The Anti-Logic of Being Anti-Islam

The Anti-Logic of Being Anti-Islam
Vol: 59 Issue: 31 Thursday, August 31, 2006

It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing sometimes, especially when doing the right thing can be so risky.

This past week, “Zola Levitt Presents” faced such a confrontation over programming that the TBN network executives deemed to be too ‘anti-Islamic’. Before going on, let’s take apart the phrase ‘anti-Islamic’ and see what it means.

The word ‘anti’ has a number of meanings in the English language: It can mean ‘against’ something, as in ‘anti-American;’ or it can mean ‘in place of’ or ‘counterfeit’ as when applied to the son of perdition – the antichrist.

It has other, specialized meanings, such as ‘attack’ as when used to describe an ‘anti-viral’ drug — a drug which attacks a virus.

It can also be used to describe a movement, such as the historical term ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ — the term applied to the papists of Henry VIII’s day who opposed the disestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church as the state church of England.

(I’ve been a writer a long time. Today’s column provides me with my first opportunity ever to use the longest legitimate word in the English language in a context. I couldn’t resist.)

So, being ‘anti-Islamic’ means to be in opposition to Islam. Or it means to preach Christianity IN PLACE OF ISLAM.

So, for “Zola Levitt Presents” to stand up to TBN’s censorship efforts and tell them to take a hike, as Hal did in January, means that Zola’s ministry now faces the same challenges that we did.

Even more. Hal is still alive and well and able to rebuild with new programming. Zola went home to the Lord, leaving his ministry organization to carry on without his active participation.

“Our television ministry could be facing its own Armageddon of sorts,” wrote Mark Levitt. “TBN committed to continuing our broadcasts only so long as we could furnish new programs that featured Zola. A high-level TBN executive suggested that Jeff’s TV series on Isaiah would be satisfactory thereafter in terms of being neither too pro-Israel nor unduly anti-Arab. TBN, you see, is modifying its programming to be suitable for broadcast in Arab nations. Despite our best efforts to appease their programming directors, our last program on TBN will air on Monday, Aug. 28.”

Nonetheless, when confronted with the choice between submission to politically correct censoring or staying faithful to the truth, Zola’s widow, Sandra, son Mark and the rest of Zola’s organization did not back down. And now TBN has another open time slot and Zola’s organization is out the door.

Please pray with me that God will heap abundant blessings on Sandra, Mark and on Zola’s ministry team for maintaining the courage of their convictions and risking it all in order to stand up for His Word.

Now, to return to the charge of being ‘anti-Islamic.’ As we’ve seen, to be ‘anti’ means to ‘oppose’ something.

In the context in which TBN uses the phrase, putting the perfectly legitimate words ‘anti’ and ‘Islam’ together form a nonsense word.

As a Christian, I am pro-Christ. By definition, that puts me in opposition to any religious worldview that is NOT pro-Christ. But I’ve never been accused of being ‘anti-Hindu’ or ‘anti-animist’ or ‘anti-Judaism’ or ‘anti-Jainsim’ or whatever other non-Christian faith might be out there.

And since I haven’t, allow me to be my own first accuser. I am anti-whatever faith that leads away from Jesus, including those listed above and any others I can’t think of off-hand. The day that becomes a false accusation, I have perverted my calling and pray to be recalled to the Factory before I can do any damage to the Cause of Christ.

Things that are different are NOT the same. One cannot be pro-Christ without being ‘anti’ non-Christian, unless, somehow, things that are different can become the same thing.

If salvation comes through faith in Christ alone, then anyone who preaches that central truth is (by any honest interpretation of the word ‘anti’) AUTOMATICALLY anti any other religious system. Being a Christian REQUIRES one to be anti-Islamic. And anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, anti-whatever.

TBN is supposed to be a Christian broadcasting network that claims its reason for existing is to spread the Gospel, which, if their efforts are successful, creates anti-other religious worldviews every single time a viewer surrenders to Jesus.

If TBN is pro-Islam, then it cannot be pro-Christ. If TBN censors a program for being too anti-Islam, then what is it demanding instead? Less pro-Christ?

Jesus Christ is not, and never was, an example of religous tolerance. Jesus did NOT tolerate the religous perversions of His day, instead calling its purveyors ‘vipers’ and ‘hypocrites’ likening them to ‘whited sepulchres’ (tombs) filled with dead men’s bones.

According to Jesus Christ Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:16)

So, somebody help me out here. If the door to salvation is through Jesus Christ and no other, can one be pro-Islam and still be preaching the Christian message?

Assessment:

The phrase ‘anti-Islam’ as it is used by TBN evidently means telling the truth about Islamic teachings. I’ve never heard either Hal Lindsey OR Zola Levitt say anything negative about the teachings of Islam. The negativity comes from the teachings themselves.

If one quotes the Koran and the listener finds something negative in it, who is at fault? The Koran? Or the person reading the words printed in it? It is a classic case of shooting the messenger. The message is the same no matter who brings it.

Does Islam teach that the only way to salvation is Christ? It does not. That is a matter of fact. To teach otherwise would be anti-Islamic, since it would not accurately reflect Islam.

To teach that Islam is a legitimate alternative to Christianity would be anti-Christian, since it would water down the truth of the Gospel — indeed, it would totally pervert the Gospel.

Islam teaches that Jesus Christ did NOT die on the Cross. Instead, it teaches that somebody else died in His place and that He went on to live and die like everybody else. That not only means that there is no atonement for sins, but that He was a fraud. And the faith He founded is based on a lie.

Faced with such a monstrous blasphemy, how can any Christian NOT be ‘anti-Islam’? How could a supposedly ‘Christian’ network censor that truth? TBN argues that telling the truth alienates Muslims from being receptive to the Gospel.

I am still trying to figure that one out. If Islam is as legitimate as Christianity, then why would any Muslim want to convert in the first place? If they are the same, then what is the point? It turns logic on its head.

I didn’t want to discuss this at all, because I don’t want to marginalize the truth by opening myself up to charges that I am just exercising bitterness against TBN for forcing us to pack up, pull out and start over.

But Zola Levitt’s ministry is at a particularly vulnerable place without Zola, and it is my duty as a Christian to stand with them. I cannot do otherwise.

I also didn’t want to write this column because I don’t like to slam other ministries or to be responsible for causing division within the Body of Christ. If TBN is responsible for leading people to Christ, then it becomes my duty to help them where I can and to pray for their continued success.

I am not God, so I cannot judge their effectiveness. If, in all their years of broadcasting, they brought just one soul to Jesus, the Bible says that one soul is worth the whole world.

But I can judge what is true. God gave me His Word to use as the standard against which to measure the truth. And logic dictates that one cannot stand for the truth by concealing a lie.

If Jesus is the only way to heaven, then Islam can only lead to hell. Concealing that truth doesn’t lead to Christ. It leads exactly in the opposite direction.

Things that are different are NOT the same. And there are only two sides a Christian can take. One side leads to Christ and eternal salvation. Every other position does not.

