Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bush and Ahmadinejad - A Tale of Two World Views

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against "Zionist murderers" in a speech to the United Nations on Tuesday and vowed to resist American bullying and defend Iran's right to nuclear power.

"The Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters," he said, referring to Israel.

This was a few short hours after President Bush addressed the United Nations General Assembly. In his address he said, "To be successful, we must be focused and resolute and effective. Instead of only passing resolutions decrying terrorist attacks after they occur, we must cooperate more closely to keep terrorist attacks from happening in the first place. Instead of treating all forms of government as equally tolerable, we must actively challenge the conditions of tyranny and despair that allow terror and extremists to thrive."

Could there be two more different viewpoints? One is being spoken by a man who was involved in the 1979 US Embassy kidnapping in Iran, which resulted in the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The other, is being spoken by a man who, whether for better or worse, has been aggressive against terrorism to the point of alienating himself and the US from other world powers.

Iran and Ahmadinejad are currently in the process of developing a nuclear program, which they say is for energy purposes only. But the world community believes that they are building a nuclear weapons program. Ahmadinejad has many times before stated his desire to see Israel obliterated. In Iran, we can see a fanatical Islamic terrorist who has worked his way into the most powerful position within the government, and is actively seeking a weapon which could do, as Joel Rosenberg says, "in 6 minutes what it took Nazi Germany to do in 6 years - kill 6 million Jews."

In just a few short months, the worlds greatest opponent of terrorism, George W. Bush, will be leaving office. Let me state this clearly: I do not agree with George Bush on everything. In fact, I feel that in many areas, he has failed to live up to expectations. But one thing is sure: he has stood in the face of Islamic terrorism regardless of opinion. So, what does his leaving office mean for the US, Israel, and the rest of the world?

I believe that the result of the coming election will determine that. And I'm not talking about the US election. I'm talking about Israel.

At this time, Tzipi Livni has been named the successor to Ehud Olmert as the leader of the Kadima Party in Israel. She has a short time to build an administration. If she fails, the country will be forced to hold national elections. At this time, it appears that right-wing Likud party leader, and former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu would win that election. If he does (and I believe he will), Israel will strike Iran.

You see, it is built into the mindset of the modern Israeli that under no circumstances can they sit back and wait for the world to annihilate them. For 2,000 years they have said, "It won't happen again." However, they were wrong. When Israel became a nation in 1948, they believed that the world would never again allow for hatred of the Jew to become so powerful that it would call for the extermination of the race. Yet today, that very thing is happening in Iran.

So we wait. Ahmadinejad speaks of hatred, death and destruction. The world economy sits on the edge of total collapse. President Bush prepares to leave office. And Israel selects a new leader.

We can only wonder what will happen next.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"If General McClellan does not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time..."

"McClellan was better at organizing than fighting. He was highly intelligent, but couldn't wage a successful campaign. He always had an excuse for not engaging the enemy: his men were outnumbered (actually, they were not); he needed more troops; and it wasn't a good time or place or season for a battle. Once, Lincoln was so frustrated at McClellan's failure to act that he sent the general a telegram that read, "If General McClellan does not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time, provided I could see how it could be made to do something."

Jesus mentioned the Church just two times during His earthly ministry. He mentioned the Kingdom 100 times. Which do you believe He put greater emphasis on? Let's look at the two mentions of the Church. We will start with the second, more obscure reference found in Matthew 18. This mention is in regards to conflict and discipline within the Church. We see that Jesus realized that interpersonal relationships would become a challenge for the Church.The first mention is the famous discussion that took place at Caeserea Phillipi. Jesus and His followers have just travelled a great distance to this location. It is a great, rock wall with a stream below it. Jesus asks His followers, "Who do the people say I am?" They respond, "Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist or one of the prophets." Jesus replies, "Who do YOU say I am?" Peter responds with his famous confession, "You are Messiah, the Son of the Living God." Jesus then mentions the Church: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."That's it. Just those two mentions. One in reference to conflict, the other in reference to a body or congregation who will advance on the gates of Hades, and will break through those gates.What? - you ask. Where does it say that? "The gates of Hades will not overcome it." We usually look at this from a perspective of the Church defending itself from the Enemy. But gates are defensive in nature. Gates do not advance. Therefore, we can conclude from this passage that Jesus is expecting His Church to be advancing against the Enemy. This goes along with the 100 mentions of the Kingdom. We are to pray, "Thy Kingdom come...on Earth as it is in Heaven." We see Jesus say in Luke 17:21, "...the Kingdom of God is within you."The Church is not the end, but instead is a MEANS to an end. The focus is on advancing the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men. We are to be offensive in nature. We are to be actively on the battlefield, attacking the strongholds of the Enemy. But what are we doing?

The Church is better at organizing than fighting. The Church is highly intelligent, but doesn't usually wage a successful campaign. The Church always has an excuse for not engaging the enemy: we are outnumbered (actually, we're not); we need more troops; and it isn't a good time or place or season for a battle. Could it be that Jesus, the LORD of Hosts, is sending us this messsage? "If the leaders of the Church do not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it for a time."