Millions of “zionized” Christians have been jumping for joy with the moving of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Among them is Franklin Graham, son of deceased evangelist, Billy Graham. Evidence that Franklin Graham is a genuine, “zionized” Christian should be obvious to the intuitively obvious to the casual observer in these two articles: “Franklin Graham links return of Christ to opening of US embassy in Jerusalem” and “Franklin Graham Speaks at Israeli Embassy.”
Franklin Graham has conducted a “Decision America California Tour.”Friends of We Hold These Truths, in Fresno, CA conducted a vigil at the event with remarkable results. In this 15 minute zinger of a program we learn from Kitty Jacobs that the Graham tour has been meeting with opposition at other stops. One of Kitty’s signs asks the question, “Is Jesus or the State of Israel the Fulfillment of Prophecy. Choose!”
MIDDLE EAST: ANGLICAN “PEACEMAKER” CALLS FOR CHRISTIANS TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION IN ENDING ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICTMay 28, 2018
Source: Sight Magazine
Christians in the West need to cease giving uncritical, one-sided support to Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and instead engage with Christians in the Middle Eastern church who are working for peace and reconciliation.
That’s according to Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, an Anglican minister and founder of the UK-based Peacemaker Trust, a non-denominational Christian charity which works with churches in East Africa and the Middle East, particularly in areas where the church is marginalized or persecuted or where there are religious tensions, on projects based around evangelism, discipleship and issues of justice and peace.
Invited by various groups including the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network and Fighting Fathers Ministries, Rev Dr Sizer is spending a couple of weeks in Australia speaking at a series of events on a mission to “deconstruct” how the Bible has, in his words, been “misused” to justify what he describes as the “apartheid regime in Israel today” and how Christians can be involved in bringing peace to the region.
“[How] to be part of the solution rather than a problem in the Middle East, not siding with either the Israeli regime or the Palestinian Authority but identifying with the Christians in the Middle East who are working for peace and reconciliation,” explains Dr Sizer, who founded the trust a few years ago so he could work fulltime in peace-making work, having previously spent more than 35 years doing so part time while also serving as a parish priest in England.
His stance of not taking sides is one which runs contrary to that of the estimated 60 to 100 million Christians around the world – including many evangelicals in the US – who identify today as ‘Christian Zionists’.
That’s a term which Rev Dr Sizer says once simply meant giving support for the idea of a Jewish homeland and to those Jews who faced persecution during World War II, but has now moved “well beyond” that and come to mean giving “uncritical support” for the Israeli state – a position which results in some US churches, for example, giving unqualified support to controversial Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories as well as supporting US President Donald Trump’s decision late last year to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“These are all political ways in which Christians in America are living out their faith in a belief that God will bless them because they are, as they see it, blessing Israel,” he says.
Rev Dr Sizer has charted the history of Christian Zionism for his PhD (it’s also a subject he tackles in books, Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? And Zion’s Christian Soldiers: The Bible, Israel and the Church).
He says ideas surrounding Christian Zionism as it looks today first emerged in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and were subsequently exported to the US where they were adopted by the likes of DL Moody and Cyrus Scofield (of the Scofield Reference Bible fame).
He adds that he doesn’t believe the central tenet of Christian Zionism as it is today – which centres on the concept that “God had two peoples – Israel and the church – and that they are separate and promises made in the Scriptures either apply to the church or to Israel”, an idea known in theological terms as ‘dispensationalism’ – fits with Scripture.
Rev Dr Sizer points out that in the Old Testament Book of Esther, for example, it speaks in chapter eight of the “many” people of other ethnicities who became Jews after the Persian King Xerxes issued a decree in support of them.
“What does that mean? It means that from the time of Esther on – 400 to 500 BC – a Jew was not necessarily someone who was descended from Abraham.”
He also points to Ezekial, chapter 47, where, in verses 21 to 23, God speaks of the distribution of land among the tribes of Israel: “You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.”
“You look at those three verses and it says the same thing three times in three verses – share the land with the foreigners,” says Rev Dr Sizer. “So if we’re looking for a solution today to the Middle East conflict, it is the one state solution. You share the land with those who live in the land, the foreigners as well as the native-born Israelites. God has to say it three times – why? Because they wouldn’t do it, they didn’t want to do it because they thought God had given them the land.”
Rev Dr Sizer rejects the idea that he is anti-Israel – saying he has always been opposed to racism and anti-Semitism – and says that he wants to see Israel “survive and prosper as a nation for its citizens, for those who choose to live there or who were born there”. “But that does include non-Jews,” he adds.
He says that he prays a solution to the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories can be reached without further bloodshed but he believes that such a solution will only came about when Israel either gives up the West Bank and allows “an independent, sovereign Palestinian state” or embraces a one state solution “whereby everyone within Israel and the Occupied Territories has equal rights and the right to vote, the right to education, healthcare and so on”.
“It’s either a one state or a two state – what we have at the moment is a no state solution and it’s one that the present Israeli Government is happy to perpetuate,” he says. “It wants the land without the people; it wants to allow the Palestinians to have autonomy but without having independent borders, without having a military, without having any sovereignty over their airspace, their water borders, their land borders. It is turning the Palestinians into the equivalent of a Bantustan in South Africa or Indian reservations in North America and that is not acceptable these days.”
