I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
“I know where you live — where Satan has his throne.
Yet you remain true to My Name. You did not renounce your faith in Me …
even where Satan lives.”
Dear Ministry Partner,
Satan has always hated the Church of Jesus Christ. That’s because Jesus loves the Church and calls her His Bride (Isa. 62:5; Eph. 5:25; Rev. 19:7; 21:9; 22:17). So, whatever Jesus loves – the devil hates.
We can see this spiritual hatred and political antithesis demonstrated in God’s words of comfort to the church of Pergamum who was living in the very shadow of “ … where Satan has his throne.” The evil one especially loves to establish “… his throne" in places where it will be a threatening presence to the church. The history of Christian persecution shows how dangerous and deadly it can be to bow before "God’s throne" in the very shadow of “Satan’s throne!”
Today, you and I are seeing this freshly demonstrated in the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, abbreviated as ISIS. These Islamic jihadists are fueled by the words of their prophet Mohamed through very specific verses in the Koran (see my book on Islam). These Muslim savages are systematically carrying out barbaric atrocities against Christians that rival anything in recorded history! They are indeed “crimes against humanity” of the highest order including crucifixions … beheadings … burnings … kidnappings ... rapes – all in the name of Allah.
All of this is being diabolically orchestrated from the self-proclaimed Islamic Calif, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the latest human demagogue to sit on Satan’s throne in the territory they have conquered in Iraq and Syria. The diabolical darkness of this group of Islamic Radicals is seen in their black uniforms and black flag – each a reflection that they are a demonic hoard from the “kingdom of darkness” (Col. 1:13)!
Down through history, the devil has used pharaohs, kings, tyrants, Caesars, Marxists, Maoists – and now Muslims – to try and destroy His Church. Through the Radical ISLAMIC Jihadist, ISIS/ISIL, Satan is again out to destroy the Church – this time one of the most ancient Christian churches in the Middle East dating back to the First Century. It is the Iraqi Church – today known as the “Chaldean” or “Assyrian” Catholic Church.
THE BIRTHPLACE OF HUMANITY
As any serious Bible student knows, this particular area in the Middle East has great spiritual, historic and geographic significance. According to the Bible, this ancient area known as Mesopotamia is both the “Cradle of Creation” and the “Cradle of Christianity." We read in Genesis that it was in the area of the headwaters of the four rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates, where the Garden of Eden was located (2:10-14). It was there that God created Adam and Eve to rule over the cosmos as His stewards (Gen. 1:24). Any wonder then that this is where Satan would establish his throne?! This is a very specific “in your face” to God!
The Bible also teaches us that Abraham, the patriarch of the 3 great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was called by God out of “ ... Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan,” or Palestine/Israel (Gen. 11:31). This is the area chosen by God as His “Holy Land.”
THE HOLY LAND
In accordance with His sovereign will, God gave this land to His people, the Jews. Previously it had been a very “unholy land” under the occupation of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites – some of the most pagan and idolatrous people ever recorded in history (Gen. 15:18-21). And the depth of their depravity was their practice of “child sacrifice,” which is referred to as “...passing through the fire” or a “ ... sacrifice to demons” (Lev. 18:21; Deut. 12:31; II Kings 17:17-18; 21:2-6; Ps. 106:37-38; Ezek. 16:20-21; Jer. 7:30-34, etc). It was especially for this sin, that God called an “abomination,” that He judged these people and the “ … land vomited them out” (Lev. 18:28). As Americans, we are fearfully close to the same divine judgment because of our equal sin of abortion!
THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH
It was in this geographical region that the Triune God first “pitched His tent” with man through the Tabernacle and later the Temple. It was in this Holy Land that this same God was incarnate through Jesus Christ. It was there that Jesus prophesied: “I will build My church.” It was on the Holy Mount of Jerusalem that He was crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended. (Is it any wonder why the Muslims hate the cross?!) It was in Jerusalem that He birthed the church on the Day of Pentecost – which has great significance for this current situation with ISIS.
At the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, we read that there were “... God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” Then a partial list of nations – primarily those surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, were listed where these God-fearing Jews and “converts to Judaism” were from: “Parthians (Iran), Medes, Elamites (Babylon), residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya, visitors from Rome, Cretans and Arabs...” (Acts 2:5-11). I have highlighted the primary countries in blue that are a part of what we refer to as the “Arab World” today. So, from the very birthday of the church, both Jews and Arabs have played a significant role – although it was predominantly Jewish until the ministry of Saul/Paul to the Gentile World.
I share this brief bit of Biblical history to put this current Middle East crisis into a wider context. Both the "racial Jews" and "spiritual Jews” (Jews, Arabs & Gentiles) were a vital part of the early First Century Church. Many of the Jewish and Arab Christians from the current Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, or ISIS – not to mention those from Egypt where the 21 Coptic Christians were from who were beheaded – have their spiritual roots in these ancient Christian churches in the region of Mesopotamia. And we know from the Book of Acts that Saul was headed to Damascus, Syria, to persecute the strong Christian church there (Acts 9).
As an aside, it is also very interesting to read that God directed Saul-now-become-Paul into Arabia for 3 years to spiritually mentor and mature him in his new faith in Christ as God’s Messiah. After that, he returned to Damascus and Jerusalem. The radical Jewish Pharisee who was on a “Jewish Jihad” against Christ and Christianity became the great “Apostle to Gentiles.” And the Bible School God sent him to for 3 years was not in Jerusalem – but in Arabia – the very cradle of historic Islam and the stage of the ISIS crisis today! How mysterious indeed are the ways of the Lord!
Both the New Testament and secular history teach us that there were millions of Jews and Christians living side-by-side in these regions until the prophet Mohamed conquered them in the 7th Century (He conquered Iraq in A.D. 633). After this Islamic conquest, the Jews were systematically persecuted by the Muslims down to such a tiny minority that only a literal handful of Jews remain in these areas today. After this "Jewish Holocaust” took place in the Middle East, the Christian persecution slowly intensified. It has now reached its bloody crescendo under ISIS through their current bloody “Christian Genocide.” Since Mohamed first brandished his sword, his call to “convert or die” has not changed for Jews or Christians – or for any other religious belief, down through the centuries.
MURDEROUS MUSLIM MARCH
During their murderous march through these ancient lands of Christianity and the Yezidis (*), crosses were smashed … churches were destroyed … graves were desecrated … Christians were tortured, crucified, beheaded, burned … their women were raped … their children were kidnapped for jihaddism indoctrination … their daughters were sold into sex slavery … their property was plundered and pillaged, and those who escaped lost everything and had to flee for their lives to neighboring Jordan. As ISIS jihadists took over the cities, they used former Christian churches they did not destroy as places of torture and prison for Christians as well as places to store their weapons and ammunition.
While this barbaric invasion is new to our world, it is not to theirs. In AD 1258, the Mongol army under the grandson of Genghis Khan, invaded, and conquered. In similar manner the Mongols savagely killed people, burned and looted homes, destroyed churches and Bibles, raped women and slaughtered children. But in comparison, these Iraqi Christians say that this invasion and occupation by ISIS is far worse.
Ellen Vaughn of the Wilberforce Initiative visited the area and interviewed many of the Iraqi Christians now living in refugee camps. She asked one Christian if this persecution and savagery had caused him to lose his faith in God. His response was typical of others who said: “These sufferings have increased our faith in God. We have confidence that God is with us and will do what is good for us.” Once again Christ is demonstrating that “ … the gates of hades” will not prevail against His church (Matt. 16:18). It is as eternal as He is!
And all of this carnage against Christians is being carried out in obedience to Mohamed and in the name of Allah! President Obama still cannot bring himself to call it what it is – Islamic terrorism!
(*) Yezidis are an ancient group in Iraq who call themselves “worshipers of god.” They are an admixture of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and some say Zoroastrianism)
It is because of the spiritual, Biblical and historic significance of this area known as the "Middle East," that some of the most bloody “holy wars” in history have been fought in this region. And according to the Bible, the final great battle of history – the “Battle of Armageddon” – will be fought there (Rev. 16:17-21). It is interesting and instructive that these fanatical followers of ISIS have their own twisted and perverted satanic apocalyptic vision that they are seeking to fulfill to help bring in their global Caliphate of Islamic rule under Sharia Law!
