Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A Time of Testing

 But when isn’t it such a time….

As we watch institutions of every type failing in the West, the same is true of the Christian Church.  Not to get into denominational particulars, but we have recently gone through – and continue to go through – some very meaningful failures in Christian institutions and by Christian leaders.

Just consider the last ten years or so.  The embrace of pride, of every alphabet soup, of every challenge to God’s creation of man and woman.  Countless churches and congregations openly embrace this culture.  A striking position given that man and woman were both made in God’s image; to consider that God was somehow mistaken in that which He made in His image is foundationally prideful.

Then we went through covid.  Again, countless churches – and certainly the large, institutional / hierarchical traditions – almost joyously embraced the closure of churches for months and years.  They embraced every made-up rule, every restriction. Accepting made-up rules in order to prevent the proper gathering together of the faithful.  What kind of Christian leadership is this?

There were men who stood tall during these times.  We know them either directly, or indirectly through an online presence.  Now we come to a third recent episode, and even these men are not immune to contagion.

The state of Israel is slaughtering Palestinians.  This based on the pretext of October 7 last year – an event that, while prompted by Hamas, now has been openly exposed by Haaretz as an execution of Israel’s Hannibal directive (those paying attention knew this nine months ago).  Large portions, if not the majority of those deaths that day were caused by the IDF, not by Hamas.

The Israeli army did deploy its so-called Hannibal Directive, which allows the military to use all necessary force to prevent the capture of soldiers, during the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel, resulting in the loss of both civilian and military lives, an investigation by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has found.

Further, while the official death count has remained almost stagnant at just under 40,000, a new study places the likely number as something that will approach 200,000 – far more likely given the continual bombing for ten months.

The study pointed out that the death toll is higher because the official toll does not take into account thousands of dead buried under rubble and indirect deaths due to destruction of health facilities, food distribution systems and other public infrastructure.

The study said the death toll is expected to be far larger given that much of Gaza’s infrastructure has been destroyed; there are shortages of food, water and shelter; and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has seen its funding cut.

But now, we have Christian leaders who stood tall under woke pressure and covidiocy crumbling under the weight of ethical (and, I would say Biblical) confusion.  This is present primarily, if not solely, in what is known as evangelical churches.

At my other blog, I recently wrote about the idea of reading the apostle Paul (and the rest of the Bible) through the lens of Jesus Christ in the gospels. 

So, let’s try it this way; read this:

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

An Alternate Possibility

 

“All warfare is based on deception.”

Elements in the United States, both within and outside of the federal government, see the current events in Gaza as the opportunity to free itself from the stranglehold that is Zionism and the state of Israel.

There is no doubt that, instead of being the United States’ most important ally, the state of Israel is its single biggest foreign policy liability.  Not that the United States can’t find ways to create liabilities on its own, but no other state so wags this dog and costs the United States a loss of international credibility as does the state of Israel.

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

Have we seen more pathetic actors in foreign policy that those in the current administration, starting with Biden, and including Blinken, Austin, and Sullivan?  No, I don’t believe they are acting.  They are perfect for the role of appearing weak; they are playing the role perfectly because it is what they are, and the aforementioned elements may just be taking advantage of this by letting nature take its course.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

The United States is not fighting the state of Israel or the Israel lobby at all.  Yet this current conflict can and will only weaken the hold by the state of Israel on the United States.

“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

It is easy to know this enemy.  The lobby has now had to come out in the open, completely visible to all.  Individual actors speak boldly and openly about not hiring students from various universities, withdrawing funding and grants, etc. 

Individuals in the highest positions of authority in the Israeli government are not shy about their intent – they speak openly and directly about it.  Israeli soldiers are proud of the most criminal behavior, posting videos online where they glory in their corruption.

The US government knowns this enemy because it is this enemy.  Listen to words from any one of hundreds of current and former US officials, ranging from Lindsey Graham to Mike Pompeo to Donald Trump.  No less shameless than those in the lobby or in the Israeli government.

And this is, if my alternate possibility holds any water, is easily used against Israel.

“The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

There is no doubt that if my alternate possibility is true, that the enemy – both within the United States and in the state of Israel – cannot fathom the intent.  Even if they could, I don’t think they would know how to stop.  Which, again, is a “know your enemy” thing.

