Jerusalem and the Jews

“When people criticize Zionist they mean Jews, You’re talking Anti-Semitism” Dr. Martin Luther King

I am writing this post in response to a Palestinian brothers comments about the Trump Administrations declaration on Jerusalem found here: https://www.christianpost.com/voice/reasons-why-i-as-an-evangelical-leader-in-the-middle-east-dont-agree-with-trumps-declaration-on-Jerusalem.html

First I want to make this clear, I do not see Donald Trump as a great Christian leader or the Christian answer to America’s problems. Like the previous President I have no idea about his personal faith and will leave it up to God to judge, it’s frankly something I’m not equipped to do.

Second, I do not view the Christian relationship with Israel-Jews as a means of fulfilling prophecy. My father had a quote I use to love “we (Christians) love the Jews of the bible and the Jews of prophecy, but we haven’t met our Jewish next door neighbor”. While there is no doubt Christians are called to love the Jews and they no doubt have a special place in our faith, we are called to love all people. And I agree with Pastor Sara that when the Jews are oppressing someone we are called to seek justice as we are called to seek justice for all people.

I am a “Christian Zionist” because I believe it’s right, the right side of history.  Being brought up in a family as a Jewish believer whose non-Jewish father helped to build the Jewish State in 1948-50 because of the burden God had given him for the Jewish people. I have always taken a special interest in the history of the area.

Most importantly to Trumps declaration of the capital of Israel being Jerusalem, It is non-sequitur. The fact that so many Palestinians find it offensive speaks to the hatred and mythological view of the history of the area. And the reaction of many world leaders and amongst some of the left speaks of rising anti-Semitism especially in Europe.  Trump recognized reality, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for years. To not recognize it is clearly an act of hatred to the foundations of Judaism. Why should Israel be the ONLY country in the world in which it’s declared Capital (legitimacy) is not recognized? As far as the US embassy, like the Knesset there is no intention to build it in the old city. And the new city has not been under dispute in any negotiation as it has been part of Israel since 1948.

More importantly this decision is a reaction to the vile anti-Semitic resolution that Obama supported as he went out the door in the UN. That resolution which states that any Jew residing in Jerusalem is a war criminal would be the equivalent of saying that Catholics shouldn’t be allowed in the Vatican, and Muslims should be banned from Mecca. Judaism has been inexorably tied to Jerusalem throughout its history, it is certainly the “holy city” in Judaism. Every year the Passover ends with the prayer next year in Jerusalem. I don’t ever recall a passage in the scriptures directing us to pray for the peace of Tel Aviv.

Not only that, contrary to some questionable history being promoted lately. Jews have resided in Jerusalem through out its history, and as late as the 1880s were a majority (well before Zionist migrations from Europe) in the city. A city that at the time was viewed pretty insignificant by most of the population of that Ottoman Territory.

I’m not going to get into the history of the area, I do question the view of Brother Sara’s that Palestinians in the numbers he stated have resided in Jerusalem for generations. The population of the whole city in the 1905 Ottoman census was 36,000. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Jerusalem

In short the Jews are the only people who have ever in history had Jerusalem as their capital, and the only people who have allowed people of all faiths to worship there freely. They haven’t called for a Muslim free Jewish State, while the Palestinians are still calling for Juden free Palestinian State. I believe in this case Trump merely recognized reality, and the morally correct reality.

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NO GOES

A good friend of mine recently posted an article about No Go Zones in Europe and the US basically arguing that while there are high crime areas, they basically don’t exist. I responded and I’m not sure she understood my response.

I am not arguing for a Muslim ban in the US, although I think we certainly need to ban immigration from certain countries that are either failed states or allies with terrorists. But the issue there is not with the Islamic faith or Arabs in general. It is with the unreliability of those current governments to provide any kind of background information about potential immigrants.

My issue with Islamic immigration is not Muslims, it’s the failure of the West to value assimilation (we use too) over diversity. A recent pew poll of Muslims in Great Britain included the view that over 50% believe homosexuality should be illegal, and 35% believe Women should always be subservient to their husbands, 31% believe that Muslim men can have more than one wife. Another poll showed similar view on Blaspheming the Prophet (making it illegal) and religious conversion.

