diplomatic futility have brought
us dead Israelis, a degradation of Israel’s deterrence,
and increased Palestinian arrogance.
Remember, when George H.W. Bush allowed Western
diplomats to pluck the odious Yasser Arafat from his
desert lair in Tunisia, the Palestinians were no longer
relevant. Almost inexplicably, the Americans and
Europeans then forced a “peace framework” on Israel and
set up the “Palestinian Authority” from the evil
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
I’ve seen the PLO handiwork in Israel, when
terrorists murder Israelis. It is unconscionable that
this evil “land for peace” model has been forced on the
Now, at a moment when the Palestinians are
all-but-irrelevant again, the scum have committed
widespread arson and the land is burning. The forests,
homes, and dreams are going up in smoke.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
“Arab leaders on Saturday accused the government of
fanning hatred in Jewish-Arab relations by suggesting
that Arab arson was the cause of the wave of fires in
the country that started five days ago.
“Leaders and political activists said Arabs are being
scapegoated for the fires and predicted the government's
posture would lead to an outpouring of anti-Arab
More Marxist-inspired propaganda. But it does beg the
Why not cut the Palestinians loose? Why not a new
strategy by Israel and the West?
If I were in charge, I’d annex the West Bank and Gaza
and dare the Arabs to do something about it?
In the past 25 years, any time suggested expelling
the Palestinians (“population transfer,” “ethnic
cleansing”), he or she was labeled a dangerous
psychotic. That’s how we got treated to an endless
parade of failures like Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk,
diplomats who were clueless about the true nature of
None of it ever worked, and Jews died.
It is true that some Palestinian firefighters have
joined the effort to put out the fires. Others have
condemned the terrorism.
But when is enough enough?
And don’t think I have faith that the new Trump
Administration will do what is really necessary to
buttress our most important ally. No doubt the
nonsensical “land for peace” failure will march on. So
Israel should take matters into her own hands.
Historically, the Arabs have only understood force.
When Egyptian and Syrian soldiers were staggering
through the deserts during ’67 and ’73 battlefield
losses, they understood they could not defeat Israel. I
think it’s time for a return to that strategy: peace
The Palestinians do not deserve a state and I hope
they never get one. Their grotesque disregard for human
life is unacceptable.
Twenty-two terrorists have been arrested. Russia is
sending planes to combat the fires. Even Obama is
hamstrung from making mischief for Israel.
The greening of Israel has been underway for decades.
Even standing in Jerusalem, standing at the edge of the
Kidron Valley, I have seen how the country has bloomed
since 1948. Now, the Palestinians threaten all that.
I hope to see the day when the Palestinians pay for
the destruction and murder they have unleashed on
Israel. God, may it be so.
Nov 21, 2016
Move the Embassy!
The transition period for the new Trump
administration is comical. The media are howling if he
doesn’t name all his cabinet picks in 30 minutes. Of
course, if he did that, they’d scream that he wasn’t
One interesting discussion at the moment is a
potential role for Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas
governor is rumored to be in line for the ambassadorship
That’d be a great pick.
In an interview with Eric Bolling at FOX, Huckabee
said that, in fact, he had not discussed that position
with Trump. The media had been reporting late this week
that the deal was sealed. Somebody is not telling the
But in the event Huckabee is installed as ambassador,
does that make it more likely the U.S. embassy will be
moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?
We don’t know.
I met Huckabee when he was a 37-year-old Southern
Baptist preacher running for Lt. Governor of Arkansas.
Naturally, he was ambitious, and I’ve always been
ambivalent about preachers running for political office.
However, Huckabee was a great governor later, for a
decade, and his conservative credentials are legit.
Further, his love for Israel and his friendship with
Bibi Netanyahu is unquestioned.
George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and
Barack Obama would not move on the senate vote of 1995
to move the embassy, and everyone knew it was because
they didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of the
Palestinians and thus “influence” the “negotiations”
between Israel and the Arabs.
The real issue here is that these men indirectly
influenced the violence unleashed by the death-loving
Palestinians. All the presidents knew what Yasser Arafat
was, but they refused to hold the Palestinians
accountable. And let’s be clear: moving the embassy does
not violate “international law,” as the leftist media
and politicians howl. It is a matter of political will.
IF the Americans do move the embassy, it will be a
watershed moment, and signal that the infamous Oslo
Accords and the flawed model they rode in on are dead.
We shall see. I do believe Donald Trump is a genuine
friend of Israel and that alone will be a difference
from the Marxist-leaning Obama, who loathes the Jewish
Currently, there are no foreign embassies in
Jerusalem, as the nations cower before the hurt feelings
of the Palestinians. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is
just south of the beautiful marina, steps from the
You might be interested to know that the plot of
ground earmarked for the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is
located in the neighborhood of Talpiot…where Benjamin
Netanyahu grew up. The family home of Benzion Netanyahu
is located in Talpiot and there the three boys fierce
Zionism was formed. How delicious it would be if the new
embassy finds its home there, finally.
We will know soon about Huckabee’s appointment, and
it’s no coincidence I think that Christmas approaches.
What a gift that would be!
Nov 14, 2016
The Israel Re-Set
Much was made of the infamous
“Russian Re-Set” button Hillary Clinton presented to her
Russian counterparts. They all laughed and mugged for
the cameras, but it set the stage for the Russians to
flex their muscles in their region and in the Middle
East. In short, America looked weak.
But what a difference an election
We now have an Israel Re-Set, in
that President-elect Donald Trump, an old friend of
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, has warmly received the
Israeli leader, and no doubt they will meet soon after
We do know the tone and
atmosphere will be completely different. Obama’s
mendacity when it came to Israel and Jews was the worst
since the leftist Jimmy Carter occupied the White House.
