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keg in kc
07-11-2002, 02:20 PM
U.S. Christians find cause to aid Israel Evangelicals financing immigrants, settlements (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/07/10/MN17001.DTL)

Danielle Haas, San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service Wednesday, July 10, 2002

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Tel Aviv -- The largest contingent of American Jewish immigrants in years stepped off the El Al charter flight at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, overjoyed at the chance to begin their new lives in Israel.

Forgotten amid all the excitement was the fact that many of the 371 newcomers had been bankrolled by grants from U.S. evangelical Christians, who regard the return of Jews to the Holy Land as part of an apocalyptic prophecy foretold in the Bible.

"What I'm seeing is the Scriptures being fulfilled right before our very eyes," said Bishop Huey Harris, whose First Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Elkton, Md., raised $2,500 from its congregation to help finance the American Jews' journey.

"What's next? I'm looking for the church to be raptured, Jesus returning for the church . . . and the Jews would receive him as their Messiah."


UNDETERRED BY BOMBINGS
That was far from the mind of Noa Hirsch, a 22-year-old law student from Pittsburgh, as she basked in the greeting by hundreds of well-wishers at the airport. Hirsch said she had come to Israel "to join my people in my land," and she refused to be deterred by the fact that Jerusalem, her new home, has been a frequent target of Palestinian suicide bombers.

"Maybe I'm being foolish, but I don't think so," she said. "Terror is everywhere. I'm not going to let someone tell me how to live my life."

The past 21 months of violence with the Palestinians have prompted American Christian evangelicals to find more reason than ever to support the Jewish state. A growing number have visited the region -- appearing on radio and talk shows, increasing their financial donations to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and even financing advertisements on Israeli television stressing their "unwavering friendship" with Israel.


'BEHIND ISRAEL'
"This is the time to show we are behind Israel," Gary Bauer, former GOP presidential candidate and prominent member of the religious right, said during his first trip to Israel this month.

"This is an amazing moment in our relations. I think what we are seeing is the forging of a lasting alliance with Jews."

Fundamentalist Christian support for the Jewish people is not new, especially among an evangelical subset known as Christian Zionists, who make up an estimated 3 million of America's 98 million evangelicals. Religious experts believe that some 30 million Christians have some Zionist beliefs.


BIBLICAL PROPHECY
Doctrinally, they regard the ingathering of Jewish exiles as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy that will precede the Second Coming and end of days. Such a belief has tended to fill many Jews with suspicion and made for mutually tense relations.

But the current intense round of Middle East bloodshed has caused the iciness to thaw and the relationship to blossom.

"The change has not been so much in the Christians as with Israelis and Jews, who are feeling very isolated in the world," said Rabbi David Rosen, director of interreligious affairs at the American-Jewish Committee.

"What you are seeing is an increasing Jewish awareness of evangelical support for Israel that has led both representatives of Israel and organized Jewish communities to be more effusive in their attitudes toward them."

The shift could have important political ramifications in the United States.

While pro-Israel advocates once looked to liberal Democrats for their main support, they are increasingly warming to conservative Republicans, whose pet causes such as school prayer have long been anathema to many Jews.

Manifestations of the growing relationship are being seen increasingly on both sides of the Atlantic -- including a recent speech by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference,

an invitation to Attorney General John Ashcroft to speak to the Anti- Defamation League -- despite a statement it issued in January criticizing his remark that in America, "We have no king but Jesus" -- and a warm welcome for Christian conservative figures at a large pro-Israel rally in Washington last April.


LETTER TO SHARON
In Israel this week, Bauer presented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a letter signed by several leading members of the Christian right including Jerry Falwell, expressing the belief that Israel has shown "incredible restraint in the face of wanton violence aimed at innocent Israeli citizens."

Last month, Earl G. Cox, a longtime Republican activist who served in four presidential administrations, announced that he was buying a series of commercials on Israel's Channel Two television to "announce to the people of Israel that the vast majority of American Christians recognize Israel as their friend and ally."

"Enemies of Israel must clearly understand that when they attack the Jewish state they take on millions of American Christians who passionately embrace the Jewish people," Cox told reporters.

Attempting to consolidate the evangelicals' support, Yehiel Eckstein, an Orthodox American rabbi who is president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, has started a "Stand with Israel" program.

$60 MILLION IN DONATIONS

Eckstein, who as head of the Jerusalem Friendship Fund for the past eight years claims to have collected some $60 million in donations from the evangelical community to assist Jewish immigration, has joined forces with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, now a leading GOP consultant, as part of the effort. Their plans include an Internet site for supporters of Israel to write their congressional representatives.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza have been among the most significant beneficiaries of the Christian support.


'ADOPT-A-SETTLEMENT'
"We've seen financial support . . . to the settlements double during the past 21 months," said Sondra Oster Baras, an Orthodox Jew and director of the Israel office of the Colorado-based Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, which runs an "Adopt-a-Settlement Program."

While declining to elaborate, other than to say the amount was in the low "hundreds of thousands of dollars," Baras estimated that one-third of the 145 Israeli settlements receive funds from Christians.

Jewish settlements benefiting from Christian contributions include Itamar and Hebron. One of the largest settlements, Ariel, has had close relations with the evangelical Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colo., which "adopted" Ariel before the intifada -- one of about 40 such relationships established by the Christian Friends of Israel Communities.

The financial donations have been matched by the continued arrival of Christian visitors, part of a conscious effort by Israel's Tourism Ministry to work with specific churches and encouraging Christian media to come to the country.

"Despite the security situation, during this time we are seeing more and more groups like this that are coming to Israel -- not just to see holy places but combining it with solidarity reasons for the state of Israel," said Arie Sommer, head of the ministry's overseas marketing division.


SEPT. 11 ATTACKS
Just as the violence with the Palestinians has been one factor intensifying evangelical Christians' interest in recent months, so too has Sept. 11.

"It really resonated; people could identify with the war against terrorism, " said David Parsons of the International Christian Embassy, a Christian support group for Israel in Jerusalem.

American evangelicals' closer political relationship with Israel began when the conservative Likud party first came to power in 1977. Prime Minister Menachem Begin found common ground with such leaders as Falwell and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

U.S. evangelical leaders have frequently met with Likud members, including Sharon, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told an evangelical audience in Washington in 1998 that "we have no greater friends and allies than the people sitting in this room."

That is, possibly, until George W. Bush assumed the White House. His sympathy for Israel's military responses to Palestinian terror attacks is attributed by some analysts to his born-again religious convictions.

But Baras said that the Christian Friends of Israel Communities has "ground rules" when working with Christians that include a ban on evangelizing. "They don't try to convince us, and we don't try to convince them," she said.

"This organization stands for building bridges between the two religions. I'm confident enough in my belief and leave heaven and hell up to God."


RELIGIOUS WOLVES
Other Jews are less sure, fearing that fundamentalist Christians are religious wolves in sheep's clothing, extending the hand of friendship in the present while believing in an eventual endgame of conversion or death for Jews upon Jesus' return.

In February, Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, said he had blocked settlements in Gaza from accepting bulletproof vests from evangelicals. And the governments been reluctant to allow METV, an evangelical Christian television station that had operated from southern Lebanon until Israel withdrew, to erect a transmitter in Ariel.

Nor has Christian support for Jews won friends among Palestinian Christians,

most of whom belong to the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic church.

jiveturkey
07-11-2002, 02:24 PM
Why in the hell would people want to usher in the end of the world?

You religous types can do whatever you want but as soon as people start trying to make the end of the world a reality because they don't like being wrong then we're going to have to step in.

MrBlond
07-11-2002, 02:34 PM
If the rapture occurs before the Chiefs win a Superbowl, I'm gonna be p!ssed.

shakesthecat
07-11-2002, 02:42 PM
10 years from now after nothing has happened, what do you suppose the chance are that one of these "end of the world" types, will come forward and say, "huh, guess we were wrong"

stevieray
07-11-2002, 02:46 PM
That's funny Mr.B, I was thinking that the other day.

Ugly Duck
07-11-2002, 02:48 PM
Did I get that right? Christians are bankrolling Jewish folks to settle in Israel, and are hoping to be raptured. But....if they do get raptured, all the folks that they settled will burn in hell for eternity because they do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. It sounded like they were being nice to people at first. But it looks like the ultimate outcome is going to bring themselves to rapture, and their wards to eternal damnation in hellfire and brimstone. Shouldn't they be using that money to convert the folks to the One True Way so their souls will be saved? That seems like the more....Christian...thing to do.

"Its OK, just continue to reject Jesus. Take this money and settle in Israel, help us bring to fruition the End Time. We will be raptured up to heaven, you will be our stepping stones to Glory. Your eternal suffering will not be in vain, for you will have accelerated our journey to Heaven with your sacrifice. Thank you so very, very much. All aboard!"

Bootlegged
07-11-2002, 02:49 PM
There are some F'd up people in this world

manny
07-11-2002, 02:57 PM
What song was this from, and can it now be considered prophecy:


"We're all goin' to Hell, and ain't that swell,

Whoopee, we're all gonna die!!"

KCWolfman
07-11-2002, 03:03 PM
But....if they do get raptured, all the folks that they settled will burn in hell for eternity because they do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. It sounded like they were being nice to people at first. But it looks like the ultimate outcome is going to bring themselves to rapture, and their wards to eternal damnation in hellfire and brimstone. Duck - After the initial rapture, many will get a "second chance". Those living after the rapture will literally have years before the second coming of Christ. Also note that many interpret the 144,000 who convert to Christianity to be Jews mainly of the Middle East.

Therefore, those who re-settle are not necessarily damned for eternity.

htismaqe
07-11-2002, 03:08 PM
"We're all goin' to Hell, and ain't that swell,

Whoopee, we're all gonna die!!"

And it's 1-2-3, what are we fightin for?

Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet-nam!

Now it's 5-6-7, open up the pearly gates!

Well, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!

I may only be 29, but my dad was a hippy... :D

MITCH
07-11-2002, 03:22 PM
Yeah,
Those Jews left behind will suffer the wrath of the lord. They are expected see that Jesus is the only way and follow a Christian Leader while another leader (Satan) that is very strong is trying to bring about a unified world. I am not sure but many things should be happening now before the exodus of 144,000 Jews. I do not see any leader (Satan) now that seems to have the power to lead Millions of people against the Christians. I do not believe that those going to Israel are those choosen by the lord. Lots of things have happened in the last few years (9/11, Bull Market, etc) but do not think these are the events that should lead the way. I sure hope I am right.. Would love to see both of my daughters grow and have children before Rev of the Bible starts.

AustinChief
07-11-2002, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by htismaqe
"We're all goin' to Hell, and ain't that swell,

Whoopee, we're all gonna die!!"

And it's 1-2-3, what are we fightin for?

Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet-nam!

Now it's 5-6-7, open up the pearly gates!

Well, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!

I may only be 29, but my dad was a hippy... :D

mine too!!!... that is Country Joe and the Fish.. the Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag.

--Kyle

Pitt Gorilla
07-11-2002, 03:30 PM
144,000.
Why is God adhering to a base 10 system?

stevieray
07-11-2002, 03:32 PM
Played @ Woodstock, IIRC.

redsurfer11
07-11-2002, 03:34 PM
Let me get this right. A jew refusing a free ticket to Israel. Whats wrong with this picture.

KCWolfman
07-11-2002, 03:39 PM
144,000. Why is God adhering to a base 10 system? Who said He was?

I can print the number 10 so that most here understand. That does not mean that a Hexadecimal 000A is not as accurate.

Your question is as inane as asking "Why does God speak English?" merely because the Bible you read is in English.

What was that comment you made about critical thinking?

manny
07-11-2002, 03:45 PM
Isn't there something "un-Christian" about provoking Armageddon by using a group of people to start a slaughter, just so you can get "raptured"?

Zebedee DuBois
07-11-2002, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by KCWolfman
What was that comment you made about critical thinking?

This BB contains tons and tons of critical thinking.


Now, analytical thinking.... that is another story.

:D

ricardo4432
07-11-2002, 04:10 PM
I'm wondering why everyone is talking about the raptures being the end of the world. What about the millenial reign..?


Another amazing fact:
the bible never says anything about the 3 wise men. (Matthew Ch. 2 I think)

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All this and I'm not even 25% through the bible..

Ugly Duck
07-11-2002, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by KCWolfman
Duck - After the initial rapture, many will get a "second chance". Those living after the rapture will literally have years before the second coming of Christ. Also note that many interpret the 144,000 who convert to Christianity to be Jews mainly of the Middle East.

Therefore, those who re-settle are not necessarily damned for eternity. Hmmmm.... something just doesn't seem right with those numbers. Lets say half of the world's population gets raputured, leaving 3 billion of us getting the second chance. Now we have years to convert to Christianity, but this time around, we have seen actual evidence of the metaphysical (rapturing and stuff). We see actual evidence that Jesus is for real, before that we had to generate faith to believe. Then, after being smacked between the eyes with proof for years, only 144,000 cash in on the second chance. Thats less than five 1,000ths of one per cent of unraptured people that manage to see the light in front of their eyes.