These are Muslims who have been in country in many cases for a couple of generations, and yet they don’t accept the Western Values of Freedom of Expression, Association, religion or freedom of the Press. Why? My argument is because we in the West no longer believe in them ourselves. The last administration referred to “universal values” frequently including in a proclamation after the Charlie Hebdo attack (for the record the writers at Charlie Hebdo would be prosecuted today under French “Sharia” anti blaspheme laws). But they failed to define them and in some cases apologized for them.

If we believe that Western Civilization is evil, or the cause of all of the troubles in history then assimilating others into Western Values is going to be impossible. IT IS NOW! While not perfect its Western Values that ended Slavery, brought the enlightenment, modern Science, Education, I could go on. We have leaders in all fields that not only appear to be ignorant of this, but in many case promote the absurd equality of all values.

Our values are not universal, there are One and a half billion people on the earth of whom about 30% believe that we should have capital punishment for Homosexuality, Blaspheme, or conversion to a different faith. Those beliefs are simply not compatible with Co-exist bumper stickers, and with one group having 4-6 children per couple and the other having 1 1/2 children per couple and apologizing for their values take a guess at who has the power in 20 years.

There will soon, probably within a decade be whole countries in Europe under Sharia law. And it won’t be the Muslims fault, it will be our fault because we didn’t stand up for our values, and sacrificed Assimilation to the altar of diversity. Western Civilization is ending, and it will be death by Suicide not murder.

Emotion Part Deux

A few quick points of follow up to my last piece:

I like Irony, perhaps it’s the reason my all time favorite band is Steely Dan. Occasionally Irony doesn’t get translated well on line, so keep that in mind, I wasn’t advocating an either or position. This is true even though parts of the last piece went over like a rousing rendition of “Old Rugged Cross” at Joel Osteen’s church.

Second, I was speaking about a specific genre of Worship music, the Elevation/Hillsong/Vertical/Jesus Culture church strain. Almost none of what I said applies to Urban Gospel. You certainly don’t see tracks/clicks/cues in most Urban Gospel, in fact it’s rare to see charts. I would argue that some of the best musicians in the world are holding down the chairs in the rhythm sections of Black Church’s. Urban Gospel isn’t without issues, but lack of emotion isn’t one of them.

Third, I was not advocating an either or position. There is no doubt that music that teaches the great truths of the faith is valid and has a place in worship. My argument was two-fold.

First, I think some of the modern music in this genre sacrifices quality songwriting for the sake of presenting doctrine. And as a result it fails at both goals. There are also some GREAT songs in this genre. A great example is “Ever be”. Your praise will ever be on my lips is a line you remember in a memorable melody. I’d like to see more of that frankly.

Second, there is something to be said for simplicity in worship. I think of the song “Give Me Jesus”. That song has a little bit of soul, to borrow a line from Kings X. The lyrics are simple yet incredibly profound, it grabs you, it moves you. I’m just saying I’d like to see more of that. Nothing wrong with teaching, but that song doesn’t teach, it PROCLAIMS! It doesn’t expound, if CONFESSES! Please give me more Jesus in our worship.

Getting Emotional about Worship

Fletch Wiley’s post on FB about click tracks and loops in Worship music got the wheels turning in the last couple of weeks. Fletch holds and it is arguably true that worship teams don’t learn to play with each other when they use tracks, they are playing to the tracks. And many times what happens isn’t creative spontaneous innovation but instead is mindless play the part duplication. It limits musicianship and turns worship teams into “worship cover bands”.

I also suspect that in our new Church-lite millennial services singing “Holy Spirit you are welcome in this place” should come with the tag line, you’ve got thirty-seconds between the greeting and the video.

But to me the real issue is twofold. One, the Hillsong’s of the World and leaders of this new worship movement have really put an emphasis on current pop concert production values. The problem is they can do it with an extravagant multi-media light/smoke/effects/synced video presentation that even some wealthy churches can’t recreate.