Censoring the truth about Islam is NOT different than censoring the truth about Christ. It IS the same thing from a different direction.

A ministry that censors Jesus is no longer preaching Christ and Him crucified. No matter how big it is. No matter how many lawyers it has. No matter how glib their explanations are. There is only one truth. It isn’t about what Islam IS. It is about what Islam is NOT. It is not the truth. It is not the life. It will lead no man to the Father. Either Jesus is a liar, or those who say differently are.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Hal Lindsey didn’t say it. Jack Kinsella didn’t say it. Zola Levitt didn’t say it. JESUS said it.

Hal and Zola simply spread the message as Jesus delivered it. It isn’t Hal’s or Zola’s (or my) fault that the message is anti-Islamic.

We are just the messengers. I will leave it to you to decide why TBN decided to shoot us all for delivering it as received.

I also leave it to you to decide what message TBN has decided to spread by in its place and why. And who among TBN’s ministry programming might be next. Which begs yet another question. If nobody IS next, then WHY not? (Boy, that’s a whole ‘nuther can of worms.)

I know that Zola is proud of Sandra, Mark and his team for not compromising the truth in order to keep their market share with TBN.

And so am I.

The Mail Bag: How to be Offensive Without Even Trying

The Mail Bag: How to be Offensive Without Even Trying
Vol: 59 Issue: 30 Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I’ve been overwhelmed at the responses I’ve received from two columns published in this past week, dealing with two entirely different and diametrically opposite subjects. I’ve tried responding individually, but there have just been too many and any adequate response would take up half a column’s worth to do them justice.

So I will attempt to answer the overall points raised here. My apologies to those to whom I wasn’t able to answer personally. Understand that I read them all, but the way email comes in, by the time I finish reading one batch, a whole new batch comes in and by the time I wade through those, the ones I intended to get back to have scrolled down, until soon, it becomes a job in itself just to find the ones I was looking for.

I’ve tried all kinds of workarounds, but even somehow finding more hours in a day would not be enough. Everybody hits a saturation point — I am no exception. Once that point is reached, whatever I say after that is either gibberish or begins to reflect the overall tone of all the mail, rather than just the individual email at hand.

If the general gist is kind of annoying, as was the case in one of the columns in question, ALL the replies tend to reflect it. If the questions are all sort of the same, I find myself beginning to miss the individual nuances necessary for each reply. The only other option is for there to either be more of me or to have somebody else answer the mail. Neither is viable.

Consequently, almost everybody gets offended.

I titled this column, ‘How To Be Offensive Without Even Trying’ because offering offense to individuals is the LAST thing I intend to do.

Offense is a funny thing. For a person to be offended takes a conscious act on their part. First, they must assume that there is an offense being offered. Secondly, they must assume that offense is intentional.

And finally, having made the first two assumptions, they must then take up the offense and hold it to themselves while demanding satisfaction. People must FIND offense, as in, “I found your last column to be offensive.” Then, having found it, they must embrace that offense, it cannot be forced on them from the outside.

That is why the word ‘offense’ is preceded by the verb ‘take’ by the offendee. I was deluged by emails from folks who took offense at my column about the United Nations, titled, “Prozac and Extra-Thick Tin Foil Hats.”

And from some rather surprising quarters. I got emails from pastors that TOOK offense on behalf of people who take Prozac.

Wrote one reader from Michigan; “Would Jesus do this? He delivered the man in the garden of Gederene, he didn’t criticise or run away from him. . . . I found your reference to those that are mentally ill extremely offensive.”

(Allow me to point out that, even if I COULD ‘deliver’ someone, this still doesn’t make much sense in context offered here. I wasn’t referring to any individual, from Gederene, or anywhere else.)

A nurse wrote, “I take offense at the way you are throwing around words like ‘someone coming off their meds’ etc…. “just how nuts the person is’ …. etc. I find this is ignorant and unChrist-like. please consider pulling this article immediately.”

Still a third, sent by the director of a mental health clinic, complained, ” I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing humorous about their situations and their need for this medication of which you refer to as a “happy pill”. I was highly offended and hurt by this article. I can’t imagine how someone taking this medication must feel. . . . As you know, Jesus loves these people just as much as He does you and I.”

Heavens to Betsy!

I had absolutely no intention of offering offense to those people taking Prozac. And I am not certain how I could make the point that I was trying to make, that is, that the UN is operating as if it existed in an altered state of reality without using SOME example of an altered state of reality.

I suppose I could have said UN diplomats act as if they were all on crack, but then I guess I might be offering offense to crack smokers.

(What do you bet that using THAT example will engender more emails complaining that I am comparing the mentally ill to crack smokers? I am not. Altered states of reality are states of reality that have been altered. WHY they are altered is irrelevant. And reality is outside of my control)

If somebody WANTS to take offense, they will be able to. But that is the key. “Taking” offense. Take another look at the exact quotes above.

They ‘found’ it offensive, they ‘take’ offense at . . . therefore, I was ‘unChristlike’, ‘ignorant’ ‘hurtful’ etc., etc. (I guess I could have ‘taken’ offense at those personal characterizations, but I chose not to.)

How it can be possible that a column about the crazy way (According to the web dictionary, “crazy” as used in the context of my column means: foolish; totally unsound; “a crazy scheme”; “half-baked ideas”; “a screwball proposal without a prayer of working”) that the United Nations operates can be interpreted as offering offense against the mentally ill escapes me.

Even offering assurances that I had no intention of offending people on Prozac sounds a bit, well, nuts to me. (There I go again.) OF COURSE I had no intention of offending people on Prozac. I was trying to make a point about the UN.

It is safe to assume, if it turned out that Donald Rumsfeld were taking Prozac while directing the conduct of the Iraq War, that there would be immediate calls for his resignation as unfit to make judgments affecting the conduct of nations at war.

Would that be an intentional offense against the mentally ill? Only if someone WANTED it to be. The ones shouting for Rummy’s resignation would not be interesting in offending the mentally ill — they would be interested in removing Rumsfeld in favor of someone better equipped to do the job. (And I would be among them.)

Having to explain WHY would seem kind of, ummm, well, you know, crazy. No offense intended. One prefers someone of sound mind to make life and death decisions for obvious reasons. That is not a slam aimed at the mentally ill.

The purpose was to make a point about the United Nations acting in an unsound and unbalanced manner.

(I once used the phrase, “as serious as cancer” to illustrate the seriousness of a UN decision, but I was not deluged by emails complaining I was making fun of cancer patients. I don’t really know why not. Just as I don’t really know why I ignited such a protest in the Prozac article)

One could argue (and probably accurately) that I am insensitive. But in the interest of full disclosure, I am narcoleptic and dependent on medication to help keep my narcolepsy in balance. Without it, sleep deprivation alters my sense of reality to the degree that I am incapable of making sound decisions.

And before the doctors figured out the cause, I was diagnosed with everything from bi-polar disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and was prescribed with all kinds of psychiatric drugs.