As I’ve said many times, Obama was and is a
Marxist-leaning radical who always felt warmly toward
Palestinian terrorists. It’s who he is. Trump, while not
exactly a Christian Zionist, seems genuinely fond of
For his part, Netanyahu had this
to say today:
“’I’m asking all the ministers
and the parliamentarians to wait until the start of the
new [United States] government. Let's [Israel and the
US] form a new policy together through quiet and
acceptable [diplomatic] channels and not through
interviews with the media,’ Netanyahu said at the start
of the weekly government meeting in Jerusalem.”
Also, there is talk from the
Right in Israel of annexing all or part of the West
Bank. The truth is, no one knows what will happen, and
no one knows how far Trump will go in re-setting
relations with Israel. Would Trump support annexation?
Hard to know, but we will soon
see if he is indeed a true agent of change, or if he
will go the way of others who vowed to fix Washington.
A key moment will come very soon,
as Trump has said he will move the U.S. embassy from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem. All U.S. presidential candidates who
promised to do it—especially George W. Bush—lied when
they promised this. So as not to offend the
Additionally, Trump has spoken of
his view that a final peace deal between Israel and the
Palestinians would be the ultimate. For the poster boy
of The Art of the Deal, this would have great allure.
Fortunately, more and more voices
are pointing out that a quarter-century of concessions
to the radicalized and murderous Palestinian society has
been folly. If anything, the Arabs are far, far from
being able to actually live in peace with Jews.
What I think us prophecy students
must guard against is the tendency to tightly predict
what is going to happen next. If only two weeks ago we
were “sweating” the prospect of the vicious Obama going
before the UN to sanction a Palestinian state…now all
By contrast, we should guard
against making bold and wonderful predictions about what
a Trump administration will do for Israel. Maybe he will
be great, maybe so-so, maybe not at all.
Still, the Trump win is honestly
a wonderful change from the eight corrosive years of the
leftist radical Obama and his team of America-haters.
Let’s enjoy what we have, and
continue to take the wisest path: pray for the peace of
Nov 7, 2016
For the Love of Prophecy
Like many people, when I entered adulthood, I sort of
took a break from serious Bible reading.
I was raised on prophecy teaching, and I expect that my
upbringing in conservative Oklahoma was similar to
others’: heavy doses of Bible and Bible prophecy
teaching. After all, these were the days of Hal Lindsey
and Rapture talk.
That has all changed like the wind.
Recently on my Facebook page, a friend noted that she’d
sent a message to her pastor, Kyle Idleman of Southeast
Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
If memory serves me, that is the church pastored for
years by Bob Russell. Dr. David Reagan preached many
prophecy sermons from that pulpit.
My friend was dismayed that Idleman evidently doesn’t
have the same love for Bible prophecy teaching that his
I’m not surprised.
It isn’t hard to figure out, though.
Idleman is one of the new breed of pastor/CEOs that have
decided Andy Stanley is right and the
church/Bible/Christianity needs new marketing. The
old-time religion is distasteful to them.
Even Brian Brodersen, the heir apparent (who made sure
he was the heir apparent) to Chuck Smith at Calvary
Chapel has said that when he filled-in for his
father-in-law in the pulpit, he felt it necessary to
“counter” the elder’s prophecy-laced sermons, since the
“doom and gloom” stuff was, you know, not what seekers
are after. This last bit is my paraphrase.
But if I came back to the study of prophecy and Bible
reading, how many more do not?
I am curious how many readers of RaptureReady and
“Israel Watch” experience this in their churches. I
realize it’s a lot. But how many do have pastors who
teach prophecy and the specialness of Israel and the
Take Idleman, for example. If you look at those who
endorse his books—Craig Groeschel, Jud Wilhite, Mark
Batterson, Christine Caine—you see that his circle of
friends are not exactly graduates of the Hal Lindsey
School of Prophecy.
(A few years ago, Groeschel almost inexplicably taught a
three-part series on Bible prophecy, and he sounded like
a classic Pre-Tribber. To my knowledge, it’s the only
example of a seeker-driven pastor touching the subject
in recent years.)
As we have pointed out many times, when the leading
evangelical gurus in this country do not want to
emphasize prophecy, it is relegated to the shadows. By
extension, the general community of evangelical leaders
in this country also do not like Israel, and in some
cases I’m convinced they are anti-Semites. That ensures
that Americans in the pews do not hear the whole counsel
In order to understand how connected this network of
evangelical leaders is, notice the recent flap caused by
Jen Hatmaker’s interview with fellow progressive
Hatmaker acknowledged her support for homosexuality,
among other things. Incredibly, LifeWay bookstores, an
arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled her
books! I find it incredible, because LifeWay long ago
went over to compromise when it comes to resources
offered. If they no longer carry Hatmaker, will they
then virtually empty their shelves of other heretical
But Hatmaker is a star on the rise. A few years ago, she
tweeted: “At some point, the church stopped living the
Bible & decided to just study it…skillfully discarding
That was re-tweeted by her mentor, Lynne Hybels, who
still cunningly identifies as an evangelical, but whose
progressive views place her on the outer fringes of
Christianity. It was Hybels who wrote a few years ago
that she simply does not subscribe to the eschatological
views of those who, for example, read Lindsey or other
This is the air Hatmaker & Friends breathe today. The
study of Bible prophecy is out of favor. Israel suffers
from this reality, as well.
And the outrageous views of Andy Stanley—who disses the
Bible and small churches—is actually the model for
“doing church” today. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay,
tweeted last year: “If your church doesn’t have a
website, it doesn’t exist. People won’t take you
seriously. They think you don’t care.”