The issue is, it is these modern production values often, and not the song and the music that move the audience-congregation. For the record that is a great thing, there is nothing wrong with leading people into worship with a well set up multi-media experience.

And it may work at a Hillsong, Vertical church, or Jesus Culture event but it’s very hard if not impossible for the local church worship cover band to recreate. So what you’re often left with is a worship cover band without live mega concert production trying to fill a gaping hole in creating an atmosphere of worship.

The second thing I’ve noticed is many of the songs themselves lack the hook and easily sung phrasing and lyric flow that allows a someone who is unfamiliar to sing along without really concentrating on getting it right.

The music leader at my church talks about “teaching with songs” and that is certainly one legitimate place our music should take us. But, a church goer taking in great theological truth isn’t as likely to emotionally connect as someone thanking or praising God for his work already accomplished. While singing a creed is good, and no doubt has its place. It won’t take us to the emotional place of sensing Christ’s great love and Sacrifice, or God’s faithfulness, mercy, and compassion. Those things should stir a deeper place. We should GET LOST in them as they become real too us.

We need good theology and I’m not in any way disputing that we should be sure our music is doctrinally sound. But as Charlie Peacocks song says “you can only possess what you experience, truth to be understood must be lived”. Our songs need to take us beyond understanding to experience. And in many cases the simplicity of a chorus that proclaims Gods goodness is more useful for a body to come together in praise and worship. I recall the simple Bill Gaither Hallelujah, one Word, three chords, it’s easy to get lost in that.

What I’m saying is I believe we need a bit more confession in our songs like proclaiming God will bring us “thru it all” and remembering that “we learned to trust in Jesus, learned to trust in God, and depend upon his word”. We need to be moved recalling what God has already done for us. Andrae Crouch got it right, we need the simple truth that “can’t nobody do me like Jesus”.

David was MOVED, and danced when he saw the Ark of the Covenant being brought back, it embarrassed those around him. But David didn’t care, he was lost in Gods glory. I think its time for us to get emotional about worship.

The Puthers Strike

Here’s my feelings about the Puthers on the Alt.Left from the fake news sites like NBC and the NY Times:

1) Does anyone get the logic (or utter lack of it) of these people?  They are claiming Trump won the election because the American people were given too much information that proved our suspicions about their candidate being two faced, unprincipled, power hungry and greedy . In other words if our suspicions weren’t confirmed by the TRUTH we might have been fooled into voting for her. To paraphrase Barak Obama “she will say ANYTHING to get elected”. Their essential charge is the Russians tried to steal the election for Trump by telling us the truth about Hillary. A duty the fake news sites gave up on a long time ago.

How many of them recall that a certain Barak Obama won his Senate seat because the sealed court records of both his Democrat primary opponent and his Republican Senate opponent’s divorces were leaked during the campaign (a felony)?  I don’t recall Huffington claiming the Chicago Tribune (David Axelrods former employer) stole the election for Obama. To the Alt. Left when there is a damaging revelation about one of their opponents they scream Freedom of the Press and the publics right to know. Wether it’s Daniel Elsburgs Pentagon Papers or Newt Gingriches private phone conversations. When Wikileaks was presenting information damaging to Bush the source didn’t matter. Double Standard much?

2) Wikileaks confirmed the long held suspicions of many that MSM outlets like CNN, the NY TIMES, and NBC had openly taken sides in the election. There is a reason Americans don’t trust these fake news outlets any more because they aren’t TRUSTWORTHY. The MSM ranks below Congress in approval rating. Donna Brazil feeding Hillary debate questions before the debate is as bad as anything Brietbart did. The NY Times and NBC coordinating stories and giving the Clinton campaign veto power and the power to edit quotes by their news division is Info Wars, WND level Journalism.

3) Considering how apoplectic the Alt.Left and its enablers got after Trumps coment that he might not accept the results of the election in the debate. We now see that was a LIE too. More fake outrage by the Alt.Left.  We have the Clinton campaign literally attempting to impugn the entire election and openly trying to persuade 30 Republican electors to disenfranchise millions of voters in their vote at the electoral college with the express purpose of delegitimizing the election. Even knowing that if the Election is thrown to the House, Trump will be elected President. These people don’t care about foreign powers intervening in our elections, they never have. It’s all about power to these people plain and simple, and if dividing the country, delegitimizing the Democratic process, and fear-mongering accomplishes  it there all for it.