I never took offense to the fact the world was much better off without my wearing a badge and carrying a gun, given the circumstances. (Nobody even had to tell me that was a bad idea. I figured it out for myself.)

In any case, allow me to offer my apologies to those who took up an offense where none was intended. I recognize that apology sounds insincere, but I can’t figure out how to offer an sincere apology on behalf of those who CHOSE to find an offense.

I can only repeat that it was not my intention to offer it.

“Wax On. . . Wax Off. . .”

Now, to change gears abruptly, to those many readers who wrote regarding the column, “The Gifts and Calling of God Are Without Repentance.”

Many of you wrote me, as I asked, to let me know that you heard that call. Many, many of you. I tried to answer you individually, but once again, was overwhelmed by the volume and soon fell hopelessly behind.

The main gist of the questions revolved around HOW one goes about answering the call, or how one knows that they were called in the first place? I confess I don’t know the right answer, but I think you can find your own answer in your question.

The majority of those in the first category are, as I read it, screening their calls until they get the one they like best. Several said they felt they were called to start a church. Some of you are. Some of you are called to something a bit less glamorous, but no less important to God’s Overall Plan.

(When I answered the call, it was to be a janitor. The rest was up to God.)

Some of you might remember the movie, “The Karate Kid.” The main character wanted to learn martial arts from Mr. Miyagi. The first thing Mr. Miyagi did was have the Kid wax his cars. Remember the line? “Wax on, wax off.” The Kid didn’t know that by waxing the car, he was learning basic skills necessary before he could advance to the next level. The master had accepted him, but the student wanted to start at the top.

The process actually began when the Kid was willing to start. That is the first step. The same applies accepting the call of God to service. There are many ways to serve the Kingdom, but it depends on whether one is prepared to humble oneself. A servant is not a master (unless one aspires to be in government ‘civil service. Kofi Annan is a civil ‘servant’).

The genuine servant doesn’t decide HOW to serve the Master. The Master decides what service He requires and the servant complies.

“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1st Corinthians 12:11-13)

Do you see what Paul is teaching here? God has gifted us all with certain gifts useful to the overall Body of Christ. And He calls us to serve in the capacity we are gifted for.

“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.” (1st Corinthians 12:14-18)

One doesn’t seek God’s calling — one answers the call. “Here I am, Lord, use me.” God calls each of us to serve. The most important mission given a Christian is to seek and to save that which is lost by presenting the Gospel.

By being ready, in season and out of season, fully prepared to give reason for the hope that is in you. That is the starting point. (“Wax on. Wax off.”) Most of us are gifted with the ability to help. (12 Corinthians 12:28) Many of you exercise that gift by helping to support ministries you believe are effective tools in the Lord’s Hands. If nobody exercised that gift, there would be no ministries.

If God has called you in that respect, then you can tell, because God also provided you with the resources to do so. If not, then maybe that isn’t what you were called to do. The gift of ‘helps’ isn’t exclusively financial.

What resources has the Lord provided you for His service? Think it through.

Somebody has to sweep the floor of the church. Somebody has to cut the grass. Somebody has to run the bus ministry that brings people to the church. Somebody has to play the organ. Somebody else has to lead the singing. Somebody has to serve as an usher.

What you want to do is not always what God has gifted you for. Take inventory of your God-given resources.

If ALL were pastors, who would be in the pews? “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables.” (Acts 6:2)

In our ministry, for example, we benefit from the help of computer programmers that help maintain the ‘grounds’ of our ‘church’.

From those who help out by maintaining the website, submitting news stories and commentaries that draw readers, with the end result being that someone thus drawn, might come to Christ or be inspired by what they find here to lead others to Christ.

Our forums are filled with members who answer God’s call just by being there, where God wants them, at just the right time to help another member who is hurting, confused, or simply looking for answers.

All are servants answering God’s call. Many aren’t even aware of it. Some will never know just how critical their contribution was on this side of heaven. But God does.

“But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. . . . And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. ” Matthew 19:30, Luke 13:30)

Then there is Matthew 20:16: “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” What does Jesus mean when He says, ‘Many be called, but few chosen?”

One doesn’t choose a pastor to serve the kingdom by cutting the grass. One chooses a guy with a lawn mower. After that, it is up to the guy with the lawn mower to either answer the call, or screen his calls until he gets the one he wants.

That’s what it means to ‘miss one’s calling.’ Many are called. But few are chosen for the call they are expecting to get.

The call I answered was to sweep up and make coffee. “Wax on. . . Wax off. . . “

I hope I haven’t offended anybody.

The Guy Who Disproved the Scriptures

The Guy Who Disproved the Scriptures
Vol: 59 Issue: 29 Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Scriptures say, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

The Bible is under attack in this generation unlike any generation in history. The entire American school system is dedicated to eliminating the superstitious notion that God created the earth and replacing it with the godless theory of evolution.

Even though evolution is a THEORY. And, because it IS a theory, the ‘facts’ change with each new ‘discovery’.

The Christian is at an extreme disadvantage when discussing the truth of Scripture with a skeptic. The Christian has the Bible as his only source of information, and is bound to follow its teachings. The skeptic, however, is under no such restrictions. While the Christian is bound to ‘thus saith the Lord’ the skeptic counters with ‘thus saith everybody’.

‘Everybody knows’ is one of the most difficult argument to overcome, since ‘everybody’ cannot be cited, whereas we are bound by Scripture, chapter and verse.

In short, the Christian is bound by rules, the skeptic gets to make them up as he goes along. It is for this reason, more than any other, that gives rise to the assertion that the Bible is a ‘difficult book’. Bible ‘difficulties’ like, ‘who did Cain marry?’ have left many a Christian speechless before his adversary.

The skeptic loves to cite ‘contradictions’ contained in the Bible, especially since Christians teach that the Bible interprets itself and that God’s Word never contradicts itself. ‘Who did Cain marry?’ is but a single example.

The critic generally falls back on one of a number major assumptions, all of which sound logical until you take a closer look.

The first mistake is assuming the unexplained is unexplainable. That this is a mistake is self-evident. The skeptic is more than confident that science will continue to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Science has mapped the human genome — it is only a matter of time before man will successfully clone a human being.

But where the Bible is concerned, unless and until we find an autographed picture of King David of Israel in a cave somewhere, the skeptic will argue David never really existed.

The second mistake made by the skeptic is assuming the Bible ‘guilty til proved innocent’ — that is, unless a Scripture can be exonerated by archeological or other supporting evidence, it is not true.

Skeptics long claimed Pontius Pilate never existed, so the Passion story is untrue. Until a plaque bearing Pilate’s name dedicating an arena to the Roman procurate was uncovered near Ceasarea Phillipi in 1965.

Another mistake is failing to understand a passage in context. Perhaps the most common mistake is when a critic carelessly rips an isolated passage out of its proper context.

Or, they interpreted it in a way that the author never intended. Taken out of context, one can use the Bible to prove almost anything. (We see that done by certain preachers on TV all the time)

A skeptic can do the same thing to DISprove almost anything. As the wise man said, a text without context is a pretext for error.

