Prophecy News Watch - Week In Review/Aug 18- Aug 22
Keeping You Informed of World Events From A Biblical Perspective
Prophetic Trends & Headline News
1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?
14 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy’s Bubble Of False Prosperity May Be About To Burst
Did you know that a major event just happened in the financial markets that we have not seen since the financial crisis of 2008? If you rely on the mainstream media for your news, you probably didn't even hear about it. Just prior to the last stock market crash, a massive amount of money was pulled out of junk bonds.
Now it is happening again. In fact, as you will read about below, the market for high yield bonds just experienced "a 6-sigma event". But this is not the only indication that the U.S. economy could be on the verge of very hard times. Retail sales are extremely disappointing, mortgage applications are at a 14 year low and growing geopolitical storms around the world have investors spooked.
For a long time now, we have been enjoying a period of relative economic stability even though our underlying economic fundamentals continue to get even worse. Unfortunately, there are now a bunch of signs that this period of relative stability is about to end. The following are 14 reasons why the U.S. economy's bubble of false prosperity may be about to burst...
#1 The U.S. junk bond market just experienced "a 6-sigma event" earlier this month. In other words, it is an event that is only supposed to have a chance of 1 in 500 million of happening. Billions of dollars are being pulled out of junk bonds right now, and that has some analysts wondering if a financial crash is right around the corner.
#2 The last time that we saw a junk bond rout of this magnitude was back during the financial crash of 2008. In fact, as the Telegraph recently explained, bonds usually crash before stocks do...
The credit market usually leads the equity market during turning points, as happened when credit markets cracked first in 2008.
Will the same thing happen this time around?
#3 Retail sales have missed expectations for three months in a row and we just had the worst reading since January.
#4 Things have gotten so bad that even Wal-Mart is really struggling. Same-store sales at Wal-Mart have declined for five quarters in a row and the outlook for the future is not particularly promising.
#5 The four week moving average for mortgage applications just hit a 14 year low. It is now even lower than it was during the worst moments of the financial crisis of 2008.
#6 The tech industry is supposed to be booming, but mass layoffs in the tech industry are actually 68 percent ahead of last year's pace.
#7 According to the Federal Reserve, 40 percent of all households in the United States are currently showing signs of financial stress.
#8 The U.S. homeownership rate has fallen to the lowest level since 1995.
#9 According to one survey, 76 percent of Americans do not have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses.
#10 Rumblings of a stock market correction have become so loud that even the mainstream media is reporting on it. For example, just check out this CNN headline from earlier this month: "Is a correction near? Wall Street on edge".
#11 The civil war in Iraq is spiraling out of control, and Barack Obama has just announced that he is going to send 130 troops to the country in a "humanitarian" capacity. Iraq is the 7th largest oil producing nation on the entire planet, and if the flow of oil is disrupted that could have serious consequences.
#12 As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, the United States, Canada and the European Union have slapped sanctions on Russia. In return, Russia has slapped sanctions on them. Will this slowdown in global trade significantly harm the U.S. economy?
#13 The three day cease-fire between Hamas and Israel is about to end, and Hamas officials are saying that they are preparing for a "long battle". If a resolution is not found soon, we could potentially see a full-blown regional war erupt in the Middle East.
#14 The number of Ebola deaths continues to grow at an exponential rate, and if the virus starts spreading inside the United States it has the potential to pretty much shut down our entire economy.
Meanwhile, things look even more dire in much of the rest of the globe.
For example, the economic slowdown has gotten so bad in some nations over in Europe that they are actually experiencing deflation...
Portugal has crashed into deep deflation and Italy’s inflation rate has fallen to zero as the eurozone flirts with recession, automatically pushing these countries further towards a debt compound spiral.
The slide comes amid signs of a deepening slowdown in the eurozone core, with even Germany flirting with possible recession. Germany’s ZEW index of investor confidence plunged from 27.1 to 8.6 in July, the sharpest fall since June 2012, during the European sovereign debt crisis. “The European Central Bank has to act now,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS.
And in Japan, GDP just contracted at a 6.8 percent annual rate during the second quarter...
Japan's economy suffered its worst contraction since 2011 in the second quarter as consumer spending on big items slumped in the wake of a sales tax rise.
Gross domestic product shrunk by an annualized 6.8% in the three months ended June, Japan's Cabinet Office said Wednesday. The result was actually better than the 7% contraction expected by economists.
On a quarterly basis, Japan's GDP dropped by 1.7% as business and housing investment declined. Japan's economy last suffered a hit of this magnitude after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.
There is no way that this bubble of false prosperity was going to last forever. It was never real to begin with. It was just based on a pyramid of debt and false promises. In fact, the condition of the global financial system is now far worse than it was just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.