Wow. The hubris in that statement is…wow. Rainer and his
friends push the church-growth model all day long. Under
their watch, for example, the Southern Baptist
Convention has lost a staggering 700,000 members!
(The SBC is blessed to have the ministry of Gary
Frazier, who travels and speaks in churches a lot. He is
one of the best prophecy teachers of all time, in my
opinion, mostly because his presentations are rooted in
the Gospel. Stanley and others could take lessons from
The fact is, solid Bible teaching is still going on in
those churches that “don’t have websites.” Paul didn’t
emphasize marketing in the New Testament; he emphasized
preaching the Word. That Word includes prophecy and the
history, past and future, of Israel.
The current evangelical leadership in America is corrupt
and more interested in currying favor with Barack Obama
and Democrat operatives than pursuing and teaching
The relevance of Bible prophecy is supremely important
for this moment in history. Yet you see evangelical
leaders abandoning it in droves. I have attempted to ask
Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious
Liberty Commission, about his views of eschatology and
He declined, and later blocked me on Twitter.
Moore, however, likes to present himself as a very
tolerant fellow, as witnessed by this comment:
“Why not engage one another? Have the debates in a civil
fashion, without attempting to silence one another.”
That would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.
Moore interviewed Andy Stanley at the annual ERLC
conference this summer in Nashville, letting him get
away with denigrating the Bible. This is but one (but a
large one) example of a downturn in real Bible teaching
and study and reading in our churches. And when the
people do not hear about the power and majesty of the
living God through the study of His peerless predictive
prophecy, they become unaware of a very real evidence
for His existence.
It’s why young people are leaving evangelicalism in
droves, despite the contrary statements by the very
evangelical leaders who caused it.
I am, though, happy and content. The Church is healthy,
vibrant, and looking forward to the future. It just
isn’t as well-known as the Church Visible, built by the
most famous celebrity pastors and ministry leaders.
If you are in a church or home group that studies and
values Bible prophecy and Israel, you are blessed
indeed. To take a General George S. Patton quote
decidedly out of context, “you may thank God for it.”
Oct 31, 2016
When the Trump Sounds
Last month in New York, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Hillary
Clinton and Donald Trump, for 90 minutes.
Separately, of course.
Among the items of discussion
with Clinton were the Memorandum of Understanding,
regarding closer cooperation between the U.S. and
Israel, along with military aid. The pair also discussed
ways in which Israel is being delegitimatized, primarily
through the BDS movement.
Naturally, Clinton pledged
support in all areas.
Besides security coordination
between the two countries, Trump and Netanyahu also
apparently had a lengthy talk about Israel’s success
with its security fence. Trump is keen to learn as much
as possible, should he emerge as president and work to
fulfill his campaign pledge of a wall along America’s
This campaign is pretty easy to
figure out with regard to American support for Israel: I
believe Trump’s promise of close support is genuine and
heartfelt, while Clinton’s is disingenuous.
From her friendliness with the
Arafats, to her radical education and early affinity for
the Palestinians, Clinton would likely be as bad as
Obama. And remember, if she discussed BDS with
Netanyahu, the Israeli premier surely knows of her
far-left policies, which include begging for votes from
the BDS crowd, which also is closely aligned with such
radical groups as Black Lives Matter. In essence, all
those worldviews are a continuation of the New Left
worldview, which swept to prominence in the ‘60s, when
the young Hillary Rodham was being educated both in a
liberal church and on liberal campuses.
She is no friend of Israel.
This makes the recent statement
from Bret Stephens of the Wall St. Journal that he would
vote for her, all the more perplexing. It isn’t hard to
understand that Stephens would share most of Clinton’s
social issue views, but he also surely understands that
she is a snake when it comes to the Arab-Israeli
But this election cycle has
exposed the disdain the Establishment in New York and
Washington has for “average” Americans, and vice versa.
Stephens & Friends would rather opt for the status quo
because with their wealth and relative isolation from
the problems most Americans deal with leave them
indifferent to the populist talk of Trump.
Look, I’m well aware of the
infighting among evangelicals over Trump, which I think
is partly by design (from the Left, which is far more
radical, corrupt, and diabolical than most realize). I
get the arguments against voting for Trump.
But I am voting for him, and
Some conservative leaders have
trashed him from Day 1, and continue to do so, but it’s
impossible for me to discern how it would be better for
Clinton to become president.
Among my predictions should that
catastrophe happen: she will seek to radically undermine
the First Amendment before she ever takes on the Second.
She will also be covertly hostile
to Israel; her worldview simply does not recognize the
specialness of the Bible and the Jewish people, and
their claim to the Land.
Trump is no Sunday school
teacher, but I believe he will do the things he says he
will do. It seems to me that the man has had an epiphany
here later in life, and really believes he has arrived
on the political scene at precisely the right historical
He will also be a friend to
Israel, in myriad ways.
Those who have run our country
(into the ground) for generations loathe Trump. I don’t
predict Happy Days are Here Again if he wins. But I do
guarantee catastrophe if the Clinton Crime Syndicate
regains control of the White House. The John Podestas of
the world are anti-American and anti-Christian. They
will also bare their fangs to Israel.
We cannot allow that to happen.
Oct 24, 2016
A Shameful Time
None of us who identify as
biblical Christians ever thought we’d see the things
we’re seeing now. And the Church Visible, at least in
America, has never been more shameful.
From Max Lucado to Russell Moore,
we are seeing evangelical leaders absolutely roast
At this point I will complete
Without uttering a word about
the Clinton/Obama Crime Syndicate, which has plagued the
nation for a quarter-century.
Not a peep out of Lucado about
any of that.