I guess maybe its possible.... but that would mean the overwhelming majority of unraptured folks would have to be really, really stoopid.

manny
07-11-2002, 06:34 PM
This is the same problem that Dick Vermeil is getting at when he complains about the 53-man roster.

stevieray
07-11-2002, 06:36 PM
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups...

Luzap
07-11-2002, 09:34 PM
Duck,

I'm afraid you don't have your theology correct.

Luz
'tis important to keep your facts straight ~ wouldn't you agree???...

Ugly Duck
07-11-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Luzap
Duck, I'm afraid you don't have your theology correct. . No doubt, Luz. I'm learning Christian theology on this board, in bits and pieces, day by day.

Taco John
07-11-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Zebedee DuBois


This BB contains tons and tons of critical thinking.


Now, analytical thinking.... that is another story.

:D


:LOL: ROFL :LOL:

Frazod
07-11-2002, 10:01 PM
:shake:

Personally, if Falwell and all his jerk-off followers get raptured, I'd rather stay here. Maybe we'll get lucky and God will relax his standards and rapture up zealot nuts of ALL religions.

Seems to me like that would instantly transform earth into heaven.

Taco John
07-11-2002, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by Ugly Duck
No doubt, Luz. I'm learning Christian theology on this board, in bits and pieces, day by day.


Duck,

Drawing from my life of indoctrination, I can tell you that the belief is that God will lift the Holy Spirit from the earth during this time period, leaving man on his own. Being left behind, "men" of the earth will turn away from God, despite the proof.

There are two schools of thought on pretribulation rapture... One school of thought is that it is going to happen... The other school of thought is that we will all be put to the test...

The problem lies in translation:

Revelation 3:10 - “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

The problem is, when you interpret the passage straight from Hebrew, the passage has a feeling of imminence... something that was about to happen. Presumably, being crucified alongside Christ.

From Young's Literal translation of the Bible (http://bible.christiansunite.com/bibles.cgi?v=ylt&b=Re&c=3):
'Because thou didst keep the word of my endurance, I also will keep thee from the hour of the trial that is about to come upon all the world, to try those dwelling upon the earth.

Subsequent translations of the original text took out the imminent feeling of the verse (about to happen), and replaced it with the word "shall." You can see the difference the less literal "shall" has on the translation of the verse. At the time, Christ was talking to the Church of Philidelphia about something that was "about to happen." In the early 1800's, the verse was taken out of this context in order to garner support for the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture... Prior to this time, there wasn't a common held belief in a pre-tribulation rapture... In fact, the widespread idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is relatively new, only catching on in the late 1800's to early 1900's.

To use Revalations 3:10 as scriptural proof of a pre-tribulation rapture, you'd have to take the verse out of context and take a very non-literal approach to it...

It's pretty hard to scripturally support the idea of a pretribulation rapture, unless you take a non-literal approach to the words that are written.

My belief is that if it happens like it is written, we're all in it together.

Rausch
07-11-2002, 10:36 PM
This is exactly what we DON'T want.

We already have religous nutbags on THEIR side wanting a religous war.

We don't need them on OUR side as well.

Religous wars don't end in peace treaties. They get real bloody. We don't want this. And Fallen-well is a lemming....

Garcia Bronco
07-11-2002, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by KCWolfman
Duck - After the initial rapture, many will get a "second chance". Those living after the rapture will literally have years before the second coming of Christ. Also note that many interpret the 144,000 who convert to Christianity to be Jews mainly of the Middle East.

Therefore, those who re-settle are not necessarily damned for eternity.


I knew there had to be a loop hole.

Ugly Duck
07-11-2002, 10:50 PM
I'm not ignoring you, Taco. In fact I appreciate your help to the unbelievers. Thats just a lot of stuff to chew on. So, do we have a split among Christians about an upcoming rapture..... or do most accept the 1800 interpretation?

Rausch
07-11-2002, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by Ugly Duck
I'm not ignoring you, Taco. In fact I appreciate your help to the unbelievers. Thats just a lot of stuff to chew on. So, do we have a split among Christians about an upcoming rapture..... or do most accept the 1800 interpretation?

I think it's horse$#it....

Include it in your totals.

Taco John
07-11-2002, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by Ugly Duck
I'm not ignoring you, Taco. In fact I appreciate your help to the unbelievers. Thats just a lot of stuff to chew on. So, do we have a split among Christians about an upcoming rapture..... or do most accept the 1800 interpretation?


Most probably accept the more recent interpretation... Though, as I said, it is a non-literal approach to take. However, try taking Genesis non-literally with these same people... They'll cleave to every word and demand that they are recognized as literally as language allows.

It's pretty obvious why people would want to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture... Who wants to go through all the trials that are spelled out? But scriptural support of a pre-tribulation rapture is sketchy at best... Especially once you peel away the layers...

I understand it being tough to chew on... I was raised on church... I went twice on Sundays and once on Thursdays... Even I get overwhelmed sometimes with it all... I really struggled for awhile with my beliefs, as I was presented with contradictions to my fundamentalist beliefs... And often I still do. But, I believe in God, I believe in Christ, and I believe in praying for wisdom on matters. The answer I'm always given is "go with what rings true with my soul."

So I do.

craneref
07-11-2002, 11:14 PM
Taco John.

A little help for you, just a small correction, the New Testament was witten in Koine Greek, not Hebrew, but I am not disputing the commentary by Young's Bible as I have not investigated it yet. Just trying to bring this small discrepancy to light

Taco John
07-11-2002, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by craneref
Taco John.

A little help for you, just a small correction, the New Testament was witten in Koine Greek, not Hebrew, but I am not disputing the commentary by Young's Bible as I have not investigated it yet. Just trying to bring this small discrepancy to light


My bad... I alway transfix the two... I should know better. Especially with such a serious topic.

splatbass
07-11-2002, 11:29 PM
I hope these nuts don't end up getting us all killed in their misguided attempt to force a prophesy to come true. I think that if the Bible is true, then it will come about when it is time, and we shouldn't try to make it happen sooner. Of course, I don't believe the Bible is true, but that is another issue. I agree with Jefferson:

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
"It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [Revelation], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."
( Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, January 17, 1825)

Of course you may disagree... :D

manny
07-11-2002, 11:34 PM
John,

I seem to remember reading in "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan that there were apocalyptic Christian cults at the end of the last millenium who believed pretty much the same thing as these modern-day folks, although I don't recall Sagan mentioning the concept of "the rapture".

A good read if you get the chance.

Ugly Duck
07-11-2002, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by splatbass
I hope these nuts don't end up getting us all killed in their misguided attempt to force a prophesy to come true. I think that if the Bible is true, then it will come about when it is time, and we shouldn't try to make it happen soonerKinda like the Heavens Gate religion...they forced rapture, but left their bodies behind. Wouldn't that suck if we die only to find out that THEY were practicing the One and Only Truth?

memyselfI
11-05-2004, 12:40 PM
Ah well the thread's article certainly explains the increase in the Jewish vote for DUHbya...as does the one below.

Rapture Foreign Policy. Lovely.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/07/10/MN17001.DTL

Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move

The Jesus Landing Pad
by Rick Perlstein
May 18th, 2004 10:00 AM

In Focus: George W. Bush Mondo Washington: No Choice The 'culture of life' could become real life
Mark Fiore: And the Winner Is . . .
Unpopular Vote A compilation of electoral college crash courses
Mondo Washington: The Dream Is Lost Bush gets mandate for theocracy. Only the right can stop him now.
It's Mourning in America The Ohio debacle and the death of our civic life
See More ...


t was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.

But now we know.

"Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," barked Pentecostal minister Robert G. Upton when asked about the off-the-record briefing his delegation received on March 25. Details of that meeting appear in a confidential memo signed by Upton and obtained by the Voice.

The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and Solomon's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.

Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."

Three weeks after the confab, President George W. Bush reversed long-standing U.S. policy, endorsing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank in exchange for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

In an interview with the Voice, Upton denied having written the document, though it was sent out from an e-mail account of one of his staffers and bears the organization's seal, which is nearly identical to the Great Seal of the United States. Its idiosyncratic grammar and punctuation tics also closely match those of texts on the Apostolic Congress's website, and Upton verified key details it recounted, including the number of participants in the meeting ("45 ministers including wives") and its conclusion "with a heart-moving send-off of the President in his Presidential helicopter."

Upton refused to confirm further details.

Affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church, the Apostolic Congress is part of an important and disciplined political constituency courted by recent Republican administrations. As a subset of the broader Christian Zionist movement, it has a lengthy history of opposition to any proposal that will not result in what it calls a "one-state solution" in Israel.

The White House's association with the congress, which has just posted a new staffer in Israel who may be running afoul of Israel's strict anti-missionary laws, also raises diplomatic concerns.

The staffer, Kim Hadassah Johnson, wrote in a report obtained by the Voice, "We are establishing the Meet the Need Fund in Israel—'MNFI.' . . . The fund will be an Interest Free Loan Fund that will enable us to loan funds to new believers (others upon application) who need assistance. They will have the opportunity to repay the loan (although it will not be mandatory)." When that language was read to Moshe Fox, minister for public and interreligious affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, he responded, "It sounds against the law which prohibits any kind of money or material [inducement] to make people convert to another religion. That's what it sounds like." (Fox's judgment was e-mailed to Johnson, who did not return a request for comment.)

The Apostolic Congress dates its origins to 1981, when, according to its website, "Brother Stan Wachtstetter was able to open the door to Apostolic Christians into the White House." Apostolics, a sect of Pentecostals, claim legitimacy as the heirs of the original church because they, as the 12 apostles supposedly did, baptize converts in the name of Jesus, not in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Ronald Reagan bore theological affinities with such Christians because of his belief that the world would end in a fiery Armageddon. Reagan himself referenced this belief explicitly a half-dozen times during his presidency.

While the language of apocalyptic Christianity is absent from George W. Bush's speeches, he has proven eager to work with apocalyptics—a point of pride for Upton. "We're in constant contact with the White House," he boasts. "I'm briefed at least once a week via telephone briefings. . . . I was there about two weeks ago . . . At that time we met with the president."

Last spring, after President Bush announced his Road Map plan for peace in the Middle East, the Apostolic Congress co-sponsored an effort with the Jewish group Americans for a Safe Israel that placed billboards in 23 cities with a quotation from Genesis ("Unto thy offspring will I give this land") and the message, "Pray that President Bush Honors God's Covenant with Israel. Call the White House with this message." It then provided the White House phone number and the Apostolic Congress's Web address.

In the interview with the Voice, Pastor Upton claimed personal responsibility for directing 50,000 postcards to the White House opposing the Road Map, which aims to create a Palestinian state. "I'm in total disagreement with any form of Palestinian state," Upton said. "Within a two-week period, getting 50,000 postcards saying the exact same thing from places all over the country, that resonated with the White House. That really caused [President Bush] to backpedal on the Road Map."

When I sought to confirm Upton's account of the meeting with the White House, I was directed to National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones, whose initial response upon being read a list of the names of White House staffers present was a curt, "You know half the people you just mentioned are Jewish?"

When asked for comment on top White House staffers meeting with representatives of an organization that may be breaking Israeli law, Jones responded, "Why would the White House comment on that?"

When asked whose job it is in the administration to study the Bible to discern what parts of Israel were or weren't acceptable sacrifices for peace, Jones said that his previous statements had been off-the-record.

When Pastor Upton was asked to explain why the group's website describes the Apostolic Congress as "the Christian Voice in the nation's capital," instead of simply a Christian voice in the nation's capital, he responded, "There has been a real lack of leadership in having someone emerge as a Christian voice, someone who doesn't speak for the right, someone who doesn't speak for the left, but someone who speaks for the people, and someone who speaks from a theocratical perspective."

When his words were repeated back to him to make sure he had said a "theocratical" perspective, not a "theological" perspective, he said, "Exactly. Exactly. We want to know what God would have us say or what God would have us do in every issue."



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The Middle East was not the only issue discussed at the March 25 meeting. James Wilkinson, deputy national security advisor for communications, spoke first and is characterized as stating that the 9-11 Commission "is portraying those who have given their all to protect this nation as 'weak on terrorism,' " that "99 percent of all the men and women protecting us in this fight against terrorism are career citizens," and offered the example of Frances Town-send, deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism, "who sacrificed Christmas to do a 'security video' conference."

Tim Goeglein, deputy director of public liaison and the White House's point man with evangelical Christians, moderated, and he also spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage. According to the memo, he asked the rhetorical questions: "What will happen to our country if that actually happens? What do those pushing such hope to gain?" His answer: "They want to change America." How so? He quoted the research of Hoover Institute senior fellow Stanley Kurtz, who holds that since gay marriage was legalized in Scandinavia, marriage itself has virtually ceased to exist. (In fact, since Sweden instituted a registered-partnership law for same-sex couples in the mid '90s, there has been no overall change in the marriage and divorce rates there.)