Another error is assuming that if two accounts differ, it means that they are mutually exclusive or contradictory.

“And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.” (1 Kings 4:26)

“And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.” (2Chronicles 9:25)

Is this an error? The word ‘stalls’ has two meanings. In one instance, it refers to the place where a horse is kept. On the other hand, the teams of horses that pulled Israeli chariots were also called ‘stalls’.

A Hebrew chariot was drawn by ten horses. Forty thousand ‘stalls’ would be necessary to house enough horses to pull four thousand Hebrew chariots.

Another mistake is to assume that the Bible approves of all it records. Solomon was a polygamist, but that doesn’t mean that God approved of the practice. God didn’t approve of Israel having kings, either.

Another common assumption is that God wrote the Bible, without noting that He used human authors. It is a human book, written by human authors, using human literary devices. Every word is divinely inspired, but every word was written down on paper by a human being.

Consequently, James had a different writing style, used different examples and imagery than did Paul. James says ‘faith without works is dead’ whereas Paul writes, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

A contradiction? No. James preached to the Hebrew Israelites who had tremendous faith in their laws and religion. Paul preached to the Gentiles who until then, had no living God to have faith in.

Who was Cain’s wife? The Bible doesn’t say. Did he marry his sister? Probably not. Undoubtedly, Cain married a relative of some sort, maybe a distant cousin, or possibly a niece. Adam lived for 930 years, and Genesis says that he had many other children.

When a man and women live to be 100 years old, there can be as many as 4 or 5 generations existing within their family. If we do the math, by the time Adam died, multiplying 4 generations for the first 100 years, assuming that 5 children would be produced by each couple, by Adam’s death, there would be a population of over 7,812,500 people on earth.

In fact, by the time Adam was 500 years old, the earth would have had a population of over 250,000. Maybe more. This model assumes five children per family. But people lived hundreds of years and there was no birth control.

Most importantly, it should be noted that the Bible never said when Cain took a wife. But as pointed out from mathematics, by the end of the second century of Adam’s life, Cain would have had thousands of choices.

The Bible is true. We can have confidence in its teaching and its promises. The skeptics are always there, nipping away at the edges, but consider this. The Bible has been under more or less constant attack by the smartest guys in every generation since it was compiled.

Think about this. If a single thing in Scripture were conclusively disproved, a named person who didn’t exist, a place that never was, an event that didn’t take place, then the Word of God is broken.

Of all the thinkers and philosophers who have lived during the last two thousand years, not one has been able to claim the title of the man who proved the Bible wrong. Because it isn’t.

“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” (Ephesians 3:12)

Note:

This morning, I will be joining Hal on the set of his television program, “The Hal Lindsey Report”. It should be interesting. (Pray that the cameras don’t break.) I’ll report on the experience later today in the Road Tour Forum.

I’ve not posted a Road Tour Journal entry since Saturday, either. My apologies. I’ll catch you up on the details later today. – Jack

Special Report: The Gifts and Calling of God Are Without Repentance

Special Report: The Gifts and Calling of God Are Without Repentance
Vol: 59 Issue: 28 Monday, August 28, 2006

Today’s Omega Letter is a bit off the beaten path from our usual course of discussion. I pray that you will bear with me. Its purpose is to encourage those of you that, like me, have heard the call of the Lord on their lives, but don’t believe they are worthy of answering it.

I didn’t want to write this particular message. But there is somebody out there that God intends to hear it. So, listen up!

Last Thursday, Hal asked me to give my testimony at his Bible study. It occurred to me that I don’t do that very often. I avoid it whenever possible. Moreover, I have never offered my own testimony before our Omega Letter fellowship.

The reason, from my perspective, is simple. I don’t like to talk about myself. But I’ve since come to see that as an excuse my testimony is not supposed to be about me, but about what Jesus has done in my life.

I am not worthy of being a minister of the Most High God. I know it. So does Jesus Christ. I went to Him with this argument some years back. He reminded me that I was not the first.

I am not Moses, and don’t put myself anywhere near that category, but Moses said he wasn’t worthy. Moses reminded God of what a poor speaker he was. He had other excuses, too. Just like me. (Just like you.)

Isaiah argued that he was not fit to speak the Word of the Lord, saying, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, (Isaiah 6:5)

I am not Isaiah, either, but I can make that same argument.

Paul went to the Lord three times to protest his calling, complaining of a thorn in his flesh that rendered him unworthy, asking the Lord to take care of that problem (whatever it was) so that he could be a worthy messenger of God’s grace.

For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

I am not Paul, either. But, like Moses, I don’t see myself as a great speaker, like Isaiah, I realize that I am a man of unclean lips, and like Paul, I know my own ego too well and live in fear I will forget I am just the donkey upon whom the Message is carried. I know who I really am inside, just as He does.

But the Lord’s reply to Paul is exactly the reply He gave me when I made the same protests:

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

Well, weakness is something I have in abundance. . . I am hardly your typical Holy Joe. If you knew me like I do, your reaction would be more like, Holy cow! Nonetheless, here is my testimony:

I was born into an Irish Catholic family. We were your typical Irish-Catholics. Dad would give us a quarter for the collection plate when he dropped us off in front of St. Michael’s Church, although Dad never darkened the door unless somebody was getting married or buried.

My Dad was something special I never realized how special until after I myself become a man by which time, it was too late to tell him. (He died while I was in the Marines I only saw him a couple of times in the last few years of his life.)

There was much bad blood between us. He died never knowing how much I had come to admire and respect him. It is among the greatest regrets of my life.

Dad didn’t have a lot of experience with kids and family. He was orphaned young, spent time in an orphanage, before escaping at a tender age and becoming a Depression-era hobo. He ‘rode the rails’, living in hobo jungles for much of the 1930’s. In 1939, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Regiment and shipped out for England.

He and my mother were married in May, 1940, during the Blitz, and soon after, she emigrated to Canada and Dad went off to war. Dad fought in the first Dieppe Raid in 1940, fought in North Africa, was wounded in Sicily, participated in the Normandy Landing on June 6, 1994, fought his way across France and was among the troops that liberated the Nazi death camps at Dachau.

My parents were married for six years before they spent more than two weeks together. When Dad returned home to Canada in 1946, he had never seen his house. When he entered it, he was 27 years old and it was the first home he had ever known.

I was born seven years after the war. Dad didn’t talk about his wartime experiences much, but I remember he suffered greatly from insomnia. I never gave the reasons why much thought. Being a kid, it was just how Dad was.

Only once in a great while would he ever mention anything about the war, and then it was usually in vague and general terms. Much of what I’ve pieced together about him comes from memories of those brief comments.

My father worshiped my mother. When she died of cancer in 1963, she was just forty years old. They had been married almost 23 years, but the war robbed them of the first six. When she died seventeen years later, so did the best part of my Dad (or so I thought in the arrogance of youth). But one thing was certain. Without her, he was a man without direction.