Now comes word that the
Palestinian Authority has jailed three self-described
Palestinian peacemakers for befriending Israeli Jews.
From a report in the Jewish Press:
“Efrat Local Council head Oded
Revivi says he’s concerned about the fate of four
Palestinian Authority Arabs who were arrested and taken
into custody on Thursday for the ‘crime’ of visiting
their Jewish neighbor’s sukkah.
“The Arab visitors paid a visit
on Wednesday to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual
celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot – the Feast
of Tabernacles – in Gush Etzion, Judea, hosted by
“’Three days have passed and our
visitors from Wadi Nies are still being held,’ Revivi
told JewishPress.com on Saturday night. ‘They have not
been released from the Palestinian Authority prison.
“’It’s not clear to us where they
are or what their condition is. It bothers me to see
that humanitarian organizations, human rights groups are
not making any outcry about this situation.’”
Just as American evangelical
leaders do not say a word about the destruction wrought
by the Left, so too are they largely silent about
persecution coming from Arab countries, particularly the
Palestinian areas. They loudly condemn Israel for
alleged abuses of the Palestinians, but clamp their
hands over their mouths when Muslim tyrants abuse
For discerning minds, we also
note that by visiting their Jewish friends’ sukkah, they
are giving tacit approval of recognizing Jewish history,
even biblical history, in the Land. This the Muslims
will not tolerate. Remember the insane UNESCO ruling
recently that doesn’t recognize the Temple Mount as part
of Jewish history?
Whether it’s Muslim persecution
of Christians in the Middle East (and elsewhere), or
Muslim persecution of Israel, worldwide Jewry, and
American Christians, America’s evangelical leaders are
doing great harm by projecting weakness and lack of
I urge you to use your voice to
call evangelical leaders to task. Personally, I would
not buy their books or support their ministries. I would
ask them questions via social media, such as Twitter and
Facebook. Press them and keep doing it, and ask them why
they lie down for the Left and save their venom for
those who deserve their support.
Oct 17, 2016
“Obama and Kerry’s
craven cave-in will haunt our future.”
This is the last
sentence in a New York Post piece by Kyle Smith, in
which the incredible stupidity of the Obama
administration is on full display with the Iran nuclear
I was thinking of this
recently while re-reading Bill Koenig’s famous book,
Eye to Eye, in which it is documented that whenever U.S. policy
harmed Israel, something bad happened to the U.S.
With Tim Kaine touting
the Iran deal during his debate with Mike Pence, the
worst outcome of Obama’s tenure is in the news again.
Supporters of the
deal, including the lifelong leftwing John Kerry, claim
that it basically freezes Iran’s efforts to build nukes
for a decade. Then, the terror state will ostensibly use
uranium for power plants.
According to a report
“The Iranian nuclear
deal was signed in July 2015. A year later, the
Associated Press published the provisions hidden in a
document not publicly available previously, which
elucidated what would happen to the Iranian nuclear
program after the first ten years of the agreement’s
implementation. According to that document, Iran will be
allowed to begin ‘replacing its mainstay centrifuges
with thousands of advanced machines.’ While it will
ultimately possess fewer centrifuges to enrich uranium
with, these machines will be so efficient, the AP notes,
that ‘they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice
the rate it is doing now.’”
Further, the psychotic
nature of Iran’s regime is evidenced in its attitude
“Iran’s Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Khamenei has done little to calm those alarmed
by the possibility of Iran having access to advance
uranium enrichment technology. Shortly after the signing
of the deal, he published a book titled
Palestine, in which he argues that Iran has a role to play in the
destruction of Israel, and so must work to create and
possess the strongest weapons possible.”
purposeful weakness is adding to the body count. Earlier
in his tenure, when reformers in Iran were left to
themselves, in part due to Obama abandoning them,
widespread rape and torture was ordered by Tehran. The
mullahs have used American timidity to consolidate
When Tehran gets
concessions from the West, Iran pokes us in the eye in
Ahmad Vahidi, the
former Iranian defense minister, who is wanted by
Interpol for involvement in blowing up
recently appointed head of Iran's Supreme
National Defense University.
In short, the only way
to stop the Iranians is to use force. It’s all they
understand. And as we’ve stated many times before, it’s
the U.S. and the West that will suffer. Israel is under
Divine Protection. As Smith said, the mortal danger
Kerry and Obama have put us under will haunt us for a
very long time to come.
Oct 10, 2016
The Paper Trail
More and more, my interest is
turning to changes in the American Church. It is
astonishing to watch the speeding train of apostasy
running through American evangelicalism.
This is why the move away from
support for Israel in the American Church should not
surprise. There are reasons for it, political and
religious (theological). A tidal wave of change has
come, through primarily major evangelical leaders who
are in turn mentoring Millennials.
Let me give you an example of
the damage being done to America, through its new
policies concerning Israel.
Ed Stetzer, recently lately of
the Southern Baptist LifeWay Research, is now greatly
expanding his ecumenical influence from a new post at
Wheaton College. He has been allowing guest columnists
to post their views of the presidential candidates at
his Christianity Today blog (CT for seemingly forever
has been staffed by editors who are far more pro
Palestinian than they are pro Israel).
In a post this week, Stephen
Waldron (“theologian and Bible teacher”) writes that he
is supporting Jill Stein for president.
Wow. She is in the same class as
the clueless Gary Johnson, who doesn’t know what Aleppo
is. But in particular, I want you to notice a key reason
Waldron supports Stein:
“Jill Stein argues that the
United States should cut back on its foreign military
bases. She also opposes sending billions of dollars in
military aid and equipment to countries that have
repeatedly violated human rights, such as Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, and Israel.”