It is Matt Schlapp, White House political director and Karl Rove's chief lieutenant, who was paraphrased as stating "that the Presidents Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level."

Also present at the meeting was Kristen Silverberg, deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy. (None of the participants responded to interview requests.)

The meeting was closed by Goeglein, who was asked, "What can we do to assist in this fight for these issues and our nations [sic] foundation and values?" and who reportedly responded, "Pray, pray, pray, pray."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Apostolic Congress's representative in Israel, Kim Johnson, is ethnically Jewish, keeps kosher, and holds herself to the sumptuary standards of Orthodox Jewish women, so as to better blend in to her surroundings.

In one letter home obtained by the Voice she notes that many of the Apostolic Christians she works with in Israel are Filipino women "married to Jewish men—who on occasion accompany their wives to meetings. We are planning to start a fellowship with this select group where we can meet for dinners and get to know one another. Please Pray for the timing and formation of such." Elsewhere she talks of a discussion with someone "on the pitfalls and aggravations of Christians who missionize Jews." She works often among the Jewish poor—the kind of people who might be interested in interest-free loans—and is thrilled to "meet the outcasts of this Land—how wonderful because they are in the in-casts for His Kingdom."

An ecstatic figure who from her own reports appears to operate at the edge of sanity ("Two of the three nights in my apartment I have been attacked by a hair raising spirit of fear," she writes, noting the sublet contained a Harry Potter book; "at this time I am associating it with witchcraft"), Johnson has also met with Knesset member Gila Gamliel. (Gamliel did not respond to interview requests.) She also boasted of an imminent meeting with a "Knesset leader."

"At this point and for all future mails it is important for me to note that this country has very stiff anti-missionary laws," she warns the followers back home. [D]iscretion is required in all mails. This is particularly important to understand when people write mails or ask about organization efforts regarding such."

Her boss, Pastor Upton, displays a photograph on the Apostolic Congress website of a meeting between himself and Beny Elon, Prime Minister Sharon's tourism minister, famous in Israel for his advocacy of the expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli-controlled lands.

His spokesman in the U.S., Ronn Torassian, affirmed that "Minister Elon knows Mr. Upton well," but when asked whether he is aware that Mr. Upton's staffer may be breaking Israel's anti-missionary laws, snapped: "It's not something he's interested in discussing with The Village Voice."

In addition to its work in Israel, the Apostolic Congress is part of the increasingly Christian public face of pro-Israel activities in the United States. Don Wagner, author of the book Anxious for Armageddon, has been studying Christian Zionism for 15 years, and believes that the current hard-line pro-Israel movement in the U.S. is "predominantly gentile." Often, devotees work in concert with Jewish groups like Americans for a Safe Israel, or AFSI, which set up a mostly Christian Committee for a One-State Solution as the sponsor of last year's billboard campaign. The committee's board included, in addition to Upton, such evangelical luminaries as Gary Bauer and E.E. "Ed" McAteer of the Religious Roundtable.

AFSI's executive director, Helen Freedman, confirms the increasingly Christian cast of her coalition. "We have many good Jews, of course," she says, "but they're in the minority." She adds, "The liberal Jew is unable to believe the Arab when he says his goal is to Islamize the West. . . . But I believe it. And evangelical Christians believe it."

Of Jews who might otherwise support her group's view of Jews' divine right to Israel, she laments, "They're embarrassed about quoting the Bible, about referring to the Covenant, about talking about the Promised Land."

Pastor Upton is not embarrassed, and Helen Freedman is proud of her association with him. She is wistful when asked if she, like Upton, has been able to finagle a meeting with the president. "Pastor Upton is the head of a whole Apostolic Congress," she laments. "It's a nationwide group of evangelicals."

Upton has something Freedman covets: a voting bloc.

She laughs off concerns that, for Christian Zionists, actual Jews living in Israel serve as mere props for their end-time scenario: "We have a different conception of what [the end of the world] will be like . . . Whoever is right will rejoice, and whoever was wrong will say, 'Whoops!' "

She's not worried, either, about evangelical anti-Semitism: "I don't think it exists," she says. She does say, however, that it would concern her if she learned the Apostolic Congress had a representative in Israel trying to win converts: "If we discovered that people were trying to convert Jews to Christianity, we would be very upset."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Kim Johnson doesn't call it converting Jews to Christianity. She calls it "Circumcision of the Heart"—a spiritual circumcision Jews must undergo because, she writes in paraphrase of Jeremiah, chapter 9, "God will destroy all the uncircumcised nations along with the House of Israel, because the House of Israel is uncircumcised in the heart . . . [I]t is through the Gospel . . . that men's hearts are circumcised."

Apostolics believe that only 144,000 Jews who have not, prior to the Second Coming of Christ, acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah will be saved in the end times. Though even for those who do not believe in this literal interpretation of the Bible—or for anyone who lives in Israel, or who cares about Israel, or whose security might be affected by a widespread conflagration in the Middle East, which is everyone—the scriptural prophecies of the Christian Zionists should be the least of their worries.

Instead, we should be worried about self-fulfilling prophecies. "Biblically," stated one South Carolina minister in support of the anti-Road Map billboard campaign, "there's always going to be a war."

Don Wagner, an evangelical, worries that in the Republican Party, people who believe this "are dominating the discourse now, in an election year." He calls the attempt to yoke Scripture to current events "a modern heresy, with cultish proportions.

"I mean, it's appalling," he rails on. "And it also shows how marginalized mainstream Christian thinking, and the majority of evangelical thought, have become."

It demonstrates, he says, "the absolute convergence of the neoconservatives with the Christian Zionists and the pro-Israel lobby, driving U.S. Mideast policy."

The problem is not that George W. Bush is discussing policy with people who press right-wing solutions to achieve peace in the Middle East, or with devout Christians. It is that he is discussing policy with Christians who might not care about peace at all—at least until the rapture.

The Jewish pro-Israel lobby, in the interests of peace for those living in the present, might want to consider a disengagement.

memyselfI
11-05-2004, 12:43 PM
MODS, please move this archived thread to the DC forum. Thank you.

Cochise
11-05-2004, 12:46 PM
The theology being employed here is as ridiculous as DUHnise's premise that Bush was elected because people want to usher in the end of the world.

You are officially off your rocker.

BIG_DADDY
11-05-2004, 12:47 PM
MODS, please move this archived thread to the DC forum. Thank you.

Why are you finally going to admit you pray to Allah?

memyselfI
11-05-2004, 12:54 PM
The theology being employed here is as ridiculous as DUHnise's premise that Bush was elected because people want to usher in the end of the world.

You are officially off your rocker.

Yes, it's ridiculous. It's also ridiculous to poo poo the notions that Jews who support Zionism would not be supportive of DUHbya because the possible influence of a 'rapture' ideology of those in his cabinet and their subsequent view that Israel belongs to the Jews as denoted in the Bible and part of the bigger plan of the return of Christ...

and interesting how this also threads into the beliefs of Evangelicals AND Roman Catholics. :hmmm:

You are right. I'm sure all of this is just weird coincidences.

Amnorix
11-05-2004, 12:57 PM
I dunno, but I'm pretty sure the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 down to the Yankees, then sweeping the World Series is one of the signs of the apocalypse...

:shrug::hmmm:


:p

memyselfI
11-05-2004, 12:57 PM
Ah well the thread's article certainly explains the increase in the Jewish vote for DUHbya...as does the one below.

Rapture Foreign Policy. Lovely.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/07/10/MN17001.DTL

Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move

The Jesus Landing Pad
by Rick Perlstein
May 18th, 2004 10:00 AM

It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios.
But now we know.

"Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," barked Pentecostal minister Robert G. Upton when asked about the off-the-record briefing his delegation received on March 25. Details of that meeting appear in a confidential memo signed by Upton and obtained by the Voice.

The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and Solomon's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.



http://www.apostoliccongress.com/images/body_image_ac2.jpg

http://www.apostoliccongress.com/

MadProphetMargin
11-05-2004, 12:58 PM
I dunno, but I'm pretty sure the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 down to the Yankees, then sweeping the World Series is one of the signs of the apocalypse...

:shrug::hmmm:


:p


You're safe until the Cubs win.

Hydrae
11-05-2004, 02:59 PM
In all truth, I have wondered about this as a possibility. W stirring up the ME to hasten Armageddon is something that the conspiracy side of me can almost get behind. Either that or maybe he is the antichrist. Nah, can't be that, the antichrist is supposed to be looked upon as a great uniter and I don't think anyone would say that about GWB.

DaKCMan AP
11-05-2004, 03:38 PM
Let me get this right. A jew refusing a free ticket to Israel. Whats wrong with this picture.


nlm


I'd tell the wackos to take their ticket and shove it.

Chieficus
11-05-2004, 04:22 PM
Hmmm... I know this topic is a bit dated and a certain someone wished to bring it up again to prove how wacko the evangelicals are...but...

But to use labels, as an evangelical, staunchly conservative, and unashamedly reformed Christian (and thus a blind idiot mindlessly following around the great shepherd Bush..."bbbbaaaaaa"...at least according to certain members of the left... :rolleyes: ), I figure that God is sovereign, He is perfectly working out the plan He made in His infinite wisdom and He will bring about the end of the world and the events leading up to it whenever He so chooses... Any nation's foreign policy or any particular goup of people's desires about foreign policy ain't gonna have a lick of difference on God's plan for the end times....

Ugly Duck
11-05-2004, 11:28 PM
a blind idoit....I like that.... very good! I'll use it along with my usual "genious" and "moran." Excellent!!

Chieficus
11-06-2004, 10:13 AM
I like that.... very good! I'll use it along with my usual "genious" and "moran." Excellent!!

Looking back at my original post I really have no idea what you mean...

I just think you're some sort of moran...


:p

Joshua's Gen
11-06-2004, 03:46 PM
I think it's silly if anyone does think they can hasten God's prophetic plan. As said before...

I figure that God is sovereign, He is perfectly working out the plan He made in His infinite wisdom and He will bring about the end of the world and the events leading up to it whenever He so chooses... Any nation's foreign policy or any particular goup of people's desires about foreign policy ain't gonna have a lick of difference on God's plan for the end times....

And it is disturbing if their are any christians out there who actually *delight* in the coming judgment..

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

Allthough I figure more rather, they are probably delighting in what will be redemption for theirselves (read: rapture), and not the simultanoues judgment.

I think, from what I've seen, it's more of a desire to bless Israel on the basis of this promise:

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

rather than out of a desire to try to hearken death and judgment.


As for what TacoJohn said over 2 years ago (sheesh, denise :shake: ), their are a plethora of end-time interpretations.

Simply because, that's the nature of the ballgame.

Concerning the rapture, their is three main lines of thought:

1. Pre-tribulation Rapture
2. Mid-Tribulation/Pre-wrath Rapture
3. Post-tribulation rapture

Then their's the really goofy guys with the idea all prophecy was already fulfilled by 70 A.D...

Chieficus
11-06-2004, 06:07 PM
As for what TacoJohn said over 2 years ago (sheesh, denise :shake: ), their are a plethora of end-time interpretations.

Simply because, that's the nature of the ballgame.

Concerning the rapture, their is three main lines of thought:

1. Pre-tribulation Rapture
2. Mid-Tribulation/Pre-wrath Rapture
3. Post-tribulation rapture

Then their's the really goofy guys with the idea all prophecy was already fulfilled by 70 A.D...

#4. The Preterist--ah yes...I know a few of those...

I myself actually hold to a post-trib/pre-wrath rapture...kinda out of the main schools of thought...especially since I think the trib is only going to be 3 1/2 years as opposed to 7...

As for Taco's analysis using the Youngs literal translation, he still actually butchers what the greek says... He's half right but also half butchers it... Originally I thought about going into some detail of it, then I noticed the post was 2 years old...

memyselfI
11-06-2004, 06:20 PM
This is scary, scary stuff...


http://www.counterpunch.org/cook02222003.html

February 22, 2003

Armageddon Anxiety
Evil on the Way
by WILLIAM COOK

Bob Woodward's deferent, perhaps even obeisant homage to "Dubya" in his recent book, Bush at War, contains this troubling observation: "The President was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God's Master Plan." This frightening perception followed the President's declamation, "We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great country and rid the world of evil."

Considering how Bush Jr. grew up beneath the Reagan/Bush baldacchino and then helped guide his father's ascension to the throne, his connections with the Christian Right has a long and deep history, including familiarity with the pseudo-prophet, Hal Lindsey, a frequent visitor to the Reagan White House.