4) The more I watch this stuff play out the more I’m convinced that the reason the Tin Foil hat crowd on the Alt.Left hates Trump so much isn’t that they believe he’s a bit of a mysoginist (he is), Racist, Homophobic (absolute BS nothing in his history indicates this), Islamaphobic (perhaps). It’s because he stole their playbook.

Useful Idiots like McCain and dignified losers like Romney stood calmly by while the left and their propagandist in the MSM hurled lie after lie and insult after insult their way. Never demanding the Obama campaign or media apologize for obvious lies. Like Jonah Goldberg famously wrote” if everyone is Hitler no one is Hitler.”

The Irony is this is the same media that called Romney and McCain Hitler grabbed every sound bite they could of them criticizing Trump. Let’s find out what Hitler thinks about Hitler. They don’t do Irony well on the Alt.Left. Trump fought back, Trump said outlandish things about the other side (most of which were true). Does anyone honestly think McCain or Romney would have called her a Criminal? No chance, Trump did.

Did he make pronouncements he had no intentions of keeping? Yep. But I seem to recall Barak Obama doing the same. And he held the MSM media accountable. They lie, they distort, and no Republican candidate since Agnew ever took them to account for it. Candy Crowley lied for Obama as a “neutral” debate moderator, and Romney didn’t complain. The fact that she has a job for CNN says EVERYTHING you need to know about CNN.

And they are guilty of gross negligence. A great example of it was the Wikileaks story on Clintons Goldman Sachs speeches. No one could say with a straight face that if the situation would  have been reversed and you had Trump giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and  promising them not to worry he’s still in their pocket. NBC, the Times and CNN wouldn’t have put a thousand reporters on that story trying to give us “information” about Trump.

In the end I voted for Trump reluctantly, I have doubts about his proclaimed faith, I have doubts about his character, I have doubts about his trustworthiness. But at this point I have NO DOUBT that I did the right thing pulling the lever for him. The alternative was truly a “Nasty Woman”.  And Michael Moore who is right about once a century was right about this one, the Media and the Crony Corporatist Democrat party deserve the middle finger for what they’ve been doing to the country.

Cult of Personality 2.0

“Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be”  Living Color

People love to blame Nazi’s for Trump, they blame the Tea Party for Trump, they blame Fascist for Trump. But Trump is not original, he’s not different than the many populist that proceeded him including our current President who ran as all things to all people. There is one person to blame for Trump, President Obama.

Trump is a reaction, an anti-virus, and has many of the same voters. And it’s not as much a reaction to policy, although that exists. It’s a reaction to a government that is unaccountable, corrupt, and lives, proudly proclaiming the idea that laws are for little people. When the IRS is wiping servers clean during an investigation while it’s leaders take the fifth, an organization that can instantly demand seven years of your records and can’t keep a couple of years of their own, the corruption is more than just “a smidgen”. ANY private organization would have faced prosecution for what the IRS did,

Obama says Isis is contained, the JV team.

Trump wants to bomb their families

Obama wants to close Gitmo, and has released hundreds of terrorists back into the fight.

Trump wants to introduce torture.

Obama wants to bring in a hundred thousand Syrian immigrants.

Trump wants to temporarily ban all Muslim immigration

The terrorists attack in San Bernardino, Obama lectures us on gun control and Islamaphobia

The terrorists attack in San Bernardino, Trump wants to arm Americans, and doesn’t give a crap what Muslim’s think

Obama sees illegal immigrants as potential democratic voters.

Trump sees them as people who compete with Americans for entry level jobs, and drain government resources.

Obama sees illegal immigrants as potential democratic voters

Trump wants to build a wall

Obama sees illegal immigrant as potential democratic voters

Trump wants to deport them all.

Obama sees illegal immigrants as potential democratic voters

Trump sees them as Rapist, murderers and Drug dealers.