“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”

There is no way to fight the lobby and the US government head-on on this topic.  Using this approach, it is a battle that cannot be won.  Therefore, win without fighting.  Allow the enemy to do what it cannot help but do, and the entire edifice will come crashing down.

Whether or not I am correct, I think the end result is inevitable – distance created between the United States and Israel.  The only question is, will that end result come with or without the use of nuclear weapons by the state of Israel.

 

All quotes from Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Booing the Golden Rule

 

Every week I look forward to the latest column from Chuck Baldwin.  He is one of the few Christian leaders who publicly speaks out against war, and he is one of even fewer who will publicly speak out against the worship of the state of Israel by many Christians who have embraced the Scofield heresy.

In his column from May 15, he addressed several comments from an interview with Larry Johnson on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s channel (by the way, I strongly recommend the judge’s channel for those interested in well-reasoned alternative commentary on the issues of the day).

The following comments struck me:

I’m not exaggerating when I say that not only is Israel losing credibility and legitimacy all over the world but so are America’s evangelical churches.

I have been thinking about this same point.  Countless thousands of young people, many of whom likely not at all Christian, are speaking out against Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians.  And what they are seeing, not only from their politicians and school administrators, but also from many Christian churches, is support for these horrendous actions.

This is not how to witness.  There is nothing Christian about this.

Further, Baldwin commented on the warmonger Lindsey Graham, who decided brining up American’s nuclear bombs on Japan as precedent for all manner of evil. 

I find it incredible that this bloody vampire has been a senator from South Carolina for over 20 years. Why do I say that? Because South Carolina has more evangelical churches and evangelical Christian people per capita than any State in the United States. South Carolina is the home of the flagship evangelical university: Bob Jones University in Greenville. Yet, these evangelical Christians are content and happy to elect and re-elect and re-elect again the most bloodthirsty senator in American history.

Yes, everything Baldwin says about the size of the evangelical population of South Carolina is correct.  But that they continue to elect Graham should be no surprise.  I recall very well what a crowd from South Carolina did when Ron Paul spoke there during a presidential debate in 2012:

Ron Paul is pushing back against critics of his "Golden Rule" in foreign policy and questioned those who booed him at Monday's GOP presidential debate.

"This is why I bring up the "the golden rule" if we don't want people to ban oil imports to our country, why should we do that to another country," said Paul adding "I don't know why that is such a negative term for people to boo that. "

South Carolina booed the Golden Rule.  One of the most evangelical Christian states in the country.

Conclusion

I have lived in and driven through many parts of the Bible belt.  No doubt, churches are as numerous as are Starbucks coffee shops in Manhattan.  But what I have seen of it is a shallow Christianity, and most definitely bought into Scofield, war, military worship, etc. 

At least in the ones that aren’t 100% woke.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Without Talking About It

 

I regularly listen to only a couple of podcasts.  One of these is The Rest is History, hosted by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook.

At the time of my writing this, they are in the middle of a multi-part (at least eight-part) series on Custer’s Last Stand (here is the link to the podcast page; finding the specific podcasts on this topic will be easy enough if you are interested).

Part One was published on May 5.  I do believe they plan their episodes well in advance.  So, perhaps this was planned before October 7, but perhaps it wasn’t.  Seven months in advance seems a long time.

What I have found, while listening to the series, is how clearly, they are offering a parallel narrative to the current situation between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.  They make countless statements in such a way that the connection cannot help but be drawn. 

Now, you might say this is due to their being standard leftists – the white man against the brown man.  But I don’t think that would be a fair description of either of them, at all.  For example, in no way do they idealize the Indians (Native Americans or whatever I am supposed to call them today).  They point out their aggressive and destructive behaviors; they note that they did not live idyllic lives.

Further, if they are doing anything, they paint what happened to the Indians in a light less negative than what is happening to Palestinians today.  They are clear, backed with some evidence, that the military leaders in the US at the time preferred some form of assimilation – although if the Indians didn’t go for that, well then, all bets were off.

In Israel, of course, there is no concept of assimilation.  Just all bets are off.

What the two are doing, whether knowingly or not, is making a very critical statement about what Israel is doing in Gaza.  They never say anything even remotely connecting these two events (albeit, I am only part way through the series; this might change).  It is a story focused solely on the American plains of a century-and-a-half ago, and not at all overtly regarding the Eastern Mediterranean of today.

At least so far, they are talking about it without talking about it.