I never knew if Dad came to Christ. It is my prayer that he did while in combat. I cling to the old saying; there are no atheists in foxholes.

Growing up in the Sixties, I adopted the ‘never trust anybody over thirty’ slogan. When I left home at age 14, I was propelled out the door by the toe of his boot. I saw him only a couple of times from then until I turned 17 and needed his signature to join the Marine Corps.

I barely knew the man he really was, and like most kids, I blamed him for everything. I never finished high school in fact, I never finished the 9th grade. (I didn’t even get my GED until I was 24)

When I got out of the Marines, it was as a medical retiree. According to the VA, I was among those vets who contracted soft tissue sarcoma from exposure to Dioxin (Agent Orange).

(My greatest exposure most likely came when I was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina. For part of my tour in the Corps, I was in supply and logistics, and I used to sit on a 55 gallon drum of the stuff to eat my lunch).

But all it meant to me was at 23, and with two kids, was that I had cancer and was expected to die, (although I knew that I wouldn’t, somehow. The Lord had different plans for me. I always knew that, deep in my heart, even before I was saved.)

At about this time, my older sister read a book that caused her to leave the Catholic Church and become a ‘born again’ Christian. That book was Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.

I made it my mission in life to reprogram her back to being a ‘good Catholic’ (meaning going to Mass every year at Easter, whether one needed to or not.)

So I grabbed Hal’s book and set out to show her where he (and she) had gone wrong.

Instead, I came to believe the Bible was true. One day, I went to my sister’s church and heard the altar call. I didn’t come forward, but the pastor’s words rang in my ears all that night.

I awoke in the middle of the night and my bedroom was deathly cold. I could see my breath in the room. There was some kind of malevolence in the room with me I wasn’t terrified, so much as I was gripped with a sense of unspeakable horror.

I put my new pocket New Testament given me earlier that day by the pastor under my pillow and finally went back to sleep.

It was the first (but not the last) time Satan overplayed his hand in my life, revealing more than he intended. The next morning, realizing from the experience the night before that Satan was real, I reached the obvious logical conclusion. If Satan was real, so was Jesus. I knew which side I wanted to be on and it wasn’t Satan’s.

I asked Jesus to save me that same morning and instantly knew that my prayer had been answered. I also knew at that instant that Jesus had a plan for my life. I had received the call to ministry, but I didn’t want any part of it. Being saved was one thing. Being a Holy Joe was something different.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t learn enough about Jesus. I recall locking myself away in my younger sister’s root cellar with a lantern and a stack of commentaries, which I devoured like a starving man.

But still, I resisted the call. I even moved away to Texas, (thinking I wouldn’t hear it there).

I resisted for more than ten years, rebelling openly, living my life like a heathen, in the process, destroying my marriage and many friendships. I barreled through life like a tornado, damaging everybody who got near enough to be sucked into the vortex.

When I left law enforcement ten years later, I did so as a broken man both physically and spiritually and went home to the bosom of my family in Canada to lick my wounds.

A friend set me up with a blind date with the woman who later would become my wife. God sent Gayle to me to straighten me out, although I thought at the time the situation was exactly the reverse.

Gayle was also a Catholic, and we fought some battles royal over salvation by grace vs. salvation by RCC dogma, but, praise God, Gayle also came to know Jesus as her own, personal Savior and gave herself to Him.

Meanwhile, my call to His service grew louder and louder, but still, I resisted. I was a man of unclean lips with enough thorns in my flesh to do a passable impression of a porcupine.

When I came home, all I knew was law enforcement, so I applied for work as a federal Customs officer. I went through a battery of pre-employment screening tests.

The first series had 1500 applicants, the second, the top 500, and so on, until we got to the top 25 of the original group. I scored 7th on that final list. (Two years later, I still hadn’t heard a word from them.)

I don’t recall the details, but I was offered a job by a ministry in Niagara Falls by Peter Lalonde. I think I saw their new program, This Week in Bible Prophecy and contacted them first, but I don’t really remember. What I do remember was that I committed to the job before we even discussed a salary. (When we did, it was minimum wage and the offer was as a janitor.)

It was hardly what I had in mind, but it was, after a fashion, full-time ministry. Before taking it, I had had the most intense session of prayer I’ve ever experienced before or since, literally wrestling with God about it in my bedroom for an entire day and night. I neither ate nor slept for twenty hours or more. (I didn’t even go to the bathroom)

I finally agreed with God that I would answer whatever call He gave me, and I would go where He sent me and trust Him for provision. I called Peter and accepted the minimum wage janitor’s job. No sooner had I hung up the phone than it rang again.

On the other end was a nice lady representing Canada Customs, informing me that I was to report to the Kingston Royal Canadian Mounted Police College for training with the Customs Intelligence Unit. I stunned myself by turning it down, saying I’d taken another job.

I’ll never forget her response; No, no, you don’t understand. This is Canada Customs calling.

She even gave me 24 hours to rethink it before going to the next guy on the list. That prompted a whole new battle with God in my bedroom, but I knew I had lost that one before I even started. When she called again, I turned it down again, although I could hardly believe what I was saying, even as I said it.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Peter was looking for a writer to help take on the load of writing the TV program, since he also wrote everything else plus ran the rest of the ministry, which had some dozen or so employees. A week after I started, he offered me the chance to write one segment.

Within a month, I was writing the whole script. Peter offered me a chance to write a TWIBP Special Report about Bible prophecy, which we called Front Row Seats. It was very successful, and I was soon the ministry’s head writer. I turned out dozens of such specials, plus the weekly scripts.

A few years later, Peter changed direction from direct ministry to producing Christian-themed movies, eventually even producing the wildly successful ‘Left Behind’ series as ‘Cloud Ten Productions’.

But God didn’t call me to make movies. He called me to ministry, so I resigned.

That same week, I got a phone call from Cliff Ford, who at the time, worked for Hal Lindsey, asking me if I would consider coming out to work with Hal in California. (I had met Hal Lindsey a couple of times at prophecy conferences where I interviewed him for the TWIBP program.)

I went out there for a few months to get to know Hal. Hal and I continue to this day to be amazed at how good a fit it was for both of us. We’ve been together for fifteen years now. It has been a deeply satisfying assignment, and a blessing beyond description.

From a kid that didn’t finish high school, God brought me full circle to fellowship with the man who, through his book, first led me to Christ. Moreover, God blessed me by having Hal disciple me, putting me through a course of study that Hal says I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else, including Hal’s alma mater, Dallas Theological Seminary.

After ten years of study under Hal’s tutelage, Hal testified at my ordination, that I was as well -schooled and spiritually gifted as any ministry candidate he had ever known.

(Please understand, I am not saying that in a prideful way, but rather as my testimony of what Jesus has done in my life. I have no more cause to take pride in it than I do to take pride in having a full head of hair. A gift is a gift. The glory goes to the One Who bestowed the spiritual gift, not its recipient.)

I am a most reluctant minister. I don’t like crowds. And I am very uncomfortable in the limelight, much preferring my role as a teacher and facilitator, rather than that of the guy up front.