HELPING CHRISTIAN REFUGEES
As you know from my last email report, we are involved in a relief effort for our Christian brothers and sisters from Iraq. We are doing what we can in partnership with our ND Alumnus, Ambassador Lewis Lucke, to assist these "Christian Refugees.” In all probability, they will never be allowed to return to their homeland. They will either end up living in Jordan as refugees for the rest of their lives, or be repatriated to America or Canada – which could take years! Either way, they need our prayers and help as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Their Christian tradition with all of its religious vestments, liturgy, rituals, and iconic veneration of saints may not be what you are used to or comfortable with through your local church or denominational background. But these people still proudly and boldly name the Name of Christ and worship Him as the incarnation of the Triune Godhead – as man’s only means of salvation. So as Paul said: “While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal. 6:10).
For every gift of $25, we will send you one of the “lapel pins” you can use as a way of identifying with these persecuted Christian Refugees. You will receive two pins for $50, 3 for $75, and 4 for $100, and so on. We hope you will share them with other family members, church friends, business associates to help raise the awareness of this “Christian Genocide” in the name of Islam.
While this symbol may look like a “smiling face,” it is anything but! It is really the “face of death, destruction & dispersion" for Christians! Just to remind you of the meaning of this symbol, it the Arabic letter "N" ("Noon"), meaning “Nasrani” or "Nazarene” – which is the word used for “Christian” in the Koran (Jesus was called the “Nazarene” in the Bible; Matt. 2:23; Mk. 14:67; 16:6; Acts 24:5, etc). That is why ISIS painted it on the walls of the Christians' houses for confiscation, pillage, and destruction – and even on children's hands so they could later be identified for slaughter. Since these ancient believers would not convert to Islam, they fled to Jordan where they have been reduced to refugees.
(Photos courtesy of Reuters, RNS, Catholic Services, UN, and other free public domain sources).
When you get your “lapel pin” in the mail, please wear it as a visual means of identification with these persecuted Christian Refugees. It can also be a timely conversation piece that will give you opportunity to share about their plight and our efforts to help them.
Just as Christians put on the “yellow arm bands” with the Star of David that the Nazis made Jews wear to mark them for the gas chambers, this is a way for us to identify with these Christian brothers and sisters marked for death by the Islamic Terrorists. It will be a visual reminder to pray for them regularly.
A quick update and final note: As you probably know from the news, a recent snow storm has hit Jordan which has only made things far worse for the hundreds of thousands of people living in these temporary make-shift refugee tents or houses. So we need to do all we can as quickly as we can to help ...
Thank you in advance for your gift of love and compassion for them,
JL and Patt
P. S. Finally, thank you to those of you who have already responded to this urgent need, and who are praying for these precious brothers and sisters. I also want to once more make available to you my book, "A Christian Perspective on Islam". Another timely tool for your spiritual arsenal, this book is a wake-up call to anyone who has believed the politically correct rhetoric that says "Islam is a peaceful religion that has just been hijacked by a few religious radicals." It is also a "crash course" in Biblical theology to show that Muslims and Christians do not believe in the same God. Please click on the picture of the book cover to be redirected to our website for complete ordering information.
Also, in the next few days I will send you an encouraging update on Sangge in Nepal. Thank you again for your prayers and support for this dear brother in Christ.
MINISTERING TO ISIS VICTIMS
“…you stood your ground …in the face of suffering.
Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution…
You stood side by side with those who were so treated.
You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully
accepted the confiscation of your property,
because you know that you yourselves
had better and lasting possessions.”
Dear Ministry Partners,
I closed my last email with this brief introduction of Ambassador Lewis Lucke:
Ambassador Lewis Lucke.
" In my next email in a day or so, I will introduce you to a dear friend and partner, Ambassador Lewis Lucke. He has not only had a stellar career as an Ambassador for America, he is also a dedicated and proactive “Ambassador for Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 5:20). And I am proud to say that Ambassador Lucke is also an alumnus of our ministry. He has been deeply involved in practical ministry to our Christian brothers and sisters who have been persecuted by ISIS and expelled from their historic homelands in Iraq and Syria. I will share with you how you can partner with him through our ministry to bring aid to those in some of the most ancient Christian lands on earth – dating back to the First Century!"
Ambassador Lucke with his friend, President George Bush.
After sending out that report, I received this timely response from Lew…
“What I like the most is the spirit of unity of Christians as one Church articulated in the article. We are WAY past the point where we argue and separate ourselves on church liturgy and doctrine. Copts, Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, Assyrian, Chaldean, etc., we are one Christian faith united in our love and knowledge of Christ.
I am so determined to try to help our brothers/sisters in the land of our Christian origin, the Middle East. They have held out for centuries and we cannot allow them to disappear from their/our original land.”
Lew retired a few years ago from his full and fruitful life in the Foreign Service for America. He began a business in Austin, Texas, to network American companies and entrepreneurs with timely opportunities and needs in other countries – especially in the countries in which he had served. (Click here to view his resume).
Because of his vast and diverse global experience, Ambassador Lucke continues to be called back into Foreign Service, helping with human crisis after a natural disaster, or with refugee problems after political upheaval. Since he had served in Haiti, he was called back to help direct and coordinate the efforts of USAID for the first several months after the killer earthquake in January 2010. It was my privilege to network with him there on special projects – especially with the “Double Harvest Hospital” founded and supported by the VanWingerden Family.
Ambassador Lewis Lucke and I attending a memorial service
at the historic Montana Hotel in Haiti, where so many foreigners lost their lives.
Just as was the case after the Haiti earthquake, Lewis was called back into Foreign Service with USAID in Amman, Jordan, where he and his wife had previously lived and served for 4 years. As a result of the aggression created by the Islamic radicals known as ISIS, untold numbers of innocent Arabs in Iraq and Syria were killed. An estimated 1.3 million Syrian refugees fled across the border to Jordan, fleeing the civil war, the Assad regime and ISIS, where they continue to live in desert refugee camps under the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This major camp was built for 100,000 people – but houses a great number more. According to Lewis, the camps are the last place of choice for Syrian refugees, the great majority of whom are Muslim, with only 20% living in camps. The rest - the ones with any means at all - are being absorbed and relocated into Jordanian communities.
But among them were some 6,000 Christians who escaped from cities like Mosel and surrounding Christian villages that we have often heard about in the news. They are from one of the oldest Communities of Christendom on earth – dating back some 1,700 years. These Iraqi Christians still speak Aramaic as their mother tongue – the language Jesus spoke - and speak Arabic as well.
Some 14 churches in and around Amman have taken in the majority of these “Christian Refugees”. After visiting the Refugees taken in by Father Ja’ar, of St. Mary’s Church, Lewis sent us these pictures.
These Christians basically lost everything and escaped their towns and villages with just the clothes on their backs and whatever they could carry. Their homes were marked for confiscation and they were marked for either “conversion” or “execution.”
Lew said that as he interviewed some of these Iraqi Christians, they spoke of their narrow escape from ISIS. Also how they were betrayed by their Arab friends and neighbors whom they had lived peacefully among for generations – until the arrival of ISIS! Then they were betrayed and watched as this “N” was spray- painted on their homes and gates – marking them as “Nazarenes” or Christians, since that is the word used to describe them in the Koran.
While this Arabic letter may look like a “smiling face” to us – it is anything but that. It is the mark of death! But as Christians in Jordan and America identified with them, they took up this letter as a “symbol of unity” with them. A minister friend of Ambassador Lucke had the idea of making this letter into a “lapel pin” for Christians in America to wear as a symbol of their spiritual identification with these Iraqi brothers and sisters.
It is a privilege for us to stand with Ambassador Lucke as he continues to help bring aide to the Christian Refugees. In all probability they will never be able to return to their towns and homes that are now firmly under ISIS control. In time they will probably be immigrated to America and Canada – which may take many months, if not years. In the meantime, we want to do what we can to support our Christian brothers and sisters who are doing their best to house and feed them in their churches and homes.
As our Jordanian Christian brethren open their hearts, churches and homes to their persecuted brothers, they are fulfilling Paul’s exhortation:
“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10)
But we need to remember that Christians are also a small minority in Jordan. While it is a strong ally to America and the West, it is still a Muslim country – but thankfully a “moderate” one. So the Christians there are limited in what they can do financially. We must stand beside them with our prayers and partnership!