Lindsey, the New York Times "Best Selling Author" of the past three decades, author of at least 20 books like The Late Great Planet Earth, and influential Father of Christian Zionism, foresees the imminent and unavoidable great battle of Armageddon, the fulfillment of John's prophecy in the Book of Revelation, the cataclysmic conflict between the forces of Good against the forces of Evil, climaxing in our lifetime. Jesus Christ, King of the Jews, will return to rule the world from the rebuilt temple in the reclaimed nation of Israel according to the prophecies, and we will witness the inevitable suffering and global holocaust. Lindsey proclaims deliverance from Armageddon depends on understanding God's purposes for the Jews including the restoration of Israel as a nation in the land of Judea and Samaria.

Lindsey also proclaims that he purposefully writes these books to shock people into believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And like any good insurance salesman, he instills fear as he threatens his customers with the plagues revealed in the Acts of the Apostles and the Book of Revelation: "... The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood....With Justice he judges and makes war ... He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the word of God ... Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations. .so you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great" The Messiah slays the Antichrist and "creates a new heaven and a new earth" and He judges the dead, saves the Christians, and casts the rest into eternal perdition.

Lindsey accepts as reality that his interpretations of the prophecies come directly to him from God, "I believe that the Spirit of God gave me a special insight, not only into how John described what he actually experienced, but also into how this whole phenomenon encoded the prophecies so that they could be fully understood only when their fulfillment drew near ... I prayerfully sought for a confirmation for my apocalypse code theory..." This self-proclaimed, God inspired interpreter of the Bible has had a profound influence on American and British Christians and Jews. Since Ronald Reagan's Christian based regime of the '80s which included access to the President by not only Lindsey, but Jerry Falwell and the Christian Zionist televangelist Mike Evans, the interests of Zionism as an integral component of prophetic lure have been central in policy formation toward Israel in particular and the mid-east generally in both America and the United Kingdom. The current administration, even more so than Reagan's, is rife with right-wing reliance on the coming revival predicted in the Book of Revelation.

Consider observations made by Paul Krugman of the New York Times December 18, 2002: "Tom DeLay soon to be House majority leader, told a church group that: 'Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world * only Christianity.' He also said he was on a mission from God to promote a 'biblical worldview' in American politics." This from the most powerful man in the Congress! And he is not alone. According to Krugman, many leading Congressional Republicans belong to the "secretive" Council for National Policy, an organization founded by Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic "Left Behind" novels. Members include Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Sen. Jesse Helms, Congressman Dick Armey and Tom DeLay of Texas, Howard Phillips, and many, many others. This fundamentalist group listens, in private, to none other than the self-proclaimed "Born Again" Christian, George W. Bush. Consider also the appointment of John Ashcroft to the position of Attorney General, a vocal Christian fundamentalist who "gives every appearance of placing his biblical worldview above secular concerns..." Add to this the neo-cons in the administration like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearle, Feith, and many others, and one understands that the ties that bind the neocon Christian right, read Christian Zionists, to the Zionist orthodox Jew cement mentalities that embrace myths as truth and behavior directed by superstitious beliefs, regardless of those who do not share their zeal.

I believe that the views expressed by Hal Lindsey as they are reflective of beliefs held by "Dominionists," including Dr. Tony Evans, founder of Promise Keepers, Dr. Martin Hawkins, Assistant to Evans, James Ryle of the Vineyard Movement among others, permeate the Bush administration's major figures, most especially the President, guide their approach to foreign policy, and transform their perception of themselves as executers of God's will. The potential destructive power inherent in this mentality, that accepts as truth interpretations of mythological stories or willingly uses those interpretations to exhort others to action, can be understood and can be thwarted before such devastation occurs. That conclusion we can draw from history should we consider the destructive power of myth as it was wielded by Urban II as he inaugurated the Crusades to liberate Jerusalem, Innocent III when he exterminated the Cathar sect in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Puritan divines when they slaughtered the Pequot Indians in 1636-37, and the elimination of the beliefs extant in northern Europe before the onslaught of Christianity in the middle ages, to offer a few examples. When the elite few who gain power in a country or over a group of people accept myths as truth, or when they insidiously and ruthlessly use the beliefs people hold to affect their ends, devastation follows. An enlightened American public can thwart the myth driven elite.

Michael Ortiz Hill, author of Dreaming the End of the World, characterizes Bush, in his essay in CounterPunch January 4, 2003, as "...delusional and the shape of his delusion is specifically apocalyptical in belief and intent." By apocalyptical Hill means that "All systems are supposed to go down so the Messiah can come and Bush, seemingly, has taken on the role of the one who brings this to pass." "God sovereignly controls all aspects of life" according to this view, and that understanding is inherent in the teachings of the Promise Keepers Movement and its founder, Dr. Tony Evans, and the perspective of Billy Graham, two of the prominent right-wing Christians who have influenced Bush. Graham is credited with Bush's rebirth in Christ and Dr. Tony Evans is pastor of a large Dallas church where Bush heard a great deal about "how the world should be seen from a divine viewpoint" according to Dr. Martin Hawkins, assistant to Evans. (Hill).

Both the Promise Keepers and the Vineyard Movements according to Gary Gilley in "The Vineyard Movement" accept the doctrine of "end time" or "dominionism" that believes there will be a seizure of earthly power by God's people (read Christians) to restore the earth to God's control. Dominion theology teaches that Christ restored dominion over life to the followers of Christ, but the church now has the obligation of redeeming society in order to bring about the Second Coming. They also contend that the kingdom of God is now and they have the responsibility to manifest God's power before the entire world. Taking control of the earth must happen before Christ will return to usher in the physical kingdom on earth over which He will reign.

But Christian Zionists also believe that, before Christ can return, the Jews must return to Israel. Many evangelical Christians cite Genesis 12 and 13 to demonstrate that "the Jews have title deed to Israel and that the land must not be given back to the Palestinians," according to Thomas Williamson in his article "To Whom Does the Land of Palestine Belong?" Christian Zionists, according to Williamson, "regard God's covenant with Abraham, including the land grant, as an unconditional covenant." More frighteningly, "Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us," notes Grace Halsell in her article "Israeli Extremists and Christian Fundamentalists: The Alliance." Not all Christians accept this interpretation, but for those who do, the reestablishment of Israel in 1948 ushered in the conditions necessary to bring about the rapture: Jewish control of Jerusalem and rebuilding the temple. Then and only then can the final, great battle called Armageddon begin. Estimates vary, but Halsell claims "10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God's chosen land for the Jews"(1). Maintenance of Israel as a nation becomes an obligation on the part of Christian Zionists if Biblical prophecy is to be fulfilled.

That places George W. Bush in a unique position as a leader of the world's mightiest military power: to bring about the fulfillment of God's prophecy. Hill claims that Bush has accepted this eschatology through which he sees himself "as an agent of God who has been called by him to 'restore the earth to God's control'" (2). S.R. Shearer of Antipas Ministries, notes Hill, calls this delusional. Hill refers to Bob Woodward's new book, Bush at War, to give substance to this Messianic view of the President. Woodward observes "The president was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God's Master Plan" (2). Add to these comments the closing sentence of his 2003 State of the Union Speech, "The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity," and we can sense his Messianic fervor as he leads the world against the "man-made" forces of evil.

Unfortunately, the determination of that evil resides in the beliefs of those interpreting the "prophecies" and those who accept those interpretations as truth. For Lindsey and the Vineyard ministers, God's covenant with the Jews is truth and it translates, according to Stephen R. Sizer, into the need for America to "continue military and economic funding of Israel," for Israel to "resist negotiating land for peace," "maintain their apartheid policies," and incite fundamentalist groups to destroy the Dome of the Rock so the new temple can be built. Lindsey accuses those who refuse to accept this eschatology as anti-Semitic. This transition from biblical prophecy to current events translates myth into international policy emphasizing the potential destructive power of mythology. Who are these self-appointed servants of the Almighty who give direction to Israeli and US leaders regarding the establishment of nation states, the conception and determination of evil, and the righteousness of actions taken on behalf of their interpretation of God's word?

Lindsey believes, as we have noted, that the Spirit of God has given him special insight "into how this whole phenomenon encoded the prophecies" Others like James Ryle of Promise Keepers find God giving revelation through dreams and visions; in Hippo in the Garden, he notes that he was called to preach through a prophetic word situation (91). In either case, their interpretations come from an indeterminable source, yet a source of vast power and consequence. Lindsey writes "Only now, as mankind approaches the third millennium, do I feel like the Holy Spirit has provided me with the proper perspective * the Big Picture, so to speak * on the mind blowing experiences of the modern world" (Planet Earth 2000 A.D.). And what are those "mind blowing experiences"? "I am certain The Second Advent will occur in the next few years * probably in your lifetime." And, "the greatest threat to freedom and world peace today * is Islamic fundamentalism" (The Final Battle). Acceptance of these modern day prophets and their beliefs by the elite in power portends disaster for American policy in the mid-east in particular and for American interests generally. But, as we have seen, these ministers of God have the ear of those in power in the current administration.

Two issues arise immediately: why should America determine its future course based on interpretations of God's word as contained in documents 2500 years old, designed and written for civilizations long dead? And, second, what is the evil that these modern day prophets determine as the threat against God's predictions?

Plainly, the Books of Genesis, Daniel, and Revelation, the primary sources for "end-time theology," for "Dominionism," for the Apocalyptic perspective, and for Armageddon, while accepted by literalists as the word of God, are in fact derivatives of stories and ideas from other cultures that anti-date Moses by hundreds of years and John, the purported author of Revelation, by more than 1700 years. How then can they be the word of God? How can Americans take seriously the interpretations of Pseudo-prophets who claim to know the meaning of prophecies when they are only the latest in a series of such claimants that date back to Joachim of Fiore, an Italian monk of the 12th century, Christopher Columbus in the early 1500s, Martin Luther, Thomas Muentzer in the 16th century, the Puritans in America, the interpretations arising out of Nazism and Marxism, William Miller and John Darby to mention a few who appeared before the most recent group headed by Lindsey (PBS).

There can be no doubt that the Book of Revelation has had a searing impact on the American conscience that dates back to the establishment of God's "city on a hill" given to the Puritan's by God Himself. The absolute acceptance of the forces of good and evil as extant and operative in the world, concepts that date back to influences from ancient Greece and Persia in the 5th to 3rd centuries before Christ, existed without question in the Puritan mind. Hope in the eventual victory of the forces of good over evil, however, existed long before the 5th century BCE in the "Enuma and Elish" stories of the struggles between chaos and order that date to 1780 BCE in Mesopotamia. These myths tell of Marduk, the God of light, struggling against Tiamat, the force of evil, to bring order out of chaos and peace to the world (www.gatewaystobabylon.com). The influence of these myths on the Book of Genesis, purportedly written by Moses who was born in 1571, is unmistakable and conveyed directly in Psalm 74:14,15,16. But Marduk is not Yahweh, yet current pseudo-prophets will declare the accuracy of their visions as direct from God who speaks to humankind from the pages of the Old and New Testaments. They fail to account for the origins of God's word that comes from non-Jewish sources. Many ancient myths influenced the Bible: the burning of the world by the Hindu God, Shiva; the Akkadian prophecies from Mesopotamia; the messiah-like king that takes over the world, rewards the just, and rules forever from the Uruk Prophecy; and the judgment of the dead by the Egyptian god Maat for the good and evil they performed in their lifetime. (Patricia Eddy, "The Persian Connection: the End of the World Begins")

Judaism also borrowed "angels, the holy spirit, paradise in heaven, eternal life, Judgment Day, the resurrection of the dead, a fiery hell, a messianic savior, and man's personal responsibility to do God's will" from Persia (www.alsopreview.com). These same concepts exist in Zoroaster's faith that prevailed in the 6th century BCE. He designed a monotheistic God, Ahura Mazda, considered by some as a precursor of the God of the Judaic Bible. Zoroaster's last battle between the forces of good and evil, the biblical Armageddon, is headed by a messiah known as Saoshyant; upon victory, he would herald in a millennium of peace and plenty. An apocalypse preceded that last battle to gain the attention of the people. Indeed, the Book of Revelation enlarges upon Zoroaster's end of the world concepts as do sections in the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 at Nag Hammadi and date to the 1st and 2nd centuries CE.

Unfortunately, Christians reading this literature have focused on the necessary and inevitable return of the Jews to Judea-Samaria as conveyed in one source written by a monk in 950 CE, Adso of Montier-En-Der at the request of Queen Gerbera of France as he interpreted biblical passages. He also noted that there would arise "the Last World Emperor" who would unite Christianity and defeat Muslims before the Antichrist arises (PBS). This Christian Zionist focus that requires the fulfillment of the covenant between God and His chosen people arises from two broad predictions in the Old Testament: predictions of a return to Palestine from the Babylonian exile and promises of Palestine as the land given by God to the Jews.
Scholars argue about these predictions, some claiming that God fulfilled His promises when the Jews returned to Palestine, rebuilt the Temple and the Walls of Jerusalem, and restored the religious life of the community under the Maccabees; others disagree (www.users.cloud9.net). Citations of God's promises to "the descendants of Abraham" for land appear in Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 28:13-14 among others. The dispute caused by these passages has to do with the "seed" to which God promised the land. Zionists argue that God's promise was to Jews only; others argue that the seed of Abraham includes Arabs (www.mideastfacts.com). Regardless of these indeterminable disputes, "prominent evangelists preach to their followers that God never fulfilled "His promise of giving all the land of Palestine to the Jews" (www.mideastfacts.com) and, consequently, support "whatever action necessary, even nuclear war, to obtain Arab lands in the Middle East and give them to Jews." [emphasis mine] (mideastfacts) Obviously, such interpretations bring the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust and represent to many in the Christian community a backward step in theology.