There you have it. Classic
leftist thought: lumping Israel in with serial abusers
like Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The worst part of it is, Stetzer
allows this kind of claptrap to be published and
What Waldron is really saying is
that he believes Israel routinely abuses the
Palestinians. And notice Waldron’s weird concluding
“I don’t agree with everything
that Jill Stein has said or done. I do not even believe
that she is prepared to actually be president. Like most
voters, I haven’t found a perfect candidate. But Stein’s
policy positions do generally reflect Christian values
in areas where the state has overwhelming influence that
can either harm or help vulnerable people: immigration,
war, indigenous rights, and economic policy. While I
recognize that others have good reasons for supporting
other candidates, this Evangelical believes that a vote
for a non-practicing Jew is the right one this time
•Waldron doesn’t believe Stein
is prepared to be president, but he is voting for her
anyway. He is, then, not a serious thinker when it comes
to this issue.
•His reference to a
“non-practicing Jew” is blatantly anti-Semitic. I guess
that’s okay with CT and Stetzer. Waldron’s comment is
outrageous, but he’ll get away with it. Such is the
state of American Evangelicalism in 2016.
There’s plenty more research
where that came from to indicate that today’s American
evangelical leaders are no friends of Israel. The paper
trail is long, wide, and littered with profoundly flawed
views of Israel, Jews, and geopolitics across the globe.
We will continue in this space
to keep you informed of such things. Christians deserve
that, at least.
Oct 3, 2016
When Good People
I’ve been advocating for Israel in some way or
another for 21 years. Support for Israel has been a
privilege and a joy. When I was growing up in
conservative evangelical circles, Bible prophecy
teaching and support for Israel were dominant. Preachers
talked of the Blessed Hope, and strongly supported the
Jewish state and the Jews’ historical claim to the
As I’ve written many times, that began to change
about 15 years ago. As I’ve now discovered, the seeds of
that erosion of support for Israel and prophecy teaching
began much earlier.
Beginning in the 19th century (taking
their cue from seminaries in Europe, particularly
Germany, where Enlightenment thinking began to destroy
the Church), seminaries in America became populated with
faculty committed to stealth and the destruction of
belief in the Bible. Church leaders like Henry Ward
Beecher also began to openly advocate for anti-biblical
themes like Darwinian philosophy.
Things became so bad that in 1929, conservative Bible
scholars at Princeton left to open Westminster
Theological Seminary. The move was necessary, but it
also abandoned the traditional places of learning to
leftist groups. The Scopes Trial of 1925 also inflicted
great damage on the conservative churches.
Since about 2005, I have observed a very noticeable
erosion of support for Israel among pastors, large
ministries, and para-church organizations. Some of these
leaders do not overtly dis Israel or prophecy, but, like
the disgraced-but-still-arrogant Mark Driscoll, they
make their displeasure with Dispensationalism and Israel
apparent from time to time. Further, those Millennials
that they mentor certainly do oppose Israel and Bible
Now, I am noticing something perhaps even more
troubling: a tendency for even stalwart pro Israel folks
to attempt a sort of détente with the radicals. This
methodology runs parallel to the destructive model used
by RINO in Congress, when dealing with the Harry Reids
of the world. In other words, softening your tone in the
hopes your opponents will come your way.
That is folly.
When leftists smell blood in the water, the weakness
of their opponents, they move in and open wide their
jaws. It is why we are in the shape we’re in as a
country. Focusing-in even more specifically, it is why I
am of the opinion that the Church Visible in this
country is already destroyed.
I will write more about this in the coming months,
and speak about it as well, but I know for a fact that
at the very highest levels of Christian leadership that
advocates for Israel, there is distaste for “naming
names” and really identifying the problems.
In 2015, I attended a large conference aimed at
evangelical Millennials, and this conference was
organized and sponsored by leftists, including “Black
Lives Matters” radicals and the like. Anti-semitic
leaders were invited to speak. It didn’t bother any
national evangelical leaders.
Since 2010, I have researched and written about the
inroads made into the American Church by Liberation
Theology types and those who promote the Palestinian
Narrative. In my view, the work in exposing these groups
(work done by a handful of people) produced real fruit.
For about a year, I noticed the “Christian
Palestinianists” went back under their rocks and were
not as visible in their loathing of Israel.
That began to change in 2015. At the aforementioned
conference, I noticed that one person very high up in
pro Israel circles was posing for pictures with the most
anti-Israel “evangelical” leaders in the country. I
found this dismaying, frankly. Much of the work that had
been done to walk-back the Palestinian Narrative in
churches was being unraveled by these “pro Israel”
I know for a fact they very much dislike my approach,
which is to name names and expose what I believe to be
intentional lying about Israel. From Bill and Lynne
Hybels, to left-wing activists like Shane Claiborne,
much harm is being done to Israel’s image. Those in pro
Israel circles who disagree with my approach feel that
reaching-out to such is the way to go.
I believe it is a recipe for disaster.
The hesitation to openly confront anti-Israel forces
in the Church—by top leadership that is ostensibly pro
Israel—is a serious problem.
The problem is so deep that I am not aware of a pro
Israel Christian group of significant size that will
truly confront the Christian Palestinianists. Some of
them do good advocacy work in the sense they present
facts and figures that place Israel in a positive light.
They hold rallies that raise the emotions of
But what I am specifically talking about is their
abandonment of the sometimes-necessary strategy of
fighting the enemy. The very concept is so distasteful
in evangelical circles today (as many are too concerned
about their tax-exempt status to take a stand), I wonder
if any top leadership is left that will do it.
Boy, I could tell you stories!
Let me give you an example.
If Rick Warren is doing harm to the Church, you won’t
find one famous evangelical who will call him on it.