Asked how Christians in countries like Australia can help in bringing about peace, Rev Dr Sizer says churches locally could consider partnering with churches in Israel-Palestine and other parts of the Middle East to help people gain a better understanding of the situation there as well as support the work of organizations like the Bethlehem Bible College, Holy Land Trust, and Musalaha.
And for those who want to get involved at a political level, he says, they could also support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to put pressure on Israel over Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories, considered illegal by most countries.
But the first port of call, Rev Dr Sizer says, is prayer.
“As Christians we start with prayer – pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that means pray for the people of Jerusalem…”
To see where Rev Dr Sizer is speaking during his Australian tour, head here.
This 85 minute video presentation sets the record straight and corrects the fake news of CNN.
By: Janice Kortkamp
Date: March 25, 2018
On this Palm Sunday for western churches, allow me to compare and contrast Christianity in Syria vs Christianity in US-backed “rebel” held areas of Syria.
Some of these pics are from my own travels around Syria the past two years.
READ more about how Syria protects Christians. Did you know the head of Parliament is a Christian? The photos are awesome, too!
[Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. I liked the following essay by Laurence Vance which I think is quite illuminating for many Christians. Also, don’t forget to view the War Prayer video which is especially relevant today. MW]
On this Good Friday, Christians are focused on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as a propitiation for the sins of the world. But on every other day of the year (expect perhaps Christmas), many Christians are focused on some other people in the Bible.
The Bible on several occasions likens a Christian to a soldier (Philippians 2:25, 2 Timothy 2:3, Philemon 2). As soldiers, Christians are admonished to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). The Apostle Paul, who himself said: “I have fought a good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7), told a young minister to “war a good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18).
But it does not follow, as some Christians think, that because Christians are likened to soldiers in the New Testament that it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Because aggression, violence, and bloodshed are contrary to the very nature of Christianity, it is sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil that the Christian soldier fights against. The weapons of his warfare are not carnal (1 Corinthians 10:4). He wears “the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14), not a military uniform. His loins are girt about with truth (Ephesians 6:14), not an ammunition belt. His feet are shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15), not army boots. His shield is “the shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16), not an armored personnel carrier. He wears “the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17), not a flight helmet. His sword is “the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), not an M-16.
The New Testament admonishes Christians to not avenge themselves (Romans 12:19), to do good to all men (Galatians 6:10), to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18), and to not render evil for evil (Romans 12:17). There is nothing in the New Testament from which to draw the conclusion that maiming, killing, destroying property, and making widows and orphans is somehow sanctified if it is done in a military uniform or in the name of the state.
Yet, some people—mainly Christian armchair warriors, Christian Coalition moralists, evangelical warvangelicals, Catholic just war theorists, reich-wing Christian nationalists, theocon Values Voters, imperial Christians, religious American exceptionalists, religious military exceptionalists, Red-State Christian fascists, pro-lifers for mass murder, bloodthirsty Christian conservatives, God and country Christian bumpkins, [Christian Zionists], Religious Rightists, and Christians who wear American flag lapel pins in the shape of a cross—still try to justify the actions of Christian U.S. soldiers because, after all, soldiers aren’t condemned in the New Testament. Yes, just like slave owners aren’t.
After reading and hearing scores of Christian apologists for the military over the past ten years defend the role of Christians in the military who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have come to the conclusion that they have all drunk from the same corrupt spring. And one of their favorite drinks is the insidious cocktail of “soldiers aren’t condemned in the New Testament.”
Their flawed, illogical reasoning is as follows:
Cornelius the centurion was a just man that feared God—so it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A soldier of Cornelius is said to be devout—so it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Apostle Paul never instructed Christians to not join the military—so it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
John the Baptist didn’t tell the soldiers that came to him to leave the military—so it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jesus Christ marveled at the faith of a centurion—so it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Why would any Christian, unless he had some agenda, unless he subscribed to military exceptionalism, unless he was an apologist for the military, use the fact that soldiers aren’t condemned in the New Testament to justify the actions of Christians in today’s U.S. military?
There are some other soldiers in the New Testament that aren’t condemned either. Yet, no Christian ever appeals to them to justify anything. These soldiers are strippers, smiters, mockers, spitters, gamblers, thieves, liars, scourgers, bribe takers, assaulters, mutilators, and crucifiers.
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. (Matthew 27:26-35)
And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:12-15)
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:31-34)
Although Christ forgave the soldiers who crucified him, no one would ever reason from this that it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the lesson here is just the opposite. Because you never know what you might be told to do in the military, because you never know which country you might have to invade, because you never know which country you might have to bomb, because you never know which country you might have to occupy, because you never know who the enemy might be next week, because you never know whom you might have to kill—the best thing for a Christian to do is to stay out of the military in the first place.
Originally posted on LewRockwell.com.
Their introductory video is at end of this article.
St. Anatole the Younger of Optina (1917)
“There will be a storm. And the Russian ship will be smashed to pieces. But people can be saved even on splinters and fragments. And not everyone will perish. One must pray, everyone must repent and pray fervently. And what happens after a storm?
…There will be a calm.’
At this everyone said: ‘But there is no more ship, it is shattered to pieces; it has perished, everything has perished.’
‘It is not so,’ said Batiushka. ‘A great miracle of God will be manifested. And all the splinters and fragments, by the will of God and His power, will come together and be united, and the ship will be rebuilt in its beauty and will go on its own way as foreordained by God.
And this will be a miracle evident to everyone.” [Orthodox Russia, 1970, no. 1, p. 9].
Read MORE at Russia Insider