Is it possible to believe in the 21st century that a God, designed by a small tribe of nomadic Semites 3500 years ago from stories and myths that existed centuries before in the literatures of Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Canaan, and elsewhere, could dictate to Americans how they should conduct foreign policy? Myths after all are stories that explain for a people how they perceive their existence in a world filled with mystery and awe. They create reference points for the people to see connections between their condition and forces greater than themselves or to understand how they must relate to the society that surrounds them or to grapple with the internal energies that reside within themselves. Yet we have in the union of Christian Zionists and Jewish Zionists mentalities that find absolute truth in these myths and willingly inflict them on the American populace. These beliefs bring ancient prophecies from myths into today's political arena as this comment from Lindsey's Planet makes all too clear: "The dispute to trigger the war of Armageddon will arise between the Arabs and Israelis over the Temple Mount and Old Jerusalem (Zachariah 12:2-3), the most contested and strategic piece of real estate in the world Two religions, Judaism and Islam, thus are on a collision course with global and heavenly repercussions. Islam will never accept Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Jewish state, and Israel will never agree to give it up"(155).

Consider the comments of Margot Patterson in the National Catholic Reporter last October 11, 2002: "Thousands of Christian Zionists met in Jerusalem for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot to cheer Sharon and to declare their unconditional support for the state of Israel." These people embrace "end-time" theology and are supported in turn by right-wing Israelis who like the economic and political support they bring to the Israeli cause. Christian fundamentalists and Jewish Messianic settlers, according to Patterson, promise formation of a "Greater Israel" that will usher in Armageddon. They, too, see war between Muslims and Jews as bringing about the Second Coming.

Patterson quotes a variety of sources to enforce her perception of the political impact these interpreters of God's word have on America's policies toward Israel and Palestine. James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, argues "despite disclaimers to the contrary the US is waging a war on Islam at home and abroad even as it tacitly supports extremist settlers in the occupied territories Israel controls." Lewis Roth, President of Americans for Peace Now, says "You have a number of very conservative Christian groups that support settlements because they see this as a way of strengthening Jewish hold on the land of Israel because in their mind this is important for end-of-time theology and part of hastening the Second Coming and the conversion of the Jews" Since Jews have their own Messianic reading of the biblical sources, different from the Christian Zionists except in the necessity of fulfilling God's covenant to return the Jews to Judea-Samaria, they find support of the Christian Zionists helpful in bringing about the creation of Greater Israel that would include not only the borders of the present state but the entire land of Israel described in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Consider as well Robert Kaiser's February 9, 2003 article "Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical on Mideast Policy" in the Washington Post. Kaiser quotes Richard Pearle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, "Israel should insist on Arab recognition of its claim to the biblical land of Israel and should focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq;" this despite multiple UNSC resolutions that declare Israel in defiance of international law by holding on to these lands. But there's more! Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, has written extensively on Israeli-Arab issues, and argues, according to Kaiser, "that Israel has as legitimate a claim to the West Bank territories seized after the Six-Day War as it has to the land that was part of the U.N. mandated Israel created in 1948." Indeed, Donald Rumsfeld has made the same claim even as he demands that the UN force nations that defy UN resolutions to comply: "There was a war and they (neighboring countries) lost a lot of real estate to Israel because Israel prevailed in that conflict." Here are America's Defense Department spokesmen directly contradicting the UN resolutions demanding that Israel comply with international law and the Geneva Conventions.

Why do these individuals speak for America in this manner? Kaiser quotes a senior official of the first Bush administration as saying "Sharon played the president like a violin: 'I'm fighting your war, terrorism is terrorism,' and so on, Sharon did a masterful job." Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, also quoted by Kaiser, claims "President Bush's policy stems from his core as a Christian, his perceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, and of the need to stand up and fight against evilI personally believe it is very personal, not a political maneuver on his part." Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention echoed those sentiments when he noted how important evangelical support for the president is and claimed, "We need to bless Israel more than America needs Israel's blessing because Israel has a far greater ally than the United States of America, God Almighty." That observation, you will recall, ended the President's State of the Union address as quoted above. In short, America has at its helm a man who understands his role in God's plan and is determined to carry forward regardless of the views of world leaders or the American people. As Dr. Lower points out in Counterpunch, "Bush's war version of God 'has two dangerous implications' One is that those who have lost their lives in service to God and country (Astronauts) 'weren't actually taking risks or showing bravery because their fate was in God's hands. The other implication is that tragedies are God's will.' This is in the tradition of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who suggested that the September 11th tragedy happened because God had removed his active protection from an immoral United States."

Bush is furthered in his drive to Armageddon by those who surround him, both secular zealots intent on ensuring Israel's expansion to the biblical lands given it by the covenant or by the religious right that supports Sharon and controls great Jewish influence in America. Perhaps the most recent evidence of this control on America's mid-east policy comes in the person of Elliott Abrams, the recently appointed director of Mideast Affairs for the National Security Council. Abrams has stated categorically: "The Palestinian leadership does not want peace with Israel, and there will be no peace." Given his current position, we know the future of American policy in Palestine. Abrams' prophecy of no peace allows the Christian Zionists and the Jewish Zionists to usher in the forces of their perceived good against the forces of their perceived evil, the Muslims. All of which makes possible the scenario prophesied by Hal Lindsey in The Final Battle, making fiction truth and truth fiction.

William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His new book, Psalms for the 21st Century, will be published by Mellen Press in January. He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU

Michael Michigan
11-07-2004, 12:41 AM
I guess maybe its possible.... but that would mean the overwhelming majority of unraptured folks would have to be really, really stoopid.

R aiders fans?

memyselfI
11-07-2004, 09:11 AM
More:


http://www.counterpunch.org/hill01042003.html

Bush's Armageddon Obsession, Revisited
by MICHAEL ORTIZ HILL

"We are lived by forces we scarcely understand," wrote W.H. Auden. What forces live us now as America again torques toward war?

George W. Bush is certainly the plaything of such forces as the geopolitics of oil but it seems that he is susceptible to other even darker archetypal concerns. Let me be blunt. The man is delusional and the shape of his delusion is specifically apocalyptic in belief and intent. That Bush would attack so many vital systems on so many fronts from foreign policy to the environment may seem confusing from the point of view of realpolitik but becomes transparent in terms of the apocalyptic worldview to which he subscribes. All systems are supposed to go down so the Messiah can come and Bush, seemingly, has taken on the role of the one who brings this to pass.

The Reverend Billy Graham taught Bush to live in anticipation of the Second Coming but it was his friendship with Dr. Tony Evans that shaped Bush's political understanding of how to deport himself in an apocalyptic era. Dr. Evans, the pastor of a large Dallas church and a founder of the Promise Keepers movement taught Bush about "how the world should be seen from a divine viewpoint," according to Dr. Martin Hawkins, Evans assistant pastor.

S.R. Shearer of Antipas Ministries writes, "Most of the leaders of the Promise Keepers embrace a doctrine of 'end time' (eschatology), known as 'dominionim.' Dominionism pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the 'people of God' as the only means through which the world can be rescued.... It is the eschatology that Bush has imbibed; an eschatology through which he has gradually (and easily) come to see himself as an agent of God who has been called by him to 'restore the earth to God's control', a 'chosen vessel', so to speak, to bring in the Restoration of All Thingss." Shearer calls this delusion, "Messianic leadership"-- that is to say usurping the role usually ascribed to the Messiah.

In Bush at War Bob Woodward writes, "Most presidents have high hopes. Some have grandiose visions of what they will achieve, and he was firmly in that camp."

"To answer these attacks and rid the world of evil," says Bush. And again, "We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great nation." Grandiose visions. Woodward comments, "The president was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of Gods Master Plan."

In dominionism we can see the theological source of Bush's monomania. Not to be distracted by the fact that he lost the popular election by a half a million votes, that the Joint Chief of Staff at the Pentagon were so concerned about his plans to invade Iraq that they leaked their unanimous objection, that he has systematically alienated much of the world, that roughly seventy percent of Americans remain unconvinced of the imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and the same percentage object to war if there will be significant American casualties--none of this is in the least relevant. He believes his mandate toward action is from God.As humans we live within stories. Some stories, like apocalypse are thousands of years old. The scriptured text that informs Bush understanding of and enactment of the End of Days (Revelations 19) depicts Christ returning as the Heavenly Avenger. Revelations is the only New Testament book that justifies violence of any kind, and this it takes to the limit: Christ himself the agent of mass murder.

"I saw heaven open and there before me was a white horse who is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war...He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the word of God...Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the Nations. And I saw an angel standing in the sun who cried in a low voice to all the birds flying in midair--come gather together for the great supper of God, so you may eat the flesh of kings, generals and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."

Such is "the glory of the coming of the Lord." Truth, carnage, and the ecstasy of vultures. In a ruined world the Messiah slays the antichrist and creates "a new heaven and a new earth." The dead are judged, the Christians saved and the rest damned to eternal torment. The New Jerusalem is established and the Lord rules it "with an iron scepter."

It is not inconceivable that Bush is literally and determinedly drawn, consciously and unconsciously, toward the enactment of such a scenario, as he believes, for God's sake. Indeed the stark relentlessness of his policy in the Middle East suggests as much.

It dishonors the profundity of the Christian tradition if one doesn't note that Revelations has always been a rogue text. Because of its association with the Montanist heresy (which like contemporary fundamentalists took it to be literal rather than allegorical) it was with great reluctance that it was made scripture three centuries after the death of Christ. Traditionally attributed to St. John, most Biblical scholars now recognize its literary style and its theology has little in common with John's gospel or his epistles and was likely written after his death. Martin Luther found the vindictive God of Revelations incompatible with the gospels and relegated it to the appendix of his German translation of the New Testament instead of the body of scripture. All the Protestant reformers except Calvin regarded apocalyptic millenialism to be heresy.

But Revelations is also a rogue text because it is unmoored from its origins, which are far from Christian. It is a late variant on a story that was pervasive in the ancient world: the defeat of the wild and the uncivilized by a superior order upon which a New World would be established. Two thousand years before Revelations depicted Christ slaying the antichrist and laying out the New Jerusalem, Marduk slayed Tiamat and founded Babylon.

This pagan myth recycled as a suspiciously unchristian Biblical test found new credence in the 19th century when John Darby virtually revived the Montanist heresy of investing it with a passionate literalism. Given to visions (he saw the British as one of the ten tribes of Israel) Darby left the priesthood of the Church of Ireland and preached Revelations as both prophecy and imminent history. In this he inaugurated a lineage in which Bush's mentors, the Reverend Billy Graham and Dr. Tony Evans are recent heirs. Revelations is much beloved by Muslim fundamentalists and like their Christian compatriots they also thrill to redemption through apocalypse. Jewish fundamentalists of course do not believe in Revelations but have nonetheless made common cause with the Christian Right. "It's a very tragic situation in which Christian fundamentalists, certain groups of them that focus on Armageddon and the Rapture and the role of a war between Muslims and Jews in bringing about the Second Coming, are involved in a folie a deux with extremist Jews," said Ian Lustick, the author of For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition (and yes it is a single tradition) is being led by its fringe into the abyss and the rest of us with it.

The world has been readied for the fire but the critical element is the Bush Administration. Never in the history of Christendom has there been a moment when this rogue element has carried anything like the credibility and political power that it carries now.

memyselfI
11-07-2004, 09:33 AM
Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power

US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush's Middle East policy

George Monbiot
Tuesday April 20, 2004
The Guardian

To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston.
The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns" should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the affairs of a small state 7,000 miles away. It was then, according to a participant, that the "screaming and near fist fights" began.

I don't know what the original motion said, but apparently it was "watered down significantly" as a result of the shouting match. The motion they adopted stated that Israel has an undivided claim to Jerusalem and the West Bank, that Arab states should be "pressured" to absorb refugees from Palestine, and that Israel should do whatever it wishes in seeking to eliminate terrorism. Good to see that the extremists didn't prevail then.

But why should all this be of such pressing interest to the people of a state which is seldom celebrated for its fascination with foreign affairs? The explanation is slowly becoming familiar to us, but we still have some difficulty in taking it seriously.

In the United States, several million people have succumbed to an extraordinary delusion. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to Earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's occupation of the rest of its "biblical lands" (most of the Middle East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to Earth.