I started the Omega Letter ministry, (with Hal’s blessing and encouragement) in part, because I could do it from seclusion in my attic.

That is what I’ve most enjoyed about working with Hal. He never pushed me, never insisted that I come out to California for any extended period, (other than for training purposes) and allowed me to work with him from the seclusion in my attic via the internet for most of the past fifteen years.

About a year ago, I got another call that changed our lives as we knew them. Gayle and I were driving from North Carolina up to Canada. I do a lot of praying when I am driving on long trips. This trip was no exception, but the calling startled me.

I turned to Gayle and said, I think God is calling me to sell our house, buy an RV and go off on some mission for Him. Doesn’t that sound nuts?

Gayle said to me, It sure does. I’ve been getting the exact same calling. I thought I was losing it I was afraid to say anything. Thank God that you brought it up first.

So, on Good Friday of 2006, we put our house up for sale. The first and only showing was on Easter Sunday. The couple who toured the house put in an offer 27 days later. We accepted it on faith, and the deal closed on July 14.

We followed our leading, and God has provided, exactly as He promised He would, way back on that day in 1989 when the nice lady from Canada Customs gave me twenty-four hours to think things over.

Things haven’t been easy this last few months if they had, I would have questioned my calling. Particularly since we set out on our ‘road tour’ for want of a better name to describe it.

We’ve had our share of bumps and bruises, but I write them off to enemy interference with the mission. (As we accepted this latest calling, I learned from a routine blood test that a blood transfusion from a 1991 gall bladder operation infected me with the deadly Hepatitus C virus.)

I don’t know what God has in mind, but the enemy doesn’t much like it. That’s good enough for me.

As I’ve noted in the past, my voice and God’s Voice sound EXACTLY alike in my head. But I’ve learned to tell the difference. (When it is MY voice, I like what it is telling me to do. )

I don’t know where He will lead us next, or even what our mission actually is, at the moment. But I trust Jesus. He knows what He is doing.

And to you, whoever God is speaking to right now about your own calling, let me say this. He STILL knows what He is doing.

Of COURSE, you aren’t worthy! That’s why He is calling YOU. To demonstrate His strength through your weakness. That’s why He is God, (and you are not.)

The time is too short. There is too much to do. Don’t waste as much time as I did. Know that the call is irresistible. The harder you resist, the louder it becomes. And the more painful your rebellion against Him will get.

The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. He isn’t going to change His mind. You need to change yours.

Do yourself a favor and don’t fight Him on it. Trust Him and He will make the way clear.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalms 23)

To that one whom the Lord is calling right now, I know that this message is specifically for you. So do you. The sting of my tears as I pen these words is all the confirmation I need. Write me and let me know that you heard it.

And may Our God richly bless us all as we continue in our service to Him. Until He comes.

Amen.

Special Report: Esau, Hamas, and the Last Days

Special Report: Esau, Hamas, and the Last Days
Vol: 59 Issue: 26 Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament at only 21 verses. But Obadiah’s theme could have been lifted directly from the pages of the Jerusalem Post.

It is all about the abuse of God’s people, God’s land, and God’s Holy Hill, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The villain, the guilty party, will end up devastated. Obadiah identifies the guilty party as Israel’s twin brother Esau (Edom), and his physical and spiritual descendants.

Obadiah accuses Edom of “violence against your brother Jacob.” (v 10) This is not an isolated incident of violence, but systematic, repetitive, unrelenting violence.

The Book of Obadiah reads as a formal indictment against Edom and their allies. One of the first things to examine in prophecy is the time frame in which it applies. Some prophecies were given for the near-term, others are for the long term. In Obadiah’s case, it is both.

Or, put another way, Obadiah looks at Edom from beginning to end in a glance. The abuses accumulate throughout history, and end with the establishment of God’s rule on earth. It is a broad chronological perspective ranging from the Destruction of the First Temple to the end of days.

Visions that prophets were given are not always restricted to a thin slice of time. Some encompass a very long period of time, as is the case in the Messianic prophecies.

Some were fulfilled at Jesus’ First Advent, others will be fulfilled in His Second. Some verses contain prophecies that address both Advents in the same verse.

Who is Edom today? I believe the Bible answers that question. The ancient Edomites were the descendants of Edom, or Esau. The area known as Edom eventually became known as Idumea.

King Herod was an Idumean, or Edomite, puppet king who was installed by the Romans. Edom — or Idumea, bordered what is today the West Bank.

Genesis 25 tells the story of Esau trading his birthright, as Isaac’s eldest son, to Jacob, his younger twin brother.

In Genesis 25:30 God renamed Esau to Edom: “And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.”

Ezekiel picks up where Obadiah leaves off, identifying the modern Edomites in Ezekiel 36:5.

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of soul, to drive it out for a prey.” (NASB)

Obadiah further illuminates Edom’s identity in his indictment, delivering four ‘you should not haves’.

Verse 14 says, “Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.”

When, during a deadly time in Jewish history, a time of death and destruction, did the Palestinians serve as accomplices of the agents of death by not allowing Jews to come to their place of refuge?

A better question would be, when didn’t they? Edom has much to answer for. But there is a specific historical point that eclipses all others.

The Arab riots of the late 1930’s forced the British to restrict Jewish immigration to their ancestral homeland during the Holocaust. Had it not been for Arab rioting and violence, the British would not have enacted those policies. Therefore, Edom was responsible for “killing those who tried to escape.”

The Nazis were the hatchet men, but the Palestinians were accessories and accomplices. Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the Nazi era, played a major role in the Holocaust.

al-Husseini lived in Berlin during the war years. He worked closely with Hitler to help achieve the Nazi Final Solution to the Jewish Question. He even personally recruited Bosnian Muslims who formed a whole division of the Nazi Waffen SS.

While Jewish immigration was tightly restricted during the Nazi era, Arabs were under no immigration limits. Arabs flooded into the Holy Land to help the British keep out the Jews.

Obadiah notes in his indictment:

“Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;” (v 13)

Let’s tick off the charges in Obadiah’s indictment and see if there is any validity to identifying ‘Edom’ with the Palestinian Arabs of the last days.

Verse 10 indicts Edom of violence against ‘thy brother, Jacob’. Jacob’s descendents are modern Israel.

Verse 12 indicts Edom for celebrating Israel’s catastrophes; “Neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.”

Compare that verse to images of chanting crowds of Palestinians dancing for joy at the news of a new bombing attack against Israeli civilians. Or the cheering crowds that celebrated Saddam’s missile attacks on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War.

Verse 13 indicts Edom for ‘entering the gates of my people’. When the British Mandate ended in 1948, the Arabs immediately seized the Old City of Jerusalem.

It took until 1967 for the Jews to re-take the city. They still have no control over the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount, remain at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as God said they would.

Verse 14 indicts Edom for handing over Jews in their day of trouble. Verse 21 says that, in the last days, “Saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.”