We also want you to join us in identifying with these brothers and sisters in Christ. For every gift of $100 or more, we will send you one of these “lapel pins” that you can wear. It will be a good conversation piece and way for you to engage others in praying for and supporting our brothers and sisters who have such ancient roots in our faith!
If you cannot send $100, please send what you can. And I assure you that 100% of your gift will go directly to Jordan to help meet needs in the Name of Christ!
In Christ’s love for His ancient Church in the Holy Land,
JL & Patt
PS: I want to lovingly exhort all of our ND Alumni to be the “first responders” in your support of this effort to help our Iraqi brothers and sisters. Please stand with me, Patt and Ambassador Lucke, with whatever financial gifts you can send!
Finally, I want to once more make available to you my book, “A Christian Perspective of Islam." Another timely tool for your spiritual arsenal, this book is a wake-up call to anyone who has believed the politically correct rhetoric that says "Islam is a peaceful religion that has just been hijacked by a few religious radicals." It is also a "crash course" in Biblical theology to show that Muslims and Christians do not believe in the same God. Please click on the picture of the book cover to be redirected to our website for complete ordering information.
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
because of their testimony for Jesus
and because of the word of God.”
Dear Ministry Partners,
As you know from the news over the past 72 hours, ISIS has carried out their largest mass execution to date by “beheading” 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Once again the Obama Administration has veiled this horrific act of ISLAMIC BARBARISM in another half-truth! And any way you interpret or rationalize it, a “half-truth” is also a “half-lie!”
While I have a BIG backlog of wonderful reports to share with you from our National Partners around the world, I just could not be silent in the face of these beheadings of our brothers and sisters in Christ! I had to add my voice to the growing crescendo of Americans who cannot remain silent in the face of such atrocities committed by Islamists.
So thanks for taking a few minutes to read my editorial on this tragic situation that is but the latest example of our lack of leadership as the world's only remaining "super-power."
Coptic Christians mourning the beheading of 21 of their
fellow followers of Christ.
While President Obama's Press Secretary expressed outrage over these beheadings, the Obama Administration only told a "half-truth" in their statement. Rather than specifically and accurately reporting that these 21 martyred people were “Coptic Christians,” they referred to them generally and generically as “Egyptian Citizens.”
Sadly, just as President Obama and his mouthpieces are unwilling to associate the word “terrorist” with the source – “Islam,” they are equally unwilling to describe the reality that these victims were professing Christians – specifically Coptic Christians, one of the oldest groups of Christians in the Middle East.
Since most Americans have little or no knowledge or exposure to the Coptic Church, here are a few introductory points about this ancient church:
• Copt means “Egyptian.” So the word identifies them as “Egyptian Christians.
• Tradition says the Coptic Church was founded by John Mark (author of the 4th Gospel) sometime after the ascension of Christ, between AD 42-62.
• The Coptic Church is one of the oldest churches in the Middle East.
• They suffered greatly under Roman rule because they would not submit to emperor worship.
• Later they suffered under the Arab Islamic rule because they would not submit to Mohamed and Allah.
• Between 20 – 60 million Copts worldwide.
• Comprise about 10% of the Egyptian population.
• Largest Christian group in the Middle East.
• Very similar to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in liturgy and meritorious good works.
The Obama Administration just cannot and will not admit that there is a very specific “spiritual root” to our global War on Terrorism that is clearly Islamic. Through willful deceit, our President carefully tries to separate the “fruit” from the “root.” As a result, all of this Islamic Jihadism in America and around the world is defined in general terms like “extremist, radicals, usurpers, fanatics, and barbarians” – but never as Muslims! These kinds of redefinitions and word games are playing right into the Islamist’s hands. And people are literally “paying with their heads” for this folly and falsehood from our Administration in Washington that will not “call a spade a spade” in the shape of a crescent!
Pope Francis, however, publicly proclaimed the truth about these beheadings from the Vatican in an impromptu statement: “The Copts,” he said, “were executed for nothing more than the fact they were Christians” (Emphasis mine). He further said that many of their last words before their throats were slit were: “Jesus help me!”
And while “Jesus” was on their dying lips, Mohamed and Allah were on the jeering lips of their murderers! The spiritual difference between them could not be clearer!
FAITH HALL OF FAME
After publicly proclaiming the truth about these 21 Coptic Christians, Pope Francis then rightly described them as “martyrs.” As such, they joined the elite ranks of their brothers and sisters in the “Faith Hall of Fame” we read about in Hebrews 11. Many in that list experienced miraculous victories that led them to live such lives of faith to the degree that they:
“… conquered kingdoms, administered justice … gained what was promised … shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames … escaped the edge of the sword … became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies … women received back their dead, raised to life again.”
But, the list of the faithful does not stop there. It immediately goes on to describe “others” whose faith led to far different, less glamorous conditions...
“Others were tortured and refused to be released … some faced jeers and floggings … still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned … sawed in two … put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground.”
Who were the most faithful? Which ones were the real “spiritual champions of faith?” Both! We are assured: There were ALL commended for their faith … ” (Heb. 11:33-39).
So, this latest group of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS has been initiated into this second part of the “Faith Hall of Fame.” They have received their martyr’s “crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
While we praise God for the honesty, boldness and compassion of Pope Francis in this matter, we could wish that same truthfulness and transparency from President Obama and his willfully blinded and muted spokespeople! You cannot help but wonder how much more savage barbarism will take place while our President and his cabinet play word games … political parlor games … and golf games?!
How irrelevant and out-of-touch Vice Prsident Biden is to convene this week a special conference on "Violent Extremism" - with absolutely no reference to Radical Islam! And one of the major questions he and his group of concerned experts are seeking to answer: "To discover the root causes of radicalism."
It seems the answer is blatantly clear to everyone except those living in the theoretical world of their own creation inside the White House - Islam!
As the popular proverb says: “None are so blind as those who WILL not see!” Or, as Jesus said of the willful blindness of the religious leaders of His day:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness how great is that darkness.”(Matt. 6:23).
Our President and his team have a serious “eye problem.” They cannot – or will not – see what is so obvious to the rest of the world when it comes to Islamic terrorism. Rather than see reality, they see through the eyes of fantasy. They view Islam through subjective rose-tinted glasses – rather than through the bloodstained glasses of reality!
Again, we see the basic principle at work in all of this verbal shell game: “insight determines sight.” In other words, you project on the outside world of reality your inside world of fantasy. The subjective skews the objective. Because they believe that Islam is a “peaceful religion,” they will not admit the realities of Islam’s bloody history or contemporary barbarism in the name of Mohamed and Allah!
However, the Bible makes it crystal clear that it is impossible to separate the “fruit” from the “root.” One is the direct result of the other. And when it came to pagan religions, God warned His people to “ … make sure there is no root among you bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood” [a poisonous plant that has a very bitter, noxious, sickening taste] (Deut. 29:18).
Regardless of the “political correctness” and “double-talk” of the Obama Administration, our world is increasingly seeing and experiencing the bitter poisonous fruit of the spiritual root of Islam! And these latest mass beheadings of Coptic Christians are just the latest – but certainly not the last – manifestation of the spiritual poison of Islam that is jihadist to the core, as both history and contemporary experience bloodily proves!
While President Obama and his pro-Arab liberal colleagues may blindly and naively believe that ISIS is not Islamic, these Muslims clearly and boldly proclaim otherwise about themselves. This latest act of bloody barbarism makes their motivations clear as to WHO they are … WHAT they believe … and WHOM they are out to conquer. They titled their carefully produced video: “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” Then one of the ISIS butchers in camouflage fatigues said in American accented English: “All praise is due to Allah the strong and mighty!” No confusion there as to who he believed in!
Further, before the beheadings, they made these statements and threats – directly aimed at the West in general and Rome and America in particular:
“Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of Al-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time, and today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.
All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.
And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him.” (Emphasis mine)
After the ISIS leader finished speaking, his fellow terrorists then commenced the beheading of the 21 poor Coptic Christians – who were also Egyptian citizens whose only crime was going to Libya to find jobs to support their families.
Even after such a bloody massacre, the Obama Administration still cannot bring themselves to state the obvious – that this is clearly Islamic terrorism!