From their perspective, too much is at stake. Let me
tell you what I think is at stake for them:
•Cross-promotion of books, ministries, and
conferences. Leader X cannot criticize Pastor Rick
because to do so would cause dis-invites from
conferences. Book endorsements would dry up. Phone calls
would have to be fielded from hirelings blasting Pastor
X for daring to take on Pastor Rick.
•Inter-denominational fights would erupt while folks
like Pastor Rick look on. For example, isn’t it telling
that few celebrity Southern Baptist pastors will tell
the people what Warren and Andy Stanley and Steven
Furtick are up to? Try attending the SBC convention if
you’ve decided to shine a spotlight on such. The air
would be so cold you’d need a parka in Orlando.
•Bookstores would pull books of whistle-blowers.
Mega-churches would no longer invite whistle-blowers to
speak for a fat fee. And, perhaps worst of all, those
who control Christian Media would work behind the scenes
to ensure whistle-blowers get bad press. In fact, those
who control Christian Media are of the same ilk as
William Randolph Hearst.
If Gabe Lyons, founder of Q Ideas hosts an imam and
Palestinian apologists like Sami Awad at his own
conferences, do any national evangelical leaders take
issue with that? No, Lyons’ influence is widened, such
as the invitation for him to speak at the 2016 national
convention of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics &
Religious Liberty Commission.
If World Vision’s anti-Israel stances include a Gaza
manager funneling millions to Hamas, does that warrant
even a criticism from the legions of evangelical leaders
who work with World Vision? Hardly. World Vision remains
a popular group for national evangelical leaders to
partner with and endorse.
If Hobby Lobby heir Mart Green produces an
anti-Israel film, will any national evangelical leader
condemn it? Doubtful. The Green family donates so much
money to ministries and evangelical causes, no national
leader will utter a peep. Cash talks in evangelical
Too, the Trojan Horse model used by Christian
Palestinianists, and Palestinian leaders themselves, is
seeping heavily into mainstream evangelical circles. The
popular writer Ann Voskamp has taken trips to
“Palestine” and there she soaks up the perspectives of
Arabs who hate Israel and hate Jews. Russell Moore, head
of the ERLC, last year visited Bethlehem Bible College,
a hotbed of anti-Israel activities; he was taken on a
tour by a group identifying as pro Israel. Why in the
world would a pro Israel group get anywhere near BBC? A
few years ago, Empowered21, a Who’s Who from the
Pentecostal and Charismatic world, hosted Sami Awad at
an American meeting.
Pro Israel advocacy among Christians is in
transition. I predict that the larger pro Israel groups
will continue down the path of non-confrontation,
relying on more and more facts and figures to try and
influence the masses. They will not confront the
anti-Israel, anti-Jew evangelical leaders who in some
cases actively lie about Israel.
To do so would be too costly.
Sep 26, 2016
Much has been made of the new 10-year aid package the
Americans have pledged to provide Israel. As Caroline
Glick has pointed out, this deal is not exactly what it
seems with regard to Obama and Israel.
We all know Obama is anti-Israel; he always has been.
So if much has been made of the new aid package, what
gives? It all comes down to Obama’s wish to out-maneuver
Congress. Israel agreed to the new package, which binds
the Jewish state to a certain amount. Israel now cannot
accept any supplemental amount Congress might want to
send Israel’s way.
This is in keeping with a president whose mendacity
knows no limits when it comes to Israel. For example, he
has always sought to limit Israel’s missile defense
funding. Of course, his enmity for Benjamin Netanyahu is
legendary and chilling.
Additionally, Obama has befriended the left-wing J
Street, a lobbying group in Washington that purports to
defend Israel. The opposite is true. Hear Glick explain
some of the shenanigans Obama has pulled:
“Today J Street, the self-proclaimed ‘pro-Israel,
pro-peace’ outfit, is lobbying the IRS to revoke the
charitable status of American groups that work to
protect the civil and property rights of Jews in Judea
and Samaria. It is also working with Iran’s lobby in
Washington and Americans for Peace Now to undermine
Republican efforts to sanction Iran for its anti-US
The fact is, Obama is a menace when it comes to
Israel, so when he appears to (almost bizarrely) be
“helping” Israel with a long-range aid package, he is in
fact attempting to control it as much as possible before
he leaves office in January.
Notice what he aims for:
“For Obama, the MoU [Memorandum of Understanding]
isn’t about securing military financing for Israel. The
aid is a means for him to achieve a different aim.
“Administration and congressional sources warn that
Obama wished to conclude the MoU in the final months of
his presidency to burnish his pro-Israel credentials. He
wants his pro-Israel bona fides intact as he enables the
UN Security Council to adopt an anti-Israel resolution
just after the US presidential election in November.”
And there you have it. In all likelihood, Obama is
here for years to come. He has already promised to stay
in Washington (ostensibly so his daughter can finish
high school), and there is very real speculation that he
is lobbying to become the next UN Secretary General; the
job comes up almost at the same time Obama leaves
There, he would surely work tirelessly to render
Israel defenseless internationally.
Jimmy Carter never liked Israel; biblically he is a
Replacement Theology guy. Bill Clinton was a
self-absorbed pragmatist who caused great harm to
But neither approached the naked evil of Obama.
Israel will be dealing with him for years to come.
Sep 19, 2016
Shimon Peres suffered a stroke this week. The
93-year-old Israeli political icon is the last of the
state’s founders and influencers. As of now, Peres is
still alive, and doctors will determine soon if he can
recover. The old lion has seen it all.