The mount of Esau upon the mount of Zion can only refer to the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. And completing Obadiah’s identification of Edom as the Palestinian people is his mention of the emblem of the Palestinian Authority.

“Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.”

The PA’s official emblem is the eagle.

In verses 10-11 of Obadiah, the prophet jumps forward to the last days. He writes: Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.”

The word ‘Teman’ means south. And the ‘mount of Esau’, in context, is located on mount Zion. Let’s take another look at what the verse is saying. “Your mighty allies in the south (the Saudis?) will be neutralized, and those who try to keep possession of al Aqsa will be slaughtered.”

In verse 11, Obadiah writes, “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.”

But how strong a case does Obadiah make for ‘Edom’ being representative of the modern Palestinian people? The word rendered chosen by Obadiah and rendered in English as ‘violence’ in verse 11 is translated from the Hebrew word ‘chamac.’

‘Chamac’ transliterated into modern Hebrew, is pronounced, ‘Hamas’.

Prozac And Extra-Thick Tinfoil Hats

Prozac And Extra-Thick Tinfoil Hats
Vol: 59 Issue: 25 Friday, August 25, 2006

Sometimes sorting through the news of the day, one gets that same vague sense of unease one gets when one realizes he has just struck up a conversation with a stranger whose elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.

If you live in a big city, you probably have experienced it on a bus, or on a street corner, in an encounter with a homeless person, or some similar situation.

At first, everything seems ok, but then, as it dawns on you the person you are talking to isn’t completely in touch with reality, the hairs stand up on the back of your neck a little.

You wonder just how nuts the person is . . . will they suddenly start shouting in your face, maybe even turn violent? It’s usually just a fleeting feeling, but it is disconcerting, to say the least.

I’ve been getting that same feeling of late as I analyze current events . . . a vague, discomfiting sense that everybody is on Prozac but me, and I am bumping into them just as their meds are starting to wear off.

I don’t know. You tell me.

Assessment:

When the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict was at its zenith, as bombs and rockets were raining down on both sides, France stepped up to the plate with a plan to create a buffer force that would patrol the Israeli-Lebanese border as part of the UN’s overall cease-fire plan.

The French pressed the UN ceasefire plan by promising to take the lead in providing troops, making an initial commitment of at least four thousand, together with a promise to head up the overall peacekeeping effort. Then, suddenly, they backtracked, saying they’d only contribute 200 men to what was supposed to be a 15,000 man force.

It was like Paris collectively took another Prozac. A few days later, as the Prozac reached its half-life, Paris doubled its offer, to 400.

Then, as the last dose of medication started to wear off, they upped their commitment to 2,000. It makes one wonder if, when Paris takes its next happy pill, they’ll suddenly forget what they were doing and order their forces to join the Hezbollah side and invade Israel or something.

Then there is the UN’s Kofi Annan. Hezbollah invades Israel and kidnaps Israeli soldiers to hold as hostages, and Kofi Annan puts on HIS tinfoil hat to protect him from Israeli thought-control beams before blaming Israel for putting its soldiers too close to Hezbollah’s reach.

Then he accuses Israel of war crimes for retaliating against a Hezbollah action that, according to the UN’s own international conventions, IS a war crime.

He takes another Prozac and says Hezbollah started it.

When THAT dose wears off, he rethinks his statement. Kofi suddenly realizes that Lebanon is really an innocent victim of Israeli aggression — as if Hezbollah and Lebanon were two entirely different entities on opposite sides of the planet.

Kofi speaks into existence a 15,000 man peacekeeping force and then rushes Israel into withdrawing, as if the force was already there.

Without any troops, with no defined mission, no logistical system and no idea who will be in charge, Kofi starts demanding Israel provide a timetable for withdrawal, saying in advance that Israel’s unspoken timetable is unsatisfactory.

All the while citing existing UN resolutions requiring the disarmament of Hezbollah as the justification for demanding an Israeli withdrawal as if, somehow, Israel was violating it by trying to disarm Hezbollah.

Another Prozac — and now Israel is in hot water for trying too hard.

As the warm, Prozac-induced fuzziness takes hold, Annan explains that Israel has violated the ‘principle of proportionality’ and then he pretends that such a principle is a globally understood principle of warfare.

The rest of the members of the Security Council put on their tinfoil hats and claim the United States is under the influence of Israeli thought control beams.

To rectify this problem, John Bolton is immediately ordered by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to put on his tinfoil hat, and presto!

“Shazzam,” says Bolton. “I must confer with the UN’s Human Rights Council.”

Bolton wears his winter model, made of extra-thick tinfoil that prevents him from being affected by the June 20 Human Rights Council declaration that makes reviewing Israeli human-rights violations a PERMANENT feature of every Human Rights Council session.

Bolton’s special tinfoil hat enables him to look past the fact that Israel’s permanent referral is the ONLY mandate that has no year of expiration.

After conferring with Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Pakistan — bastions of human rights and champions of human dignities all — double-hatted John Bolton concludes:

“Israel has violated the internationally recognized principle of proportionality in warfare. Something must be done!”

Now that ‘something’ has been done — a phantom UN peacekeeping force consisting of nobody and designed to protect Hezbollah from the UN’s resolution ordering its disarmament, it is time to tackle the other nagging, but clearly less important problem of the day.

What to do about a mad nuclear-armed dictator that sees the destruction of Israel as his religious obligation?

The Russians (who don’t need tinfoil hats) who voted in favor of the UN’s legally-binding deadline of August 31 for Iran to either give up their nuclear weapons program or face sanctions, declared that they will reject whatever sanctions the UN imposes, despite Iran’s refusal to give up their Russian-supplied nuclear materials.

Moscow explains that the best way to prevent Mahmoud Imadinnerjacket from pursuing his lifelong goal of bringing about the Islamic messiah by starting a nuclear war is to continue the path of negotiations until Iran tests its first working nuclear weapon.

The Security Council expressed surprise that such a bastion of human rights and global cooperation as Moscow would reverse itself so abruptly.

Why would Moscow, who built Iran’s nuclear reactors — over global objections — and with billions of dollars to lose if Iran gives them up — not want to put pressure on Iran to get Tehran to cut loose Moscow’s cash cow?

Why? Why? And what to do now?

There is only one thing they CAN do. And thankfully, the Security Council is up to the task. It directs Kofi Annan to ask John Bolton to recommend his hat-maker.

Kofi then instructs everyone else to double their Prozac until the extra-thick tinfoil hats can be constructed by contented Chinese concentration camp inmates who joyfully leap at the opportunity to help out.

In the meantime, Cuba and Saudi Arabia will monitor Israel to make sure they don’t violate Palestinian human rights by interfering with Hamas when they fire their home-made rockets into Israeli day care centers.

Now everybody is on the same page except Israel.

Somehow — and I don’t know how they did it yet — Hezbollah managed to sneak into Jerusalem, kidnap Ehud Olmert and his entire cabinet, and surgically implant tinfoil hats on each of them before sneaking them back into the country, each equipped with a flesh colored intravenous Prozac drip prescribed by that humanitarian pediatrician, Doctor Ayman al Zawahiri.