BARBARIANS AT THE GATE
Charles "the hammer" Martel and the "Battle of Tours" in AD 731-732.
While we understand the President’s concern about not wanting to incite a “Holy War” in the name of religion, we cannot defeat an enemy we will not recognize or cannot bring ourselves to clearly name!
In carrying out these beheadings in Libya, they are literally on the doorstep of Europe and Rome – right where they were when the Frankish military king, Charles Martel, defeated the hoards of Islamic soldiers who were at the very gates of Europe. This historic battle is known as the Battle of Tours. It ultimately turned back the savage Islamic army and saved Western Europe from becoming Muslim. It proved to be the turning point in European history. Without that key victory, Europe would have fallen under the sway of Islam and languished terminally in the spiritual and political darkness of Sharia law. As a result, there would have been no Christian enlightenment … Industrial Revolution … Protestant Reformation … Wesley Revival … Great Awakening … Modern Missionary Movement – all originating in Western Europe before spreading to America.
As Hegel says: “He who is not aware of his history is condemned to relive it.” So today, history is repeating itself. Because of our willful ignorance or unwillingness to learn from this pivotal battle in history, we are back where we were in AD 730. Once again, the Islamic “barbarians are AT the gate!” No, as NYC, Paris, Copenhagen, Sidney and Boston painfully demonstrate, the “barbarians are INSIDE the gate!” As I shared in my last op-ed on the National Prayer Breakfast, they are largely winning and Islamacizing Europe through their strategy of migrate … infiltrate … propagate … dominate!
Wishing to deflect the spotlight to lesser issues, the Obama Administration makes absurd statements about terrorism being “over-hyped in the media.” It equates and elevates the issue of “global warming” with “global terrorism.” As President Obama said in a recent interview criticizing the news media: “If it bleeds, it leads.” But Mr. President, how much beheading and bleeding does it take to get your attention and change your mind?!
Self-proclaimed Islamic Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
And contrary to the clear evidence, “ISIS is not on the defense while the coalition is on the offense.” Neither are they “on the run” – but rather “running over” their weaker Arab opposition! On a weekly basis they are gaining, and holding, new ground for their Caliphate, Baghdadi, to rule over. This was something that Osama bin Laden never had. In many ways he was just the “John the Baptist” forerunner for Baghdadi.
As a result of the growing rule and reign of terror by ISIS, more and more innocent and unwilling people are being brought under the harsh rule of Sharia Law. While our President was enjoying 3 days of golf in a Palm Springs Resort schmoozing with wealthy givers, more Egyptian Coptic Christians have been captured for probable executions in the days ahead.
Whether you read the Bible or the morning newspaper, it is painfully clear that Christianity is the archenemy of all pagan religions – but especially Islam. That’s because the devil hates Christianity! Jesus Christ and His church are the devil’s only rival to total world domination. He basically controls all other religions. He is the evil animating and empowering force behind every man-made religion. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Paul – another martyr for the faith. He clearly wrote, “ … the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God … ” He concludes by saying:
“I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?” (I Cor. 10:20-22)
Nothing could be clearer. There is no ambiguity, uncertainty or double-talk in what Paul wrote here. While those words are not “politically correct” today – they are “spiritually correct.” You can “bet your life on it!” There is not a hint of universalism and the equality of all religions here. No moral multiculturalism that equates all faiths, creeds and cultures. No nonsense that “all roads lead to the top of the mountain!”
The Bible assures us that we either “worship the true God” or we “worship demons.” We either sit at the “Lord’s Table” or we feed at the “table of demons.” We either drink of the “cup of the Lord” or we imbibe and become intoxicated from the “cup of demons!”
Sadly, our President and many of his Cabinet and Administration are trying to have reservations at both tables! While many, if not most, profess to be Christians when pressed in a corner, they also regularly sit at the “devil’s table” with equal comfort. And through constant spiritual and moral compromise they become intoxicated with the devil’s drinks, which are a deadly admixture of truth and lies … purity and poison … life and death!
Just like John the Baptist “lost his head” because he would not be “politically correct” (Matt. 14:1-12), Christians are experiencing the same thing today at the hands of ISIS and other radical Islamists – as well as by Hindu Fundamentalists and Buddhist radicals.
I believe we are experiencing some of the fulfillment of what John saw in his Revelation – especially when it comes to Christian martyrdom. Note what he saw through the Holy Spirit in heaven:
“I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice: ‘How long, Sovereign Lord,’ holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’” (Rev. 6:9-10).
So saints, let me assure you that things are not going to get better any time soon! Islamic radicals have the long haul perspective while we have a quick one or two year mentality. They are committed to our total destruction and domination whether it takes 1 year … 10 years … 25 years … 100 years – or 1,000 years! While they continue to become “radicalized” from generation to generation, too many of us Christians become “domesticated.” We become addicted to the “good life.” We want to hunker down in our “comfort zone” and give up all thoughts of warfare. If we have to give up our “rights” and sense of “exceptionalism” as a nation to maintain “détente with the devil” – then so be it!
But, let me warn you: Radicalized Islam will ultimately defeat domesticated Christianity! As the Cold War proved, only a superior ideology can ultimately defeat an inferior ideology! We still have that spiritual, political, cultural and economic superiority – otherwise the peoples of the world would not be continuously drawn to America! But have we lost the heart to believe in her … love her … stand up for her … fight for her … die for her?!
There is another certainty you can “bet your life on” – and that is that a sure judgment is coming on Islam. The same is true for every other non-Christian religion or political ideology. But this judgment will take place – not because God hates the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Marxists, Maoists, Liberals or Leftists – a thousand times NO! His judgment must come because of His Holy Love.
The cross – which the Muslims hate – proves beyond a question or doubt that “God is love” (Rom. 5:8; I Jn. 4:8; 16). God does not hate anyone! But He passionately hates the devil … hates sin … hates evil … hates lies … hates deception … hates injustice … hates poverty – hates anything and everything that defaces His image in the peoples of the earth He created!
As we saw in the verse above by the Apostle Paul, God is a “jealous God.” His love is a jealous love. And yours is too! What man or woman wants to share his beloved with another?! Not me! I love Patt with a jealous love that is not nearly as pure as God’s love. But I still will not share her with another man!
So, it is because of His love, mercy and grace that He will not forever leave Islam unjudged – and all of the other “isms” of history and contemporary experience. They will one day be judged, purged and eradicated from the cosmos so only righteousness, peace, prosperity and joy will reign!
But until then, we must do all we can to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) – whether or not it is “politically correct.” And we must “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:15) and buy up every opportunity to do “good works” in His Name. As Paul wrote:
“As we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people – but especially to those of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
Ambassaor Lewis Lucke.
In my next email in a day or so, I will introduce you to a dear friend and partner, Ambassador Lewis Lucke. He has not only had a stellar career as an Ambassador for America, he is also a dedicated and proactive “Ambassador for Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 5:20). And I am proud to say that he is also an alumnus of our ministry. He has been deeply involved in practical ministry to our Christian brothers and sisters who have been persecuted by ISIS and expelled from their historic homelands in Iraq and Syria. I will share with you how you can partner with him through our ministry to bring aid to those in some of the most ancient Christian lands on earth – dating back to the First Century!
In His Love & Compassion for our persecuted and martyred brethren,
After writing the op-ed above, I saw a flash from BBC News saying: “Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi … exactly who these people were and why they were killed is not clear, but some were members of the (local) security forces.”
It matters not whether these 45 people were Christians, Muslims or both – the savage Islamic barbarism continues in the face of President Obama’s lack of moral leadership!
And if you have not read it already, my book, “A Christian Perspective of Islam," is another timely tool for your spiritual arsenal. This book is a wake-up call to anyone who has believed the politically correct rhetoric that says that "Islam is a peaceful religion that has just been hijacked by a few religious radicals." It is also a "crash course" in Biblical theology to show that Muslims and Christians do not believe in the same God. Please click on the picture of the book cover to be redirected to our website for complete ordering information.
“So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities – the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religion for their own murderous ends?
And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” (President Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 5, 2015; emphasis mine).