In the last two elections the Americans who pay more attention to the Kardashians than current events, And know more about Kayne’s CD’s than history voted for an untested Senator with an undistinguished record  from IL who made a bunch of vague pronouncements.  As great of politicians as Clinton and Reagan were they didn’t inspire the devotion of Obama. I don’t recall teen girls fainting at rallies and Journalists getting warm feelings up their legs for Reagan and Clinton. The Campaign prided itself in turning out “low information voters” (there words, not mine).

Well those low information voters turned out, they voted for Obama in droves. And they were disappointed in droves. If you don’t believe it, listen to Bernie Sanders. Those big banks, lobbyists, and multi national corporations are still as powerful as ever. Income inequality has increased, the middle class has gotten creamed and real unemployment is up.

Our government has lied to us, stolen from us, wasted our money, doubled the national debt, while not keeping us safe. Overseas, our friends don’t trust us, our enemies laugh at us and Iran is 150 billion dollars richer with our money. Are people angry? Damn right they are. Why not? I’ve heard it said that a vote for Trump is a middle finger to the government, by all means they deserve it. Is he the best choice to solve our problems? I doubt it, but if we ever needed an out of control bull to upset the China shop of our government elites now is the time.

And sadly I suspect he’s the best we’ll get from a generation educated in government schools. Sometimes a re-boot for a bad operation system isn’t much better than the system it replaced. Meet Cult of Personality 2.0

 

Torn between two hopefuls

And feeling like a fool, wanting to vote for both of you is breaking all the rules (And I can’t do that, this isn’t the Illinois  Democrat Primary).

After the UFC GOP debate in Detroit last week I came to a couple of conclusions. One, my alternative choice to Ron Paul (Marco Rubio) isn’t going anywhere. And while he may be a better general election candidate than Ted Cruz, he has taken the worse of it in this primary process where the establishment candidates decided to declare war on each other rather than challenge Donald Trump. Bush’s pack alone spent about 100 million attacking Rubio.  And the reality is between that and Cruz and Trumps attacks Marco Rubio would be better off out of the race, as would the country. Sadly I do feel he would have made one of the best general election candidates

This leaves me with Donald Trump, while I’m convinced that the GOP and the DC establishment deserves a big middle finger, and I don’t doubt the size of Donald’s hands. I’m not interested in the size of the rest of his anatomy. I’m not convinced the Donald is a conservative or libertarian on far too many issues. Unlike many I’m convinced he would be a strong candidate against Hillary, she is a far more feeble politician than her husband.  And Donald seems to be the Teflon Don, also there is no doubt in my mind that the moderation he began to show last debate will be full on if he gets in the general.

This leaves Kasich and Cruz. I like Kasich a lot, and don’t get the conservative angst against him. Even Reason magazine argued he was the truest conservative left in the race after Rand Paul left. The one thing I do think he’ll do that none of the other GOP candidates are talking about is get the Pentagons procurement process under control.  My two hesitations with John are this, one, I’m not sure he’ll bring it against Hillary, while there is no doubt in my mind the Clintons will fling every thing in the book at whoever is the GOP nominee. And Two, I don’t believe he come close to Trump in the delegate count.

So we’re left with Ted Cruz, in the debate two weeks ago he gave a pitiful performance and at times appeared almost sleazy. While this may be a good thing in the general, to get down to Clinton’s level it’s off-putting in the Primaries. But last week we saw a different Cruz, the Brilliant debater who argued before the Supreme Court and was a captain of the Harvard debate team.

The reality is this, Cruz is not an establishment candidate, he’s made a real effort to control the deficit when he was in the Senate. And most importantly of all he has beaten Trump in seven states and in closed Primaries he’s appealed more to Republican voters than any other candidate, he’s actually close in the delegate count. There are things he needs to get better at, most notably his Pentecostal Preacher speaking style, but he is a true conservative, and he runs about even with Hillary, while I think Kasich is a better general election candidate, I think Cruz might suprise some people in the general especially in the debates.

So I may be flipping a coin in the voting both tomorrow.