What makes the story so appealing to Christian fundamentalists is that before the big battle begins, all "true believers" (ie those who believe what they believe) will be lifted out of their clothes and wafted up to heaven during an event called the Rapture. Not only do the worthy get to sit at the right hand of God, but they will be able to watch, from the best seats, their political and religious opponents being devoured by boils, sores, locusts and frogs, during the seven years of Tribulation which follow.

The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about. This means staging confrontations at the old temple site (in 2000, three US Christians were deported for trying to blow up the mosques there), sponsoring Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, demanding ever more US support for Israel, and seeking to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world/Axis of Evil/United Nations/ European Union/France or whoever the legions of the antichrist turn out to be.

The believers are convinced that they will soon be rewarded for their efforts. The antichrist is apparently walking among us, in the guise of Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Yasser Arafat or, more plausibly, Silvio Berlusconi. The Wal-Mart corporation is also a candidate (in my view a very good one), because it wants to radio-tag its stock, thereby exposing humankind to the Mark of the Beast.

By clicking on www.raptureready.com, you can discover how close you might be to flying out of your pyjamas. The infidels among us should take note that the Rapture Index currently stands at 144, just one point below the critical threshold, beyond which the sky will be filled with floating nudists. Beast Government, Wild Weather and Israel are all trading at the maximum five points (the EU is debat ing its constitution, there was a freak hurricane in the south Atlantic, Hamas has sworn to avenge the killing of its leaders), but the second coming is currently being delayed by an unfortunate decline in drug abuse among teenagers and a weak showing by the antichrist (both of which score only two).

We can laugh at these people, but we should not dismiss them. That their beliefs are bonkers does not mean they are marginal. American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999 suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans. The best-selling contemporary books in the US are the 12 volumes of the Left Behind series, which provide what is usually described as a "fictionalised" account of the Rapture (this, apparently, distinguishes it from the other one), with plenty of dripping details about what will happen to the rest of us. The people who believe all this don't believe it just a little; for them it is a matter of life eternal and death.

And among them are some of the most powerful men in America. John Ashcroft, the attorney general, is a true believer, so are several prominent senators and the House majority leader, Tom DeLay. Mr DeLay (who is also the co-author of the marvellously named DeLay-Doolittle Amendment, postponing campaign finance reforms) travelled to Israel last year to tell the Knesset that "there is no middle ground, no moderate position worth taking".

So here we have a major political constituency - representing much of the current president's core vote - in the most powerful nation on Earth, which is actively seeking to provoke a new world war. Its members see the invasion of Iraq as a warm-up act, as Revelation (9:14-15) maintains that four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of men". They batter down the doors of the White House as soon as its support for Israel wavers: when Bush asked Ariel Sharon to pull his tanks out of Jenin in 2002, he received 100,000 angry emails from Christian fundamentalists, and never mentioned the matter again.

The electoral calculation, crazy as it appears, works like this. Governments stand or fall on domestic issues. For 85% of the US electorate, the Middle East is a foreign issue, and therefore of secondary interest when they enter the polling booth. For 15% of the electorate, the Middle East is not just a domestic matter, it's a personal one: if the president fails to start a conflagration there, his core voters don't get to sit at the right hand of God. Bush, in other words, stands to lose fewer votes by encouraging Israeli aggression than he stands to lose by restraining it. He would be mad to listen to these people. He would also be mad not to.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1075950,00.html
Bush says God chose him to lead his nation

Book reveals how President's religious and political beliefs are entwined - and claims he did pray with Blair

Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 2, 2003
The Observer

President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian.
'If you change their heart, then they change their behaviour. I know,' he said, referring to his own conversion, which led to him giving up drinking.

Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.

Few US Presidents have been as openly religious as Bush. Now a new book has lifted the lid on how deep those Christian convictions run. It will stir up controversy at a time when the administration is keen to portray its 'war on terror' as non-religious.

The book, which depicts a President who prays each day and believes he is on a direct mission from God, will give ammunition to critics who claim Bush's administration is heavily influenced by extremist Christians.

Bush is already under fire for allowing the appointment of General William Boykin to head the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Boykin, who speaks at evangelical Christian meetings, once said the war on terror was a fight against Satan, and also told a Somali warlord that, 'My God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.'

Bush has also been accused of a 'creeping Christianisation' of federal government programmes. In September, the government made more than $60 billion available for religious charitable groups. Critics say the groups will be able to use the cash to promote their religion. One group that benefited from previous grants was an Iowa prison project that entitled inmates to televisions, private bathrooms and computers - in return for Christian counselling.

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Now Bush is likely to face intense scrutiny. The book, The Faith of George W. Bush, was written by Christian author Stephen Mansfield. It details numerous incidents where Bush's faith has been shown to be at the centre of his political thinking.

Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this.

Mansfield, however, says that, while there were no witnesses, aides were left in little doubt as to what had happened. He told The Observer: 'There is no question they have shared scripture and prayed together.'

The book also shows that in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.

Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

In another incident, Mansfield recounts how, on Palm Sunday last year, Bush was flying back from El Salvador aboard the presidential jet Air Force One and seemed to be destined to miss church.

However, knowing that Bush hated to miss a service, some officials suggested they worship in the air. Bush agreed, and soon 40 officials were crammed into the plane's conference room. The service was led by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, while the lesson was read by close Bush aide Karen Hughes.

The author also proves anecdotes about Bush that had previously been dismissed as false. Rumours that he had prayed with a young soldier who had lost a hand in Iraq were thought to be myth, but Mansfield tracked down witnesses and a hospital chaplain who said that Bush had prayed with the man, ending by kissing him on the forehead and telling him he loved him. 'For me, that sums up Bush's beliefs. He really believes Jesus is taken up in his heart and soul,' Mansfield said.

chiefqueen
11-07-2004, 09:47 AM
Did I get that right? Christians are bankrolling Jewish folks to settle in Israel, and are hoping to be raptured. But....if they do get raptured, all the folks that they settled will burn in hell for eternity because they do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. It sounded like they were being nice to people at first. But it looks like the ultimate outcome is going to bring themselves to rapture, and their wards to eternal damnation in hellfire and brimstone. Shouldn't they be using that money to convert the folks to the One True Way so their souls will be saved? That seems like the more....Christian...thing to do.

"Its OK, just continue to reject Jesus. Take this money and settle in Israel, help us bring to fruition the End Time. We will be raptured up to heaven, you will be our stepping stones to Glory. Your eternal suffering will not be in vain, for you will have accelerated our journey to Heaven with your sacrifice. Thank you so very, very much. All aboard!"

Okay, let me start here. First, Christians support Isreal because of the promise God made to Abraham when God established a Jewish nation through Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you." The vast majority of Christians support Isreal b/c they want to experience God's blessings.

Second I believe in a pre-tribulation with at least a seven-year tribulation period. I say at least b/c the seven year period does not begin until a seven year peace covenant is signed with Israel. The man that brokers this covenant is known as the Antichrist and he betrays Israel after 3 and 1/2 years. At this time Israel recognizes that Jesus was Messiah all along & turns her heart over to him. God seals 144,000 Jews who go throughout the world & try to convert those who haven't taken the Mark yet. The 144,000 are protected from death from the Antichrist's hand & will enter the Millenial reign of Christ. The rest of Isreal tries to hide from the Antichrist is mountains of Isreal where Jesus will rescue them at the battle of Armegeddon where Jesus will defeat the Antichrist & set up his millenial riegn.

There are a group of Jews called Messianic Jews that already recognized Jesus as the Messiah and profess as Lord and Savior who will be taken up in the rapture with other Christians. Some Christian groups like Jews for Jesus are working at increasing this number.

memyselfI
11-07-2004, 10:10 AM
Okay, let me start here. First, Christians support Isreal because of the promise God made to Abraham when God established a Jewish nation through Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you." The vast majority of Christians support Isreal b/c they want to experience God's blessings.
[SNIP]

There are a group of Jews called Messianic Jews that already recognized Jesus as the Messiah and profess as Lord and Savior who will be taken up in the rapture with other Christians. Some Christian groups like Jews for Jesus are working at increasing this number.


Christian Zionists is what they are.

Which, in relating to your first point, is the entire crux of the issue. You have two different religions making political decisions based on, at least in part, what their respective religious texts state is the historical and 'God' driven solution to the problem. :banghead: :cuss: :shake:

Nevermind that solution impacts yet a third religion and many billions of other people around the world who might not share the beliefs of the first two religions. :banghead:



http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=17021

Christian Zionists, Jews & Bush's reelection strategy
Courting the pro-Israel vote, President Bush addresses powerful pro-Israel lobby while his staff meets secretly with theocratic Christians


On May 20, the Israeli Defense Forces brutally killed a number of Palestinian school children and wounded dozens of others peacefully demonstrating at the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The United Nations Security Council quickly passed a resolution condemning the action, urging Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes, and calling for an end to violence. While not vetoing the resolution, as it has done on past occasions, the U.S. abstained from the vote.
Two days earlier, at a high-profile appearance aimed at galvanizing support from Jewish voters, President George W. Bush told the more than 4,000 delegates gathered at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a major pro-Israel lobbying organization, that "By defending the freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, you're also serving the cause of America."

In late March, at a less publicized gathering, the National Security Council's Near East and North African Affairs director, Elliott Abrams, and other Bush administration officials met for two hours with members of The Apostolic Congress, a politically powerful group of Christian fundamentalists, to reassure them that the administration's support for Israel was unwavering.

While AIPAC and The Apostolic Congress may appear to have little in common, one overarching concern binds the two groups -- the safety and security of Israel. In an election where a small number of votes in a few battleground states could make a big difference, an increase in Jewish votes for Bush, meshing with the always reliable Christian fundamentalist vote, could push him over the top.

Since President Bush came into office, his political strategists have made a priority of going after the Jewish vote, which makes up about 4% of the national electorate. Although historically in the Democratic column, Bush received about 17% of the Jewish vote in 2000. He's hoping to bump that number up to 30% in November.

Over the past few weeks, Vice President Dick Cheney addressed the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice spoke to the Anti-Defamation League's annual conference in Washington. Therefore, it wasn't surprising that Bush would take time off from touring the battleground states and reassuring the public that all was going well in Iraq to drop in at the AIPAC event.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bush's 39-minute AIPAC address "was interrupted repeatedly with cheering and applause [and] on two occasions, at least a third of the audience burst into chants of 'Four more years!'

"The Jewish community is seeing that on the issues that really matter to them, the Republican Party is offering real leadership and clear vision," Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, told the Times.

While it's no longer news that Bush Administration officials meet regularly with Christian fundamentalists, it was surprising to hear about this particular meeting because it was clearly meant to be kept out of the headlines. It came to light only after Village Voice reporter Rick Perlstein received "details" about it from "a confidential memo signed by [Presbyterian minister Robert G. Upton."

When Perlstein asked Pastor Upton about the email and the meeting, the minister churlishly told him that "Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," Not that Pastor Upton, the executive director of The Apostolic Congress, isn't proud of his easy access to the White House: "We're in constant contact with the White House," he told Perlstein. "I'm briefed at least once a week via telephone briefings... I was there about two weeks ago... At that time we met with the president."

While the conversation between administration officials and the fundamentalists touched on an array of culture war subjects, including the perils of gay marriage, the major issue of concern for the "apocalyptic Christians" was the administration's policy on Israel and Palestine.

The Apostolic Congress claims on its Web site to be "a Spirit-filled, purpose driven movement representing the heartbeat of the Apostolic Community on a national front." According to Perlstein, the organization "vociferously oppose[s] the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth."

The Apostolic Congress is affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church and "is part of an important and disciplined political constituency courted by recent Republican administrations," Perlstein writes. "As a subset of the broader Christian Zionist movement, it has a lengthy history of opposition to any proposal that will not result in what it calls a 'one-state solution' in Israel." On its Web site, the group claims it has had access to Republican-occupied White Houses since the early days of the Reagan Administration (1981), when Brother Stan Wachtstetter opened the door for Apostolic Christians.

The thinking of the Apostolic Congress is not new to those following the growth of Christian Zionism in the U.S. Over the past several years, Christian fundamentalists have been revving up their support for Israel by establishing a number of new organizations, sponsoring visits to the U.S. by prominent right-wing Israeli officials, and raising money for favored Israeli charities. Perhaps most importantly, these groups have been actively campaigning against President Bush's "Road Map" to peace in the Middle East.

Since 2002, several veteran Christian right leaders and Republican Party power brokers joined forces with Jewish leaders to launch pro-Israel organizations: Gary Bauer -- the former head of the Family Research Council who now runs a group called American Values -- joined forces with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, head of the conservative Jewish organization, Toward Tradition, to form the American Alliance of Jews and Christians; Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and a major player in Team Bush's re-election campaign, joined with Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, to launch "Stand for Israel," which according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz intends to become a "Christian version of the pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee."