Dear Ministry Friends & Partners,
King Solomon wisely wrote: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances” (Prov. 25:11). If that’s the case, President Obama threw a “rotten apple” at his audience during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington this past week. This forum was definitely not the “right circumstances” for him to pontificate and lecture Christians on the sins of the past. And seemingly everyone in the room knew it but President Obama. His words immediately sucked all of the air out of the auditorium. Either it was an example of his naïveté and insensitivity to his audience – or it was a calculated opportunity to throw another “rotten apple” in the face of Christians. I believe it was the latter. And that “rotten apple” came from the Muslim fruit market!
Of all the controversial words Barack Obama has made during his two terms as President, the ones above will rank among the most offensive and divisive – especially to Christians. It will be a lingering part of his Presidential legacy that will ultimately taint his image and cause him to be viewed with great suspicion and resentment in the evangelical world.
Few Presidents in my lifetime were more poised for greatness than Barack Obama. And as the first African-American President, his historic legacy is secured beyond question. He could easily have become the American Nelson Mandela who further bridged the racial gap between blacks and whites – bringing deeper healing. He could have built on the foundation built by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bringing further political unity, social reconciliation and economic equality. His “dream for change” initially resonated in the hearts and minds of millions of people – especially the young.
But many of the changes he has so passionately championed have been divisive. Americans are perhaps more divided than ever before in our history – with the ugly face of racism reemerging. New social and economic class warfare has been ignited between the high and low … the rich and poor … the “haves” and “have-nots”. For the first time since the days of Civil Rights, city after city has been caught up in demonstrations and riots that have ended in mayhem, death and destruction. Once again, the police and citizens have been pitted against each other as enemies. Civil authority has broken down. Many of us feel we have gone through a time-machine that has taken us back to the tumultuous days of the 60s and 70s, when social unrest turned city after city in America into war zones!
Sadly, I believe that President Obama has fueled some of these racial and social fires by his divisive rhetoric.
As a person, Obama is young, charismatic, handsome, intellectual, educated and articulate – with a quick and winsome smile that wins people over. These positive attributes gave him a natural edge in the political arena. It seemed he was the right man for the times. In the early days of his first term, it appeared that he would inherit the mantle of John F. Kennedy with his bold, visionary leadership for a “New America” of the Twenty-First Century. It would be a return to Camelot – not led by another Kennedy, but by a dashing young African-American and his beautiful wife, Michelle!
As a person who has spent much of my life in public speaking, I have always enjoyed watching and critiquing other speakers – whether they are preachers or politicians. President Obama is definitely a good speechmaker – in the small fraternity of the “Great Communicator,” Ronald Reagan. And in our day of political sound bites, President Obama has become a master of the media when it comes to pushing his political agenda.
But, I am sorry to say, he really blew it at the National Prayer Breakfast this past Thursday morning! As you have probably noticed in the news since then, his comments struck a nerve and set off a firestorm of criticism and condemnation – from conservatives and liberals alike.
NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
While I was not at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast (NPB), it has been my privilege to attend many times across the years. One of the purposes of the NPB is to not only bring Christians together from across the spectrum of Christendom, but to also invite other key political people and leaders from other countries – Christian and non-Christian alike. As a result, Patt and I have been privileged to host some of our key national partners from other countries at the 3-day event, showing them a side of Washington and American politics that they never see in the news.
For most people attending, the Thursday morning “Presidential Breakfast” is the big event. But, after your intimate “Presidential breakfast” with 3,000 other people, the real business of the NPB gets started.
Right after the benediction at the breakfast, there are a number of other surrounding events that are the real “meat and potatoes” of the NPB. Various regional seminars take place that bring people together from their States and regions of the world. It is in these venues that you will hear some wonderful testimonies and reports of what God is doing “behind the scenes” in Washington and around the world.
In these smaller breakout sessions, you witness the best of faith being expressed through the best of politics. From Congressmen, Senators, judges and aids, faith and politics walk hand-in-hand as companions – not as enemies. You hear and watch men and women from the right and left loving, affirming and embracing each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. After the ending lunch on Friday, you leave Washington with a new sense of pride in our Judeo-Christian foundation and a renewed hope for the future.
The NPB is a wonderful event that was started in 1953. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first President to speak at the breakfast. He had made the comment to a congressman friend that the White House was the loneliest place in America! Because many other elected officials often felt the same sense of separation and alienation during their stays in Washington, some sought a spiritual solution to their sense of isolation. They began to meet weekly behind closed doors for fellowship and to pray together. They invited President Eisenhower to join them – which he did from time to time while he was in office. As a result, this weekly event became an annual event, and came to be known as the “National Prayer Breakfast.”
These smaller weekly prayer meetings and times of fellowship across Washington are informal and bipartisan. They continue to be a time when both Republican and Democratic Congressmen and Senators come together to pray for our nation and for each other – across political divides and ideological differences. Every branch of our Tripartite Government is usually represented in the national event each February. As it grew in popularity, the NPB became an annual event “by invitation only.”
The NPB is usually held on the first Thursday of February each year at the Hilton Hotel in Washington (where President Reagan was shot). For obvious reasons, the press and media were not invited or allowed. That was the policy for many years and has only changed in the last decade or so. That’s because these weekly and annual prayer meetings were not for spiritual or political posturing. They were strictly for prayer and fellowship – around the Person of Jesus Christ.
Because of his image as the foremost Christian and evangelist in America and the world, Billy Graham was invited to be the unofficial chaplain of these annual events. He faithfully attended – and usually spoke, until just a few years ago when his declining health kept him from traveling. His son, Franklin Graham, has continued that involvement.
Franklin was there as usual this past Thursday. Perhaps you saw one of his several TV interviews in response to President Obama’s comments quoted above. Like millions of other Christians and Americans, he was deeply offended at the insensitive and unfitting comparison that President Obama made to the atrocities of the Crusades and the recent barbaric beheading and burnings by ISIS.
UNIQUENESS OR UNIVERSALISM?
Patt and I stopped attending the NPB a few years ago because of a disturbing trend we saw taking place. From our perspective, there was a very noticeable shift in focus from the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation – to a more pluralistic perspective and universalism of salvation through whatever religion one followed. While the NPB was originally an unapologetic Christ-centered event, the Christ of the Bible became less and less the focus. There was a shift of emphasis to unify around the “cosmic Christ” that resides in everyone – whether they are a Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, secularist or atheist. It was a call to move beyond religion, the church and celebrate the “Christ within” every person.
At each succeeding NPB, a higher and higher profile was given to people of other faiths and their scriptures. In earlier days, only the Bible was read or quoted. While I understand the motivation to find common ground and not be unnecessarily offensive to people of other faiths – or no faith – I sensed a dangerous spiritual drift away from the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as man’s only source of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12, I Tim. 2:5, etc).
There was also an alarming aloofness from the local church that Jesus clearly said He came to build here on earth (Matt. 16:18). The emphasis changed from the importance of the “local church” to the more mystical “universal church” that transcends theology and denomination. But with all of her human frailties and faults, the “local church” is still a New Testament reality and God’s organism of salvation and sanctification.
So these not-so-subtle spiritual shifts from historic Christ and the local church were not the message I wanted my national partners to hear and be influenced by. The growing unity and universalism through any faith was especially problematic because each one of our national partners had been personally “saved” out of one of those other world religions. And the increasing profile of Islam was especially disturbing to us since some were living under the growing threat of Islamic radicalism, Hindu fundamentalism or Buddhist repression.
For me personally, this leavening of spiritual pluralism and theological universalism was nothing but a replay of what I was taught in a liberal seminary decades before! It was in these same theological fiery furnaces that I earned my Master’s Degree in Comparative World Religions. I did not go to the NPB to fight those same battles all over again.
While I am very thankful that the NPB continues to take place every year, I pray that they will get back to being unashamedly and unapologetically Christian with no compromises on the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as God’s only provision for salvation – not just for Americans, but for the entire world. I pray that “Biblical correctness” will replace the growing “political correctness” that has blurred the vision and blunted some of the cutting edge of the NPB. It is a fresh warning against the subtle “mission drift” that any ministry or organization can go through.
I am thankful that the Dalai Lama was present this year at the NPB. He clearly heard the Gospel once again. But he did not hear it from our President who spoke in the universalistic language that affirmed all faiths and all people as “children of God.” He assured the audience that God does not speak just to Christians – but to everyone through their different faiths.