As prime minister, defense minister, foreign
minister, transportation minister, finance minister, and
president was born in Poland, a few years after World
War I. Just before the Nazis came to power, he emigrated
He did not have the distinguished military career
that many Israeli PMs have had, but did join the Haganah
(the forerunner of the modern IDF) in 1947.
In 1976, as defense minister, Peres was largely
responsible for the government approving the rescue
operation to Entebbe. He was a member of the Labor Party
(roughly the equivalent of America’s Democrat Party) for
37 years, but joined Ariel Sharon’s new Kadima movement
in the wake of the pullout from Gaza.
The role that defines Peres—despite his glittering
resume—is as one of the architects of the Oslo Accords,
which officially began in 1991 and resulted in the last
quarter-century of Palestinian terrorism in Israel.
Peres, along with others, apparently believes in the
good of man, and assumed Yasser Arafat and the PLO could
be reasoned with. This was a catastrophic error, and
plagues Israel to the this day. I would argue that it
has also led indirectly to the emboldening of jihadists
the world over.
When international media broadcast images of Bill
Clinton with Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat on the White House
lawn in September, 1993 (the same year the World Trade
Center was first targeted by Muslim terrorists), the
Muslim world saw it as weakness on the part of the West.
Peres had a large part in perpetuating the myth that
the Palestinians would choose to join civilization. His
dogged insistence on continuing “negotiations” is an
Peres, then, has been an odd mixture of “doing good”
and doing bad. He no doubt has always believed in the
rightness of his views. He and Leah Rabin convinced
Yitzhak Rabin to follow the siren song of Oslo. That has
led to thousands of deaths at the hands of Palestinian
I have always remembered the quote from a political
commentator, who said that Peres believed that a
“Maginot Line of five-star hotels” would convince the
Palestinians that free markets and open society were the
way to go. The Maginot Line, of course, was the fixed
fortifications of the French, which the Nazis bypassed
on their way to occupying France. It is an apt
description of the idealism of Peres.
We do wish Shimon Peres the very best in his
Sep 12, 2016
Where are We?
I noticed this week that as
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting
foreign dignitaries in Europe, one in the receiving line
put his hands behind his back as Netanyahu made his way
down the line, shaking hands. Bibi simply gave a slight
shrug and moved on.
This same week, Australia’s
foreign minister warmly invited Netanyahu to be the
first Israeli premier to visit her country. The visit is
scheduled for early next year.
Only a couple years ago, Israel
seemed dangerously close to being totally isolated
internationally. Many, including myself, felt that the
famous prophecies describing this very reality were very
That is a lesson that we
shouldn’t look too far out, but “let the prophecies come
Still, there are other
interesting developments taking place.
It is now being reported that
Moscow has invited both the Israelis and Palestinians to
sit down for talks. No date is set, but it would present
a fascinating turn of history if this plays out.
Remember, one of the clever aspects of Jimmy Carter’s
Camp David talks with Egypt and Israel involved prying
the Arab world away from its client-state status with
the Soviet Union. The Russians had worked for decades to
oppose the West in the Middle East, and two disastrous
wars paved the way for the Arabs to look elsewhere.
We were the elsewhere.
Now, however, with the deliberate
strategy of Barack Obama to bolster his Muslim friends,
particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, the Russians have
seen an opportunity once again. They are back to their
old role as an opponent of the U.S. in the Middle East.
We have Obama to thank for that.
It is here I should say that it
is my view he is himself a totalitarian in the Marxist
tradition. Whether he is actually a Muslim is debatable,
but the stone cold fact is, he helps jihadists and
hinders freedom. He is doing it on purpose.
This has created a very dangerous
vacuum in the Middle East, and look for the Russians to
exploit it far more than their current involvement in
Just today, there is an amazing
interview in the Times of Israel with neocon Norman
Podhoretz, who has raised the possibility that Iran and
Israel will engage each other in a nuclear war in the
This of course is not based on
his view of eschatology, but geopolitics and the
catastrophe Obama has brought on all of us.
However, I think it’s interesting
to note that the Zechariah prophecies are tinged with
reality in light of such stories in the media.
Keep in mind, too, the Russians
are working closely with Iran, particularly in their
missile defense systems and anti-aircraft systems. This
is designed specifically to blunt any Israeli attack.
John Kerry has just met with his
Russian counterpart in Geneva, to discuss each country’s
operations in Syria, but no breakthroughs in cooperation
Too, there are reports of closer
cooperation between Turkey and Russia, leading some to
speculate that Gog-Magog is about to break out. We must
remember, though, that Turkey’s Erdogan in notoriously
difficult to deal with, and follows his own drumbeat. It
is a mistake to assume that what exists today will exist
tomorrow. Tomorrow might see a deep freeze in
All in all, current geopolitics
is volatile and astonishing to watch. Let us resolve to
“let the prophecies come to us,” without too much
speculation on our part.
Sep 5, 2016
Andy Stanley is
Almost 20 years ago, Andy
Stanley—the son of Southern Baptist legend Charles
Stanley—emerged as a new generation pastor, a man of
rare gifts when it comes to communicating. He eschewed
jackets and ties and the more formal trappings of
In about 2000, he was instrumental
in helping develop a leadership entity known as
In the midst of all this, Stanley
the Younger was in a feud of sorts with Stanley the
Elder over the latter’s separation from his wife (Andy’s
Over time, the son’s church
eclipsed the father’s church in terms of attendees, and
today Andy Stanley is one-third of what I call the
Evangelical Trifecta: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and
Stanley. Quite interestingly, Warren is based on the
west coast; Hybels holds down the Midwest from Chicago,
and Stanley is entrenched on the east coast. In more
ways than one, they blanket the country and absolutely
control the evangelical narrative. Their books and
methologies totally dominate evangelicalism and their
church growth techniques are now American dogma.