While there may be political differences between conservative Jews and The Apostolic Congress' constituents, both are enjoying unusual access to the White House. In February 2003, at an Eisenhower Executive Office Building gathering, Karl Rove, President Bush's Chief Political Advisor, assured a group of Apostolic leaders that they would have ongoing access to the president. And according to the Los Angeles Times, "Jewish leaders have had extraordinary access to the president, who hosted White House meetings 'a bunch' of times with groups of rabbis and other Jewish officials, according to a senior administration official."

Leaders of AIPAC and the Apostolic Congress might agree to disagree when it comes to the fundamentalist Christian rendering of an End Times scenario that places Israel at the center of an apocalyptic storm. And they might disagree on whether a two-state or one-state solution is the best way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They appear to agree, however, that unequivocal support for Israel is a primary consideration in how they will advise their constituents to vote. And they appear to agree that a vote for President Bush is a vote for Israel.

chiefqueen
11-07-2004, 10:32 AM
To me it's not two religions but one religion with two groups. Each group believes they are at a different point in history. The majority of the Jews believe that we are still living in Old Testament times. They were promised a messiah in the OT but the rejected Jesus Christ the first time he was here b/c he did not set up his earthly kingdom. He came to first time to die for us so we can once again fellowship with God the Father. Many Jews follow the OT diligently as a way to find favor with God.

Christians believe they are not bound by the of the OT but are set free by Christ shed blood which is described in the NT. However, Jesus said the commandments in the OT should be followed & in fact added to them.

memyselfI
11-07-2004, 11:13 AM
To me it's not two religions but one religion with two groups. Each group believes they are at a different point in history. The majority of the Jews believe that we are still living in Old Testament times. They were promised a messiah in the OT but the rejected Jesus Christ the first time he was here b/c he did not set up his earthly kingdom. He came to first time to die for us so we can once again fellowship with God the Father. Many Jews follow the OT diligently as a way to find favor with God.

Christians believe they are not bound by the of the OT but are set free by Christ shed blood which is described in the NT. However, Jesus said the commandments in the OT should be followed & in fact added to them.

Again, Christians believe. No reason or basis to be deciding foreign policy.

Chieficus
11-07-2004, 09:13 PM
Again, Christians believe. No reason or basis to be deciding foreign policy.

Without wading through the other crap you posted... There's an underlying thought pattern behind this: A person's religious belief should affect their policy decisions... hence we would be better off with either "secular" policy makers or religious people who know how to separate out their "private" beliefs from the issues of the secular state...

Well, sorry, honey...

As much as the secularist like to think that the world operates in that manner, it doesn't... In the world of thought, presuppositions are king... No matter how many spheres one tries to divide their thought into, their core values/beliefs have an effect on all else.

The secularists have their own idol--their god, Self. They start at the basis that what is "natural" is all there is and man must solve his own problems. They operate from this point bot because they can prove it but because they want it to be true. Therefore it is nothing more than a crutch they lead on and Self is nothing more than that which they follow like a mindless sheep. (hmmm... at least most Christians I know realize that they have a crutch and a shepherd... To bad the secularists are still blind to theirs...)

Take the term "secularist" and use it to replace "Christian" in what you said... After all, secularist ideology provides no reason or basis to decide foreign policy.

If you want to strike out someone else's belief, strike out your own while your at and then every other "belief" system out there...and all of the sudden you're left without policy of any kind.

Of course, really what's the point of typing all this??? After all, as long as your heart is still dark and infected by the bitterness and hatred (sin) you cling to, you won't even be able to wipe the foggy mirror off to even begin to see clearly....

memyselfI
11-07-2004, 10:49 PM
Without wading through the other crap you posted... There's an underlying thought pattern behind this: A person's religious belief should affect their policy decisions... hence we would be better off with either "secular" policy makers or religious people who know how to separate out their "private" beliefs from the issues of the secular state...

Well, sorry, honey...

As much as the secularist like to think that the world operates in that manner, it doesn't... In the world of thought, presuppositions are king... No matter how many spheres one tries to divide their thought into, their core values/beliefs have an effect on all else.

The secularists have their own idol--their god, Self. They start at the basis that what is "natural" is all there is and man must solve his own problems. They operate from this point bot because they can prove it but because they want it to be true. Therefore it is nothing more than a crutch they lead on and Self is nothing more than that which they follow like a mindless sheep. (hmmm... at least most Christians I know realize that they have a crutch and a shepherd... To bad the secularists are still blind to theirs...)

Take the term "secularist" and use it to replace "Christian" in what you said... After all, secularist ideology provides no reason or basis to decide foreign policy.

If you want to strike out someone else's belief, strike out your own while your at and then every other "belief" system out there...and all of the sudden you're left without policy of any kind.

Of course, really what's the point of typing all this??? After all, as long as your heart is still dark and infected by the bitterness and hatred (sin) you cling to, you won't even be able to wipe the foggy mirror off to even begin to see clearly....


Where did I say a secularist view was preferable???

I am merely curious (and more than alittle concerned) who decides which religion and what God's 'word' is the true road map to use??? :hmmm:

The US gets to decide because it's the only superpower?

Christianity gets to decide because it's the world's largest religion?

The Jews get to decide because of the similarities they share with Christianity and the US happens to be Israel's main ally?

Does Islam not get a say as being the 2nd largest religion?

What if the other religions do not support what the US/Israel believes is the proper solution based on unshared beliefs of 'historical'/'Biblical' events???

When you are arrogant and ignorant enough to assume that it's merely because the Bible states is the case then you are conveniently denying much of the world's population a stake in what can and will effect them simply because they do not share the same acceptance of 'historical' or 'Biblical' fact and/or they do not accept such as being a valid measure for how to resolve the situation...

I dare say a number of Christians or Jews would feel the same. Therefore you are saying that the small minority of Christian Zionists and Israeli Zionists using literal and strict interpretations of their respective religious documents as means of dictating policy...

and then you wonder where the hatred comes from??? :hmmm:

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 12:20 AM
:hmmm:

You either got the battle of the presuppositions or you have nothing...

If you think that no religious ideology should be allowed, your secularist views shine forth... If you think that we can get together in a room and come to a crowd-pleasing compromise, then your secularist presups on the ability of man come forth... If you think that only some of the religions should have a say, then you set yourself up as an authority in determining which ones can speak, and therefore your secularist views are evident...

You don't have to say a thing about your secularist view being preferable, by the very fact you hold the presuppositions of it, you automatically gauge all else by it. Hence, regardless of what you say or not say, you set it up as the rule and automatically make it the prefered view point.

The right view doesn't come down to one's personal arrogance, but rather it is that of whose crutch shows to be a true crutch or just a twig on the verge of snapping...

Maybe if people spent more time thinking about the validity of their assumptions then we wouldn't have the blind ignorance that oozes from all sides... In this, I speak to you also...

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 08:00 AM
You either got the battle of the presuppositions or you have nothing...

If you think that no religious ideology should be allowed, your secularist views shine forth... If you think that we can get together in a room and come to a crowd-pleasing compromise, then your secularist presups on the ability of man come forth... If you think that only some of the religions should have a say, then you set yourself up as an authority in determining which ones can speak, and therefore your secularist views are evident...

You don't have to say a thing about your secularist view being preferable, by the very fact you hold the presuppositions of it, you automatically gauge all else by it. Hence, regardless of what you say or not say, you set it up as the rule and automatically make it the prefered view point.

The right view doesn't come down to one's personal arrogance, but rather it is that of whose crutch shows to be a true crutch or just a twig on the verge of snapping...

Maybe if people spent more time thinking about the validity of their assumptions then we wouldn't have the blind ignorance that oozes from all sides... In this, I speak to you also...


I see you ignored my logical questions and made assumptions of your own. Again, if we are to allow a religious based decision...

who's religion and who decides?

Once you answer the question with more reason and logic than 'the Bible' and 'God' THEN we can have a legitimate discussion on the pros and cons, the validity, and the necessity of involving religion in international politics...

until then excuse me for remaining skeptical.

I can clearly see your diversion of my 'problem' being a 'secularist' one and yet I'll telling you that I'm open to allowing a religious based resolution but my hang up is which religion and who decides.

Of course from your POV the answer is quite clear. It's my problem for not understanding why the rest of the world should not automatically accept a Christian based resolution deemed the 'right' solution by the only world's superpower...which lucky for us happens to be US. :hmmm: :rolleyes:

I just want to hear from you the reason WHY that is the best solution and it needs to be based in more than faith, the Bible, and what God supposedly has deemed 'the way.'

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 08:46 AM
I see you ignored my logical questions and made assumptions of your own. Again, if we are to allow a religious based decision...

who's religion and who decides?

Once you answer the question with more reason and logic than 'the Bible' and 'God' THEN we can have a legitimate discussion on the pros and cons, the validity, and the necessity of involving religion in international politics...

until then excuse me for remaining skeptical.

I can clearly see your diversion of my 'problem' being a 'secularist' one and yet I'll telling you that I'm open to allowing a religious based resolution but my hang up is which religion and who decides.

Of course from your POV the answer is quite clear. It's my problem for not understanding why the rest of the world should not automatically accept a Christian based resolution deemed the 'right' solution by the only world's superpower...which lucky for us happens to be US. :hmmm: :rolleyes:

I just want to hear from you the reason WHY that is the best solution and it needs to be based in more than faith, the Bible, and what God supposedly has deemed 'the way.'

Yes, I did make assumptions of my own. However, nice try with separating your "logical" statements from your assumptions...it doesn't work that way, logic is not a free standing basis....

Now, if you hadn't misread my post, you'd see the question already answered.

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 08:54 AM
Yes, I did make assumptions of my own. However, nice try with separating your "logical" statements from your assumptions...it doesn't work that way, logic is not a free standing basis....

Now, if you hadn't misread my post, you'd see the question already answered.


I read it as your assuming I don't have a proper tolerance for a religious solution in politics...

I'm telling you I can and would if given the justification that would satisfy the 'who' and 'why.'

I have yet to see anyone of the 'religious right' offer this and instead see much of the same as you are doing. Changing the point to focus on the secular nature of those who question the validity of a religious solution vs. offering a fact based or reason based explanation.

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 11:34 AM
I read it as your assuming I don't have a proper tolerance for a religious solution in politics...

I'm telling you I can and would if given the justification that would satisfy the 'who' and 'why.'

I have yet to see anyone of the 'religious right' offer this and instead see much of the same as you are doing. Changing the point to focus on the secular nature of those who question the validity of a religious solution vs. offering a fact based or reason based explanation.

Therein lies the problem... As long as you have a secularist mindset you'll never be able to interpret "facts" and use "reason" without the basis of your secularist assumptions...

The "who" and "why" won't be satisfied regardless of how "tolerant" you try to paint your own face to be...

Loki
11-08-2004, 11:49 AM
:shake:

Personally, if Falwell and all his jerk-off followers get raptured, I'd rather stay here. Maybe we'll get lucky and God will relax his standards and rapture up zealot nuts of ALL religions.

Seems to me like that would instantly transform earth into heaven.

send in robert tilton
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/fartingpreacher.asf

MadProphetMargin
11-08-2004, 11:53 AM
send in robert tilton
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/fartingpreacher.asf


ROFL ROFL ROFL

I think I hurt my spleen...

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 12:16 PM
Therein lies the problem... As long as you have a secularist mindset you'll never be able to interpret "facts" and use "reason" without the basis of your secularist assumptions...

The "who" and "why" won't be satisfied regardless of how "tolerant" you try to paint your own face to be...

Ah, an herein lies an equally, if not bigger problem, as long YOU have a CHRISTIAN (or any other religious but for the sake of this argument we will stick to Christian) BIAS then you will COMPLETELY DISREGARD any fact, logic, or reason that does not jive with what your religious doctrine tells you is 'truth.'

Therefore, you take on an attitude of arrogance (some would call ignorance) in that only those who adhere to a Christian belief or faith are capable of comprehending or believing 'truth' and thus the rest of the world has the problem and must adapt to a Christian based solution...

When in fact ALL you are doing is pointing to a religious belief and refusing to address issues outside of or in direct conflict to that belief.

Nice. :thumb:

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 02:02 PM
Ah, an herein lies an equally, if not bigger problem, as long YOU have a CHRISTIAN (or any other religious but for the sake of this argument we will stick to Christian) BIAS then you will COMPLETELY DISREGARD any fact, logic, or reason that does not jive with what your religious doctrine tells you is 'truth.'

Yeah. I've already established the fact that I do have a bias.

But its not so much that I disregard any "fact, logic, or reason" that does not jive with my belief... I just disregard any "fact, logic, or reason" that flow from faulty presuppositions.

As a secularist, your assumptions begin with yourself and your own autonomy of human nature. The basis of your thought is you. The subjective nature of our human experience shows us clearly that is not a sufficient basis for jack squat... In fact, you don't have one ounce of objectiveness in your base to set forth your claim, let alone challenge anyone else. Yet you go on and go on and go on because you've become content and satisfied with an empty base as your starting point.... well, as the old saying goes... out of nothing, nothing comes...