This year, the Dalai Lama, along with many other spiritual and political leaders from over 100 countries, heard the clear Gospel through NASCAR legend, Darrell Waltrip. After nearly being killed in a racecar crash he should not have survived, he said it “ … scared the hell out of him – literally!” As a result, he gave his life to Jesus Christ. He then said in no uncertain terms: “If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior … you are going to hell!”
That is a statement that would never come out of the mouth of President Obama, who professes to be a Christian. Whether he is or not, only God knows. But when you compile and compare all of his statements about the virtues of Islam on the one hand and vices of Christianity on the other, you can see why so many Americans fear that President Obama is in reality a “closet Muslim.”
But unquestionably, President Obama has a big place in his heart for Islam since his father and grandfather were Muslims. His early education was in the Midrasahs, or Muslim schools, where he was taught the Koran. It was also here that he learned to love the Salat, or the Muslim call to prayer – apparently more than the Lord’s Prayer.
When you combine all of these Muslim influences that Obama experienced during his most formative years as a young boy, we should not be surprised by all of his praise for Islam. As Jesus said: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Lk. 6:44). And during his Presidency, Obama has spoken more positively about Islam than any president in American history – all the while either being cogently silent, negative, or condemning about Christianity.
That’s why his statement was so insensitive and offensive about Christians getting “off their high horse” because of the Crusades, the Inquisition and segregation. His comparison was not only untimely and historically skewed; it was naive and politically biased. To compare the Crusades that took place over 1,000 years ago to the recent beheadings, crucifixions and burnings are not moral equivalents by any stretch of the imagination! Neither history nor theology supports his allusions and conclusions!
Now, in my desire to be fair to President Obama, I did not want to make a quick knee-jerk judgment over his statement without hearing it in the context of his entire speech at the NPB. So I watched it – carefully. If viewed myopically, it was a relatively good speech. And if you only had this one speech by him to listen to, you would be impressed with his sincerity … his call for spiritual humility … his appeal to understand the importance of the separation of church and state in America … to respect those of other faiths … to be loving and compassionate like the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa … to minister to the poor like Pope Francis … to be an advocate for Christians who are wrongly imprisoned abroad.
But whether you are a Christian or not, no informed person can listen to his speech at the NPB in a vacuum. Every informed American is aware that from Cairo … to the United Nations … to the Oval Office … to Capital Hill, President Obama has apologized for America’s uniqueness and exceptionalism – while undermining the Judeo-Christian principles our nation was built upon. He seems to be uncomfortable with our greatness as a nation – believing it was somehow ill gotten and achieved through injustice. So in speech after speech, he has not only apologized for America’s greatness, he has also extolled the “virtues” of Islam and the Arab world while criticizing and castigating Christians for what he perceives as our tainted past.
Is it any wonder that he would have this skewed Biblical and spiritual perspective after sitting for 20 years under the vitriolic preaching and Marxist liberation theology and ideology of Rev. Jeremiah Wright! It’s exceedingly hard to rise above your mentoring – whether in Islam or leftist ideology.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY
If you listen to our military experts, especially the ones who have recently retired and feel freer to speak their mind, they all agree that we are not winning the war on Islamic terrorism. ISIS is growing – not shrinking on the Arabian Peninsula. And contrary to President Obama’s earlier assessment, ISIS has proven to be anything but a “JV Team” when it comes to Islamic terrorism. They are varsity players in every sense of the word when it comes to the propagation of their radicalized form of Islam. While we are soft toward them, they are hardened toward us.
As a result of their fierce aggression, more and more of the Arab World is being “radicalized” rather than “Westernized.” Our ambivalence indicates that we have no coherent and consistent strategy as a nation in confronting this enemy without and within – like we did against Nazism, Fascism and Communism. While World War II and the Cold War were seen as an “existential threat” to America, ISIS is not. How absurd! ISIS and radical Islam are no longer a “regional phenomena” – but a global one!
Countries that have experienced some form of Islamic
terrorism since 9/11.
Virtually all military experts agree that a major part of the problem is President Obama’s unwillingness to clearly name our enemy. Early in his administration, he separated from Islam all references to extremism, terrorism, radicalism, and jihaddism. He has loudly and long proclaimed that our war is not with Islam – but with extremists, terrorists, barbarians who have nothing to do with the religion of Islam. He has redefined much of the terrorism in our country as “work place violence.” He even recently said on a CNN interview that 99.9% of Muslims all over the world are peace loving and want exactly what we want as Americans! Talk about naïveté and living in a dream world that does not remotely resemble the reality of the world we live in!
Certainly not all Muslims are terrorists. However, to date, professing Muslims, who give as their authority the Koran and the example of their prophet, Mohamed, have carried out all acts of terrorism. While President Obama may not want to believe that Islam is capable of inspiring such acts of barbarism, the ones carrying them out clearly believe they are doing so in obedience to the tenants of their Islamic faith. That’s why all of them cry out “Allahu Akabar!” or “God is great,” as they pull the trigger … fire the rocket … detonate the bomb… slash the throat … ignite the fire!
Once again, you can’t defeat a spiritual or political enemy you will not identify and clearly name. The Bible is absolutely clear in naming the devil as our “#1 enemy.” So you can call Satan by the name of “Santa Claus” all you want – but his nature does not change! He will not bring you any presents but death and destruction!
No less an authority than Jesus Christ “called a spade a spade” when he said to the false religionists of His day:
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning … there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”(Jn. 8:43-44).
Dare we say anything less about the religion of radical Islam?! Dare we continue to live in the delusion that Islam is a “peaceful religion?” I think not!
Jesus further said that the devil “ … comes to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”(Jn. 10:10). The contrast and choice is crystal clear: Jesus or the devil … truth or lies … abundant life or living death … salvation or Sharia … heaven or hell? There are no gray zones here! No DMZ! No fences to sit on. No median to camp in. Waltrip was right – it’s Jesus or hell!
Why can our President not be equally clear in naming our American enemy as “Islamic Terrorism?” Again, not all Muslims are terrorists – but virtually all terrorists to date are self-proclaimed Muslims who are faithfully carrying out the dictates of the Koran to wage jihad, or holy war, until the whole world is under the crescent of Islam.
HIGH HORSE OR HOBBY HORSE?
While he was crystal clear in naming Christ as the religious leader the Crusades were carried out under, President Obama just will not make any similar comparison to Mohamed and their current crusade of global terrorism and barbarianism! Furthermore, for President Obama to even use the word “Crusade” and “Christ” in the same sentence added fire to the propaganda of radical Islam. He well understands that the favorite name for Christians among radical Muslims is “Crusader” – a word that confirms in their mind the aggression and atrocities of Christendom against “peaceful Islam.”
However, a strong historic case can be made for the fact that the Crusades were more of a “defensive war” and therefore a “just war” for Christians. That’s because the Islamic crusaders had taken over virtually all of the Holy Land and sacred sites of Christianity through their aggression. Were injustices and atrocities committed by overly zealous Christians – or by people professing the Christian faith? Absolutely. But, was it a totally one-sided series of wars? Hardly.
But that is an historic perspective of the Crusades you will never hear from Muslims, President Obama, or by university professors! They persistently portray the Crusades in such a way that Christians were the evil aggressors and Muslims were the innocent victims. You can get a concise and cursory introduction of this subject in my book, “A Christian Perspective of Islam”, where I have several chapters on the great areas of conflict between historic Christianity and historic Islam – beginning with the Crusades. (The other major areas of conflict are: Colonialism, Culture, Community, Caliphate, Christ and the Church. Unless you understand these polar opposites, you can never understand the hatred Islamists have for Christians and Jews. Please click here to order your copy.)
So, President Obama shot himself in the foot with his pontification to Christians at the NPB! That’s why his indictment about Christians being on a “high horse” has no integrity. In reality it was the President who was on a “high horse” at the NPB – but it is really a “hobby horse” he has been riding all around the world on behalf of Islam ever since he took office! His “high horse” has no moral high ground to stand on!
Like Mohamed’s mythological stead, Al-Buraq that flew him from Saudi Arabia to Jerusalem at night, President Obama’s “high horse” is a fantasy that is “taking him for a ride!” And sadly, many Americans are saddling-up and riding with him down the road toward national deception and destruction.