So equipped, the Israeli cabinet voted to withdraw Israeli forces before things get out of hand and they accidently disarmed Hezbollah or killed all the innocent Lebanese Hezbollah fighters dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

THAT would give Israel nothing to do tomorrow.

The rest of Israel’s citizens, unable to get their tinfoil hats on over the helmets they wear to protect themselves from incoming Hezbollah rockets, head back to their bomb shelters to see if the Tooth Fairy left any Prozac under their pillows.

Alas, there is now a global shortage of Prozac, but the UN offers to send in enough RU-486 for everybody except the Israeli Arabs.

Makes sense to me.

“Hey, you got any more Prozac? I’m not Jewish.”

August, 2006 … Or August, 1939?

August, 2006 … Or August, 1939?
Vol: 59 Issue: 24 Thursday, August 24, 2006

I was thinking just how apt a choice a mushroom is as a symbol for a nuclear explosion. Mushrooms, as you know, thrive when they are kept in the dark and fed manure. It is a great, if somewhat muddled, analogy for the way Iran and North Korea are managing global opposition for their nuclear programs.

A news report last week quoted US officials as saying activities at a possible North Korean nuclear site suggested preparations for a nuclear weapons test were under way. The North defied international warnings and test-launched 7 missiles on July 5, including a long-range missile which officially ‘failed’.

I say ‘officially’ because, according to initial reports by the Japanese Defense Agency, Pyongyang’s missile exploded after reaching an altitude of approximately 180 miles. Japan calculated from its trajectory that the missile’s target would have been the waters off Hawaii.

Shortly thereafter, the US Defense Department said the North Korean Taepodong-2 never made it off the launch pad. Then it said that it flew no more than a mile. After trans-Pacific discussions between Washington and Tokyo, Japan changed its assessment.

Somebody is growing mushrooms.

In 1998, Iran tested its version of the same North Korean long range missile, renamed the ‘Shehab-3’ — that test ALSO ‘failed’ when it exploded after reaching an altitude of only 180 miles.

Similar mushroom growing ensued after Iran’s ‘failure’ as well.

In both cases, the White House (Clinton AND Bush) claimed the failures were evidence that the threat of a nuclear missile attack was troubling, but not all that worrisome.

Maybe. Maybe not. But one hundred and eighty miles is the optimum height at which to detonate a nuclear warhead in order to achieve a maximum EMP pulse.

According to the blue-ribbon Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, chaired by the esteemed scientist Dr. William R. Graham, a nuclear warhead detonated one hundred and eighty miles above the east coast of the United States would fry every electronic circuit on the Eastern Seaboard, which would transport the affected area into the technological 1890’s for months, if not years.

An EMP attack would damage the national power grid, unprotected computers and all devices containing microchips, from medical instruments to military communications, and knock out electronic systems in cars, airplanes and those used in banking and finance and emergency services.

The electrical devices themselves are rendered inoperable. This begins what the Commission report calls unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures.

According to the Commission’s report, if the initial explosion is big enough, the effects could be ‘irreversible’. The Commission’s nightmare scenario includes mass starvation when stores run out of food; no clean water when water treatment plants fail, breakdown of police and fire protection, loss of banking records — you get the idea.

A single large weapon detonating over mid-America could permanently cripple the country. The result would be direct and indirect deaths of millions of Americans and the transformation of the US in an eye-blink to a pre-19th century environment.

To give some sense of the risk, three quarters of all Americans live within 200 miles of America’s shoreline. So are three-quarters of all American military assets, military bases, weapons assembly plants, power generation plants, etc.

Which brings the whole mushroom-growning analogy into focus.

Why is the US taking what are, ostensibly, ‘failed’ missile tests so seriously? After all, if the tests failed, then at worst, it means any threat is only on paper — no genuine threat can exist unless they actually work.

On the other hand, if the threat exists, but the US has no counter-measures to prevent such an attack, it is in the best interests of Washington’s political establishment to keep it under wraps until they can.

Assessment:

In light of all this, it is worth noting that Iran sent military experts to Pyongyang to watch North Korea’s long-range missile failure on July 6th.

Noted the Los Angeles Times, “Israeli intelligence believes North Korea recently sold 18 intermediate-range missiles to Tehran. Some accounts also place Iranian observers in North Korea when the Pyongyang regime test-fired seven missiles over the Sea of Japan this month.

A Japanese newspaper reported recently that 10 Iranians were invited to North Korea to observe the missile tests. A South Korean military expert, who asked not to be quoted by name, said he heard that Iranians were stationed at two launch sites along North Korea’s east coast and on a boat in the Sea of Japan.

Testifying before a Senate committee last week, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill confirmed that Iranians were present for the tests.”

Significantly, the LA Times report noted that Hill retracted his remarks the following day, saying ‘he was not sure.’

The mushrooms should by now be just about ready to harvest.

The world situation in August, 2006 is eerily similar to the world situation in August, 1939. Adolph Hitler had already outlined his war plans and telegraphed his intention start a world war in order to conquer the world for Nazism.

He had developed his own Axis of Evil, consisting of the weaker, but strategiclly located Italian fascists, and the inscrutable, but ultimately useful Japanese Empire.

Hitler’s first target was Poland, and in August, 1939, while pretending to negotiate with the West, he began putting his attack plans into motion, massing troops along Poland’s borders and securing a non-aggression pact with Stalin.

Hitler used his Axis partners, Italy and Japan, in a coordinated effort to keep the Allies off-balance until he was ready.

In August, 2006, we find an equally unbalanced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose many speeches have telegraphed his intention to start a world war to conquer the world for Islam.

Ahmadinejad is following Hitler’s template, stalling for time under the pretense of negotiations, while using his Axis partners in Damascus and Pyongyang to keep the Allies off-balance until he is ready.

According to an al-Jazeera report yesterday, a senior official in Tehran said “that in the next few days, a “surprise” was expected regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported Wednesday that the Iranian news service Al-Borz, which it said is known to have access to sources in the Iranian government, predicted that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would announce what the news service called Iran’s “nuclear birth” on the first anniversary of his government later this month.

And the headline in this morning’s Jerusalem Post warns, “Israel May Go It Alone Against Iran,” noting, “Iran “flipped the world the bird” by not responding positively to the Western incentive plan to stop uranium enrichment.

The Post quoted a senior Israeli official has having “expressed frustration that the Russians and Chinese were already saying that Iran’s offer of a “new formula” and willingness to enter “serious negotiations” was an opening to keep on talking.”

“The Iranians know the world will do nothing,” he said. “This is similar to the world’s attempts to appease Hitler in the 1930s – they are trying to feed the beast.”

Take note of the players: Russia. Iran. Syria. China. North Korea. (Gog, Magog, Persia, Damascus and the Kings of the East.)

Waiting in the wings are a billion or so Muslims, representing about a sixth part of the global population.

On the other side? The United States and Israel.

“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22)