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 02:23 PM
Yeah. I've already established the fact that I do have a bias.

But its not so much that I disregard any "fact, logic, or reason" that does not jive with my belief... I just disregard any "fact, logic, or reason" that flow from faulty presuppositions.

As a secularist, your assumptions begin with yourself and your own autonomy of human nature. The basis of your thought is you. The subjective nature of our human experience shows us clearly that is not a sufficient basis for jack squat... In fact, you don't have one ounce of objectiveness in your base to set forth your claim, let alone challenge anyone else. Yet you go on and go on and go on because you've become content and satisfied with an empty base as your starting point.... well, as the old saying goes... out of nothing, nothing comes...


Ok, I can see this is going no where...by design, I'm sure.

You'll continue to focus on my limited objectiveness due to a perceived secularist bias meanwhile I'll continue to ask you for the factors, outside of the Bible, that lead up to your belief a Christian based solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is the one we should pursue...

what would really get your goat is the knowledge that my view is not based on secularism at all but rather a healthy dose of skepticism on a Christian OT based solution. I know many Christians who don't buy the BS Christian Zionists/Rapture Christians are trying to sell either...and they would be able to provide answers that are both Biblical based AND reasoned as to what the best solution would be.

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 03:43 PM
Ok, I can see this is going no where...by design, I'm sure.

You'll continue to focus on my limited objectiveness due to a perceived secularist bias meanwhile I'll continue to ask you for the factors, outside of the Bible, that lead up to your belief a Christian based solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is the one we should pursue...

what would really get your goat is the knowledge that my view is not based on secularism at all but rather a healthy dose of skepticism on a Christian OT based solution. I know many Christians who don't buy the BS Christian Zionists/Rapture Christians are trying to sell either...and they would be able to provide answers that are both Biblical based AND reasoned as to what the best solution would be.

Your skepticism itself is based upon your secular assumptions...don't delude yourself...

But you want my viewpoint, here it is: 1) The Bible tells us (Romans 12:18) to strive for peace with all men as far as it depends upon us. Therefore peace should be strived for. 2) The Bible tells us that government is established by God to bring "wrath on the one who practices evil," for it "does not bear the sword for nothing" (Rom 13:4), hence, our governement should not sacrafice what is moral and just for what some consider "peace." 3) We live in a fallen world under the curse of sin (Genesis 3) filled with men who are evil (Romans 3:9-18), thus we should not expect that peace will come and last. 4) The Bible tells us that God will multiply the sons of Ishmael because they too are Abraham's children, but that as a nation they will be like Ishmael who is "a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him..." (Genesis 16), thus also we should not expect any peace to last. 5) God is sovereign and in control of all things, the policies of any government will have no effect whatsoever on how and when God decides to bring about the end times. God is not waiting for man to meet any certain criteria or for man to make any certain moves before He decides what to do. He is the creator, we are the creature. He makes the plan and carries it out according to His own will (Romans 9).

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 04:15 PM
Your skepticism itself is based upon your secular assumptions...don't delude yourself...

But you want my viewpoint, here it is: 1) The Bible tells us (Romans 12:18) to strive for peace with all men as far as it depends upon us. Therefore peace should be strived for. 2) The Bible tells us that government is established by God to bring "wrath on the one who practices evil," for it "does not bear the sword for nothing" (Rom 13:4), hence, our governement should not sacrafice what is moral and just for what some consider "peace." 3) We live in a fallen world under the curse of sin (Genesis 3) filled with men who are evil (Romans 3:9-18), thus we should not expect that peace will come and last. 4) The Bible tells us that God will multiply the sons of Ishmael because they too are Abraham's children, but that as a nation they will be like Ishmael who is "a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him..." (Genesis 16), thus also we should not expect any peace to last. 5) God is sovereign and in control of all things, the policies of any government will have no effect whatsoever on how and when God decides to bring about the end times. God is not waiting for man to meet any certain criteria or for man to make any certain moves before He decides what to do. He is the creator, we are the creature. He makes the plan and carries it out according to His own will (Romans 9).

As I deeply suspected...

you have NO means of furthering your view outside of the Bible!!! :doh!:

Thanks for wasting untold hours just to end up proving the obvious. :thumb:

BIG_DADDY
11-08-2004, 05:17 PM
As I deeply suspected...

you have NO means of furthering your view outside of the Bible!!! :doh!:

Thanks for wasting untold hours just to end up proving the obvious. :thumb:

Off with his head, stinking infidel.

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 08:27 PM
As I deeply suspected...

you have NO means of furthering your view outside of the Bible!!! :doh!:

Thanks for wasting untold hours just to end up proving the obvious. :thumb:

I've said that all along, where has your head been?

You have NO means of furthering your view outside of your secularist presuppositions.

Does that suddenly make yours valid and mine not because I quote the Bible and you don't? I don't think so. You can provide reaons and evidence for anything you darn well want...that's not the issue...the issue is are your presuppositional basis valid??? And the answer is yours has nothing outside your own mind or your interpretation of what is in another's mind to go on...

And that provides no solid answers whatsoever.

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 08:38 PM
I've said that all along, where has your head been?

You have NO means of furthering your view outside of your secularist presuppositions.

Does that suddenly make yours valid and mine not because I quote the Bible and you don't? I don't think so. You can provide reaons and evidence for anything you darn well want...that's not the issue...the issue is are your presuppositional basis valid??? And the answer is yours has nothing outside your own mind or your interpretation of what is in another's mind to go on...

And that provides no solid answers whatsoever.

Again, my view is NOT 'secularist.' It's a deep skepticism of a RWNJ Christian based solution. I might be open to moderate/liberal Christian based solution, a moderate/liberal Jewish based solution, even a moderate/liberal based Muslim solution...

but the fundamentalists of ALL THREE RELIGIONS have only their interests at heart and have the audacity to use God/God's word as a crutch to do so. It's all quite bogus.

The only solution to this problem will be to marginalize the NJs on all sides and have the moderates/liberals within the various religions find a solution that is win/win for all. That will likely mean ignoring LITERAL interpretations of centuries old texts and facing current and real realities and problems to find solutions...

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 09:40 PM
Again, my view is NOT 'secularist.' It's a deep skepticism of a RWNJ Christian based solution. I might be open to moderate/liberal Christian based solution, a moderate/liberal Jewish based solution, even a moderate/liberal based Muslim solution...

but the fundamentalists of ALL THREE RELIGIONS have only their interests at heart and have the audacity to use God/God's word as a crutch to do so. It's all quite bogus.

The only solution to this problem will be to marginalize the NJs on all sides and have the moderates/liberals within the various religions find a solution that is win/win for all. That will likely mean ignoring LITERAL interpretations of centuries old texts and facing current and real realities and problems to find solutions...

You want to see the view points of those who soften their religion to be more inclusive and like the irreligious world... You prefer view points that are more like yours... Hence, no matter how you try to package it, you're a secularist with a secularist view.

I've already admitted several times I have a crutch and what it is...too bad you can't do the same... If you could, you might begin to see the fallacy to your argument. But if you really want, then just keep blindly following your path....

memyselfI
11-08-2004, 10:01 PM
You want to see the view points of those who soften their religion to be more inclusive and like the irreligious world... You prefer view points that are more like yours... Hence, no matter how you try to package it, you're a secularist with a secularist view.

I've already admitted several times I have a crutch and what it is...too bad you can't do the same... If you could, you might begin to see the fallacy to your argument. But if you really want, then just keep blindly following your path....

Ah, I see. I'm 'secularist' because I don't espouse your particular brand of Christianity to be the way or the truth.

Nice. I've got news for you. It's FUNDAMENTALISTS Islamists that we are fighting.. They have a literal, traditional, and very narrow interpretation of what Islam is, should, must be.

They have and hold as truth the SAME strict literal interpretations as do other fundamentalists in other religions, like you are doing. The ONLY difference is their strict literalism culminates in violence and hate.

I guess our country is lucky we are not there...yet.

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 10:45 PM
Ah, I see. I'm 'secularist' because I don't espouse your particular brand of Christianity to be the way or the truth.

Nice. I've got news for you. It's FUNDAMENTALISTS Islamists that we are fighting.. They have a literal, traditional, and very narrow interpretation of what Islam is, should, must be.

They have and hold as truth the SAME strict literal interpretations as do other fundamentalists in other religions, like you are doing. The ONLY difference is their strict literalism culminates in violence and hate.

I guess our country is lucky we are not there...yet.

You even show yourself to be more of a secularist by polarizing and mischaracterizing conservative Christian belief. The way we interpret the Bible is through the Historical/Grammatical method. Aka, we interpret the various literary genres in it in accordance with the normal rules of interpreting any document with an author-oriented approach to understanding meaning.

BTW--you're not a secularist because you don't espouse my brand of Christianity... You're a secularist because you're a secularist. You've shown it over and over in all your postings, as well as your insistence that only the liberal versions of religion have the answers. Liberal variations of religion tend to polarize their views into two spheres: 1) The private sphere of "faith" and 2) The public sphere of "reality" though "reason"... They appeal to you because they fall in line with your thinking concerning reality, in that we can find answers in escaping the traditional views of religion. They are closer to your secularism than those views that you disagree with, therefore you are more willing to "accept" them.

But what it all boils down to is this: Your higher authority is yourself. You are your own goddess. You use yourself and your own notions of what you think is rational to build what you think is truth. Your view of truth starts with you and ends with you. And the only acceptable mode of thought is that which falls most closely in line with what you desire.

You cannot think critically about the issues because you already push the opposing views out of the way simply because you don't like them. Therefore you make unwarranted connections between ideas to draw conclusions that only fit into your logic.

You disavow a more "conservative" view not because you have actually thought it through rather because your presuppositions that you are blind to automatically push you away.

Hence, above, your objection to the Bible-based solution that I gave was not based upon any true reason but rather the beginning assumption "Those who base their views on a traditional understanding of the Bible = Those who cannot think on their own."

It shows your blindness to your crutch, your ignorance of thought, and your displeasure of those who don't fall into your line. Too bad, really... for if you had any understanding of your presuppositions you might be able to carry on an intelligent discussion. Might I suggest then, take yourself of your throne and try to figure out the real reason you believe what you believe...

MadProphetMargin
11-08-2004, 10:51 PM
Um, I'm a secularist. Proud of it, too.

Chieficus
11-08-2004, 10:54 PM
Um, I'm a secularist. Proud of it, too.

Hey... at least you're not as blind as our other "friend"....

memyselfI
11-09-2004, 08:04 AM
But what it all boils down to is this: Your higher authority is yourself. You are your own goddess. You use yourself and your own notions of what you think is rational to build what you think is truth. Your view of truth starts with you and ends with you. And the only acceptable mode of thought is that which falls most closely in line with what you desire.

You cannot think critically about the issues because you already push the opposing views out of the way simply because you don't like them. Therefore you make unwarranted connections between ideas to draw conclusions that only fit into your logic.

You disavow a more "conservative" view not because you have actually thought it through rather because your presuppositions that you are blind to automatically push you away.

Hence, above, your objection to the Bible-based solution that I gave was not based upon any true reason but rather the beginning assumption "Those who base their views on a traditional understanding of the Bible = Those who cannot think on their own."

It shows your blindness to your crutch, your ignorance of thought, and your displeasure of those who don't fall into your line. Too bad, really... for if you had any understanding of your presuppositions you might be able to carry on an intelligent discussion. Might I suggest then, take yourself of your throne and try to figure out the real reason you believe what you believe...


Obviously as a fundie you would consider me secularist for not believing in your interpretation of Christianity or God...

however, I'm anti-organized religion NOT anti-God. I do believe in God and do believe in a higher power. I do NOT believe organized institutions are doing anything more than using God as a means to control people's hearts, minds, and money.

My objection to a 'Bible' based solution is because I don't believe real peoples lives of TODAY should be subjected to limitations of the myths and folktales from centuries past....

that goes for any organized religions texts.

Chief Henry
11-09-2004, 08:17 AM
[QUOTE=memyselfI

My objection to a 'Bible' based solution is because I don't believe real peoples lives of TODAY should be subjected to limitations of the myths and folktales from centuries past....

.[/QUOTE]

:shake:

stevieray
11-09-2004, 08:29 AM
Obviously as a fundie you would consider me secularist for not believing in your interpretation of Christianity or God...

however, I'm anti-organized religion NOT anti-God. I do believe in God and do believe in a higher power. I do NOT believe organized institutions are doing anything more than using God as a means to control people's hearts, minds, and money.

My objection to a 'Bible' based solution is because I don't believe real peoples lives of TODAY should be subjected to limitations of the myths and folktales from centuries past....

that goes for any organized religions texts.

I'd feel this way too, if I was afraid.