Ever since the prophet Mohamed rode out of the Arabian Peninsula brandishing his sword, Islam has not lost its vision of a global Islamic Caliphate. Simply put, that means the whole world must come into Dar-Al-Islam, or the House of Islam. That also means that every nation must come under Sharia law – not the 10 Commandments or the perfect Law of Love. We either “submit” – which is what the word “Islam” means – or die. We either become Islamists or infidels!
Day after day we have seen in the news that these Islamic terrorists are “deadly serious” about their global goal of a Caliphate. As a result of their relentless march, country after country in the Arab World is being “radicalized.” Jihadist groups are growing daily and vying for headlines through their acts of terror. Here are just a few of the major Islamic groups that are franchising their radicalism and terrorism beyond the borders of their home countries:
While these groups are loosely associated, they have one thing in common: the establishment of a global Islamic Caliphate through the domination of America and the destruction of Israel.
As these groups grow and seek to exceed each other in barbaric acts of terrorism, they take more and more real estate across the Middle East, Far East, North Africa and Asia.
Here are the approximate demographics of the 2.8 billion Muslims worldwide:
Recent experiences show that more and more so-called "moderate Muslim" young people in the West are being "radicalized" by Islamic jihaddism. Disillusioned by the decadence of the West, they are joining radical groups like ISIS by the thousands. And after being trained by these Islamic terrorists, they return to Europe and Ameria to await their opportunity to inflict terror - like we have seen in France, Australia and Boston.
Just like we had before 9/11, there are untold numbers of radical “sleeper cells” in every state in America – just waiting for their time to inflict acts of terrorism on the myriads of “soft targets” all across our country. And because of the technological savvy of rogue nations like North Korea, Iran and Russia, nuclear bombs or chemical warfare will likely soon be unleashed on unsuspecting millions of people – ushering in death and destruction on a level we have not yet seen!
THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE
All you have to do to see where America is headed is to look at Europe. Through immigration, Europe has largely been “Islamicized.” Muslims are winning Europe through their simple strategy of … migrate … propagate … infiltrate … dominate. It’s a numbers game they are winning through their high birth rate. As a result of their rapidly growing populations, large multi-million dollar mosques dominate the landscape in virtually every major city in Europe. In France alone, there are over 500 “no go zones” where non-Muslims do not go under any circumstances – not even the police. Sharia Law rules them, not the laws of the land.
As I listened to President Obama’s speech at the NPB this past Thursday, all of these facts and realities were swirling around in my mind – making it impossible for me to objectively listen to what he was saying. There were too many contradictions and cover-ups – like Benghazi and Gitmo. I could not listen to him in a vacuum as though these realities are non-realities – as he seems to think and portray. We apparently live on different planets. His America is not the America that I grew up in and believe in.
Obama-Care, or “Affordable Health Care” as it is being touted, will no doubt go down as his signature legislation. It is a BIG step in the direction of socialized medicine that will change our medical practices from being the envy of the world to being second-rate. But in my mind, it is not nearly as dangerous as his fueling of the Islamization of America, and the world that he is fostering through his spiritual ambivalence and political ambiguity when it comes to the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
ISLAMIC RADICALIZATION VS. CHRISTIAN REFORMATION
Every informed Christian is acutely aware of the sins and shortcomings that have taken place in the Name of Christ – whether the Crusades, Inquisitions, Colonialism, Apartheid or Ku Klux Klan! As one theologian rightly expressed it: “I have my own heart, I need no other, to convince me of the total depravity of man!” If we have an ounce of honesty, we know the “existential truth” of that statement!
We also know that we have been called to live out the very highest standards of love, righteousness, morality, justice, equality, compassion and generosity. Because we serve a living Christ who has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us and to “… lead us into truth” (Jn.16: 12), Christianity is always reforming, renewing and reviving itself.
Two thousand years of Christian history prove that Jesus will never allow His beloved bride to languish in darkness and disobedience for long. He is constantly “… washing her with the water through the word … to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:26). Only a living Christ can do that through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Throughout her history as the world’s youngest world religion, Islam has not exhibited this inclination toward reformation and renewal. While Christianity slowly emerged out of the “Dark Ages,” Islam remains there. The low standards of living for the masses, the opulence of their leaders, the repression of freedom of speech, the lack of human rights – especially for women and children, reveal the general darkness that millions of Moslems are living under.
As a backward looking religion that seeks to regain the “Golden Days” of the past Islamic Caliphate, Islam does not adjust well to modernity and the future. It is more inclined to the past and toward radicalization than reformation. It is only radicalism that has the potential of restoring to Islam the glory of their past centuries of domination – especially over Jews and Christians.
This is one of the reasons we hear little from the so-called “moderate Muslims majority” when it comes to speaking out against the Islamic extremists. There is little serious call for authentic reform from most Muslim clerics and Imams. Many are in reality “closet radicals” who secretly identify with the ideals and goals of the terrorists – but are afraid to speak out or act out their beliefs. So, they largely remain quiet. That’s why we see so much ambivalence in the Arab world today.
As Arab leaders watch the Islamic radicalization take place all around them, they are waiting to see who will “win the war on terrorism” before they make their final stand. They try to keep a door open to the West and democracy on the one hand, and to Islam and a theocratic Caliphate on the other. And their leaders continue to lie and speak out of both sides of their mouths – if they speak at all! Remember that “lying to an infidel” to deceive him is a worthy form of jihad!
We should not hold our breath then, while waiting for the Muslim world to undergo a major reformation that will expel radicalism. It just will not happen. It does not have the capacity to reform itself. Only the love of Jesus can transform their hearts and reform their behavior.
THE ‘HIGH HORSES’ OF REVELATION
Whether or not President Obama was aware of it, in using the term “high horse,” he was paraphrasing a familiar analogy from the Book of Revelation. There is a lot of horseback riding in the various visions John saw – starting with the “Four Horses of the Apocalypse” (Rev. 6). These ominous “high horses” are often summarized as The White Horse of War, The Red Horse of Famine, The Black Horse of Pestilence, The Pale Horse of Death.
If you listen, you can hear the thundering hoof beats of these horses in many parts of our world today – much of it created by Islamic terrorism!
But the ultimate “high horse rider” in Revelation is the Lord Jesus Himself! The first time He came as a “Suffering Servant” riding on the back of a donkey. When He comes again, He will be mounted on a heavenly warhorse leading His “holy warriors” in the final war to end all wars! Note these descriptive words that John used to describe this Person who was on His “high horse” in heaven:
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His Name is the Word of God.
But the story does not end there. There will be an unnumbered host of the armies of heaven who will also be on their “high horse” riding behind the Lord Jesus! If I am in heaven when He returns, I plan to be on my “high horse” riding close behind him!
“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has the name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:11-16).
One thing for sure, as the “King of kings and Lord of Lords,” Jesus will never ever come down from His “high horse!” Nor will He sheath His “sword of justice” until the wrath of God has been fully assuaged against everything that is an affront to His holy love for the world He created!
So my friends, there is a time for Christians to get down off of their “high horse” when they are wrong. As President Obama said, it is a time for humility. But there is also a time to “mount up” and use the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17) in this cosmic battle for the Lord Jesus and His Kingdom! That’s a “high horse” I hope and pray you will ride high on for His Kingdom and glory until He returns. No apologies. No compromises. No retreats. No fear. No defeats – only eternal victory!
“Ride on King Jesus!”
P.S. As I mentioned above, and if you have not read it already, my book, “A Christian Perspective of Islam" is another timely tool for your spiritual arsenal. This book is a wake-up call to anyone who has believed the politically correct rhetoric that says that "Islam is a peaceful religion that has just been hijacked by a few religious radicals." It is also a "crash course" in Biblical theology to show that Muslims and Christians do not believe in the same God. Please click on the picture of the book cover to be redirected to our website for complete ordering information.
“Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila … with his wife Priscilla …
because he was a tentmaker as they were,
he stayed and worked with them.”
Dear Ministry Partners,
Because of this experience in the life and apostolic ministry of Paul, the term “tentmaking” was coined. Just as “tentmaking” played a vital part in the missionary life of Paul, it has continued to be an essential part of missions ever since. Basically, “tentmaking” is understood as any form of work through which you support yourself. For Paul, it was making tents … working with leather … sewing by hand. And since most tents of the day were made of woven goat hair, Paul would have also been very familiar with weaving.