In recent years, Andy Stanley has
made waves with his brand of what I’d call Progressive
Evangelicalism. His prayers at Obama’s inaugurations,
and his willingness to allow Michelle Obama to speak at
his North Point Church are part of a troubling trend. He
also has absolutely helped mainstream homosexuality
within the evangelical church.
Stanley, who comes across as a
winsome, easy-going fellow, is really a major change
agent. His podcasts, messages, and books are absorbed by
many tens of thousands of U.S. pastors.
I will tell you clearly that I
believe he is described in the book of Jude. Men like
Stanley have crept in unawares.
In our time.
What does this have to do with
Stanley’s rise, and that of his
fellow change agents, coincides with a sharp downturn of
support for Israel in the churches. It’s one element in
an overall larger story, but the bottom line is this:
Stanley’s watering-down of Christianity runs parallel to
the rise of the so-called Christian Palestinianists.
While Stanley himself rarely speaks of Israel, many of
his friends and associations are anti-Israel.
Often, people answer me by saying:
“But Charles Stanley supports Israel!”
He does so far as I know, but you
do see that’s irrelevant in the context of what Andy
Stanley is doing…don’t you?
Overall, Andy Stanley wants to
fundamentally change what the Evangelical Church is. He,
like Warren and Hybels, wants conformity and groupthink.
He wants you to think as he thinks.
And he thinks in dangerous ways.
Late last month, the Southern
Baptist Convention’s “Ethics and Religious Liberty
Commission” hosted another self-serving conference in
Nashville, titled “Onward” (shockingly, the same title
as that of the ERLC chief’s new book; it’s about the
marketing, stupid). Stanley was invited to speak.
Boy, did he.
While ERLC President Russell Moore
looked on grinning, Andy Stanley said the following:
“I would ask preachers and pastors
and student pastors in their communications to get the
spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”
Get the spotlight
off the Bible.
Welcome to the Age of Apostasy.
Did you hear what he said? Andy
Stanley speaks blasphemy and nonsense…and no national
leader says a word.
Just for a moment, think about the
illogical nature of Stanley’s statement: how do we know
about the resurrection? Through Scripture.
Does anybody call him on this
nonsense? No. He grows stronger.
Several years ago, Stanley gave an
interview in which he openly said that as a college
freshman, he embraced his professor’s contention that
Genesis 1-11 is a fairy tale.
You need to understand this one bit
of information undergirds everything he does. It is
foundational to his thinking and “ministry.”
He is arrogant and powerful.
When you have famous national
evangelicals with this kind of worldview, you will see a
downturn in support for Israel. Stanley has made several
outrageous statements about the Bible in the past three
years; in short, he wants people to get their focus off
the Bible. Can you imagine such?
Andy Stanley’s so-called ministry
is an outrage. Would that he was held accountable. But
he won’t be.
This is a key reason (though
largely unknown by the rank-and-file) why Israel has
fallen out of favor. If you relegate the Bible to myth,
why pay attention? Why would Israel’s historical claims
to the land be more valid than anyone else’s?
Stanley is helping destroy the
American Church. In my opinion, he will be a major
reason the American Church morphs into the State Church
before too many more years pass.
He knows exactly what he’s doing.
And remember: my views of Stanley
aren’t the story here. The story is the unconscionable
violence he is willingly doing to Scripture and to the
Aug 29, 2016
Hope for the
As the world descends into
madness—Obama said this week he had to send a planeload
of cash to Iran because he couldn’t send a check—we see
once again that Israel is a light unto the nations.
In myriad ways.
Palestinian society is raised on
murder. The Islamist countries in the Middle East
oppress and murder their own people. ISIS makes snuff
By contrast, Israel is making
breakthroughs in cancer research, giving hope and life
to untold numbers around the world.
According to a report in the Times
“A breakthrough cancer study in
which patients suffering from a form of leukemia saw
their diseases go into remission after they were treated
with genetically modified T-cells has deep roots in
“One of the first in the world to
work on the innovative adaptive immunotherapy technique
to treat cancer, which was hailed Tuesday worldwide as a
potentially ‘extraordinary’ development, was Weizmann
University Professor Zelig Eshhar.”
Lab results on mice and rats at the
University of Pennsylvania confirmed that cancer was
cured in a number of them. This buttresses arguments
made by Israeli researchers that the same results can be
obtained for humans. Further in the report:
“In an article in the journal
Science Translational Medicine, a team at the University
of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the
Perelman School of Medicine reported that 27 out of 29
patients with an advanced blood cancer saw their cancers
go into remission or disappear altogether when they
received genetically modified T-cells that were equipped
with synthetic molecules called chimeric antigen
receptors, or CARs. Those T-cells were able to target
and destroy the tumor cells – specifically the ones that
were responsible for the acute lymphoblastic leukemia
the patients were suffering from.
“According to officials at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where the research
was carried out, patients in the trial – some of whom
were told in 2013 they had barely a few months to live –
not only survived, but now, after the therapy, ‘have no
sign of the disease.’
“The therapy involves extracting
T-cells – the white blood cells that fight foreign or
abnormal cells, including cancerous ones.”
This is but one stream of treatment
being developed by Israeli scientists and doctors.
My prediction? A major announcement
will be made soon that Israelis have found the cure for
a deadly disease that has plagued mankind for years.
Astonishingly, this will do little
to stem the tide of anti-Semitism washing over the
However, just like the families of
Hamas terrorists who are treated for life-threatening
illnesses in deluxe Israeli hospitals, enemies of the
Jewish state will gladly take life-saving treatment
originating in the Jewish state.
Even as the cancer of Jew-hatred