None of this should surprise us because the patriarch of Judaism, Abraham, lived in tents (Gen. 12:4). The children of Israel, then, were originally nomads. They were a pastoral people who lived in tents so they could move with their flocks. As a result, “tent making” was a necessary and noble trade.
While Paul was academically and theologically trained and credentialed above most of his peers, he still “ … worked with his hands” (Acts 20:34; I Thess. 4:11; II Thess. 3:6-10; Eph. 4:28; Col 3:23; I Cor. 9:6, etc). For Paul, there was no “division of labor” between the dignity of working with your head, heart or hands.
One of the tragic results of our Western emphasis on “academic education” is a resulting depreciation and denigration of “vocational education.” Working with one’s head is seen as more prestigious than working with one’s hands. The Apostle Paul knew no such division because his heart inspired both his head and hands. His Biblical worldview demonstrated the equal dignity of both vocations. One was not superior to the other. Both had divine approval and the very fingerprints of the Creator – who is a “working God” (Gen. 2:2; Jn. 5:17).
Sadly, this unbiblical division between head and hands has largely co-opted and colored theological education. Few Bible schools or seminaries have any serious courses on “Tent Making Ministry.” At best, it is an elective course for those who are not going into “full-time Christian ministry!”
As I look back at my own formal theological education, I am profoundly thankful that I had to also “work my way through seminary” through various “secular jobs” – mostly in building and construction. But through a sovereign set of circumstances, I also learned sewing through working in an upholstery shop. Little could I have known then how God would use both of these interests and experiences in ministry and missions the rest of my life! For 5 decades now, I have had a keen interest and involvement in building churches, agape homes, orphanages and micro-businesses. But, Patt and I have also jump-started various “sewing and weaving projects” in many countries of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. And through the partnership of people like you, we have been able to give hundreds of sewing machines to needy and deserving people – along with the training in how to use them to help support themselves.
Charlie and Judy Baer, Ed and Becky Williams, with Barbara Miketta
near her home in Jacksonville, Florida, in the summer of 2014.
The following story is an exciting update on one such project we recently funded. This project was to purchase 100 sewing machines for 10 different “Sewing Schools” in ECI Churches in India. Each manual sewing machine cost $100. The funds came mostly from my half-sister Barbara Miketta’s life insurance policy. Patt and I were with her when she died.
Barbara (pictured above with my sister Judy, her husband Charlie, my brother Ed and his wife Becky) had lived most of her adult life as a widow. She did not own a home or car. But, during her earlier years as a legal typist, she had taken out a small life insurance policy. That policy was all she had left, which she had willed to me to use in ministry. In consultation with my 3 siblings, Eddy, Hannah Thompson and Judy Baer, we agreed to give the money to buy the 100 sewing machines to jumpstart the 10 Sewing Centers for needy women in India. Since Barbara loved to work with her hands in decorating her home and her clothing, we knew she would be pleased with this decision. It will be a “living legacy” in her memory for years to come, and will result in the training and self-support for hundreds of needy women!
Kathiroli "Sunlight" Manickam, pictured at left,
Founder & Director of the Lydia Fellowship.
Please take a minute more and read this report from Kathiroli “Sunlight” Manickam. Because she is a contemporary of my daughters, she has been my adopted “Indian daughter” since she was a teenager. She is the biological daughter of dear friend and partner, Bishop Ezra Sargunam, and now has two beautiful teenage daughters, Swarti and Sruti, who have their mother’s entrepreneurial spirit!
My "adopted Indian daughter" Sunlight and her two children Swarti & Sruti.
At right, Sunlight, with her father, Bishop Ezra Sargunam, and Bishop
Sundar Singh, present the shawl of honor to Franklin Graham,
a longtime partner with ECI.
The “Lydia Fellowship” headed by Sunlight has
become a spiritual and vocational catalyst for
thousands of ECI women across India.
My sister, Hannah, (above left) has had the joy
of speaking at their annual Conference in India.
SOWING THROUGH SEWING PROJECT
The Annai Mangalam Tailoring Institute was started with a vision to financially and spiritually empower the underprivileged women of our community. It is named after my deceased mother, Mangalam, who so greatly impacted my life as a pioneer Christian entrepreneur, just as my grandmother did.
As our national history shows, the women of India have had to fight for their right to education and financial independence. This struggle is still not over in most parts of our country. That’s why the majority of our population still live under the poverty line. And young girls are often forced to stay home and help the mother by looking after the younger siblings while the mother goes out to earn an extra income for the family.
Boys are encouraged to study because they are believed to help the family in the future. Parents also have a feeling that it is not worth educating the girl child, as they might have to pay a bigger dowry at marriage. If the girl is equal to the boy in education, when she gets married, she will earn a salary for their husband’s family, not the girl’s family. So they seldom take any interest in educating their girls.
Therefore in rural and slums of India we get to see the pathetic plight of the girl child. As a result, we wanted to do something for the women and young girls who have never had any hope of a proper income. Many of these young girls marry young and are widowed or abandoned by their families at a young age. The Annai Mangalam Tailoring Institute was conceived to help these women.
As we have traveled around India to see the impact of this project, our hearts exploded with praise to the Lord for the changes he had brought in the lives of so many women! One young girl in Aranvoyalkuppam with trembling voice and eyes brimming with tears shared her story. She said that as a child she had developed a psychological illness where she would get convulsions if someone spoke harshly to her. This happened so often that her parents stopped her from going to school. At first she felt very happy to be playing all day long without the burden of studies. Later as she grew up and saw all her playmates take up some good profession, she began to worry about her future. She had no formal education, her parents were poor, and she realized she could only become a housemaid to earn her living and her dreams will never come to pass. All these doubts about her future loomed large in front of her. She heard about the Tailoring Institute in the Church and enrolled to equip herself. Now she can stitch blouse and chudidars. She said that she gifted blouses to some old destitute women living around her home. She thanked the Lord for giving her a hope to earn a living in the future.
In another church we met a relatively young woman who had been married for 10 years. She had given birth to two children who developed some genetic disorder that stunted their growth for eight years. The father of these children abandoned his family and this woman now lives with her aging parents. She cannot go out for work since she had to constantly take care of her two underdeveloped children. After her training in the Tailoring Institute she is brimming with joy since the Lord has given her a hope to earn money by working from her home where she can take care of her children and do her work.
We have many life transforming stories to tell. Your contributions are bringing rays of hope and joy to the lives of many women in India. This year sewing machines were given to 10 churches. Each church got 10 sewing machines and are using these to open the doors of the Gospel to the unreached people of our communities since they begin the training by praying and sharing the word of God. The tailoring school has become instrumental in bringing non-believers into our churches.
We are glad to report what the Lord is doing through Annai Mangalam Tailoring Institutes all across India. This year we were able to start tailoring institutes in 10 new churches. Each church was given 10 machines each. We thank the Lord for Mrs. Barbara’s life because of her support hundreds of lives have been transformed and destitute women have hope in Christ. Many women belonging to other faith have tasted the love of Christ and their lives have been transformed through this project. Many Physically handicapped women have also been blessed through this effort.
CHURCHES RECEIVING SEWING MACHINES
STATEMENT OF EXPENSES
Created for his service,
Rev. Kathiroli Manickam
Thanks for taking the time to read about these 10 new Sewing Projects in India through our partnership with ECI and the Annai Mangalam Tailoring Institutes of the Lydia Fellowship. We hope that many of you will make a special gift of $100 or more to buy a sewing machine for a needy woman in some part of the world. Additionally, for a gift of $1,000 you could sponsor an entire “Sewing School” in one of the ECI Churches! Since we have been sponsoring sewing and weaving programs for 5 decades, we do not plan to stop now! It will continue to be a priority initiative of our Kingdom Entrepreneurs program. So please join us as we continue the ministry of “Sowing Through Sewing.”
Equipping people through the gift of hope,
JL & Patt
PS: Many of you have written to ask about Sangge Sherpa. Because of strong prayer and good medical treatment, we are happy to report that he is now back in ministry again full time. And since all of his medical bills are paid in full, we do not need any more financial support for that. Just continue to pray for his spiritual wisdom and physical safety as he shares Christ in those remote villages up to the “top of the world!”