Sadly, most people do not understand these things. Most people just assume that our leaders have fixed whatever caused the problems last time. And when the next crisis arrives, they will be totally blindsided by it.
Isaiah 9:10 Linked With 9/11 – In 1985!
The links between the 9/11 attacks and the Bible verse Isaiah 9:10 are so striking they helped make Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger” the bestselling Christian book of the last three years.
The book was spun off into a documentary, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” which became the bestselling Christian movie of 2012 and 2013.
And now, with the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks nearing, Cahn is following up his uber-successful “The Harbinger” with a sequel, “The Mystery of the Shemitah.”
But in the mean time he has found Isaiah 9:10 has another remarkable link to 9/11.
Long before Cahn penned “The Harbinger” or gave his first teaching on the connections he found between Sept. 11 and Isaiah 9:10, the editors of “The One-Year Bible,” which has 365 days of Scripture readings, decided to include that verse in the Sept. 11 reading.
Isaiah 9:10 is included that day in every version for the 16 years prior to 9/11 and the 13 years since.
“This has been the case since 1985,” said Cahn. “It’s been there for years. Millions of Americans have been reading this verse on Sept. 11 for 16 years before 2001.”
“It’s a remarkable coincidence,” said Joseph Farah, producer of “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.” “Unless it’s not coincidence at all. That would make it even more remarkable.”
In 1985, “The One-Year Bible” was published using the text of many different Bible translations around the world – from the Living Bible to the Catholic Bible to the New King James version to the New American Standard and the English Standard Bible.
A reader who turns to the date of Sept. 11 – no matter the year – sees Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (KJV)
It’s just the another striking example of dozens and dozens of sometimes eerie links between the attack of 9/11 in America and the attack on ancient Israel described in Isaiah 9:10, revealed in both the book and the movie. Cahn says the harbingers for America – messages he believes are from God – continue to mount.
For those who have read “The Harbinger” or seen “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the words of Isaiah 9:10 have special meaning. It was a message heard often from U.S., state and city leaders in the wake of the 9/11 attack: “We will rebuild. We will come back stronger.”
The words mimicked – sometimes with precision – those of ancient Israel in Isaiah 9:10.
And that’s the pattern that has been revealed in Cahn’s bestseller and the movie that has been the No. 1 faith film in America for the last 35 weeks.
“A number of years ago, as I was standing at the edge of Ground Zero in New York City, I came across the first puzzle piece of an ancient biblical mystery and a prophetic message known as ‘The Harbinger’ that concerns the future of America,” explains Cahn, who helped write and narrate the two-hour documentary “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”
In completing his first book, Cahn says he found nine harbingers that tie the problems America has experienced beginning Sept. 11, 2001, with parallels that led to the destruction of ancient Israel.
“Before God judges a nation, He sends warning,” explains Cahn. “He sent warning to ancient Israel. He even allowed its enemies to breach its borders in a devastating strike that would traumatize the nation. It was a wake-up call, the call to return to God. But the nation responded with defiance. God then gave nine harbingers of judgment, nine prophetic signs, alarms and foreshadows of what was to come. Now America is the nation in rapid departure from God’s will. And God likewise allowed an enemy to breach its borders in a devastating strike – the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was, likewise, a wake-up call. But America, like Israel, has not responded with repentance, but with defiance. And now the nine harbingers of judgment have reappeared and have done so on American soil.”
In Isaiah 9:10, Israel’s national leaders utter a vow of defiance following an attack by Assyria. The leaders declared that the nation would not repent before God but would defy Him instead. Cahn reveals in “The Harbinger” – and in even more dramatic fashion in the movie – that beginning the day after Sept. 11, 2001, American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word.
“Having no idea what he was doing, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate (Tom Daschle) was declaring America as under the judgment of God,” Cahn says. “It was the reenactment of an ancient mystery – and bore the most grave of consequences.”
He continues: “According to the ancient mystery revealed in the Book of Isaiah, if after that first calamity and warning, the nation doesn’t return to God but responds in defiance, it will end up triggering a second calamity. It was because of this ancient key, that, seven years after 9/11, the American economy collapsed. In the days after 9/11, the Federal Reserve slashed the base interest rate in an attempt to defy the consequences of the attacks. That action put us on the path leading to the collapse of the American economy seven years later. In 2008, the government made a second fatal mistake, another ill-fated financial decision that would trigger the collapse of the American economy. Amazingly, it took place on the seventh anniversary of the uttering of the ancient vow on Capitol Hill.”
Cahn also reveals in “The Harbinger” and “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” something that readers and viewers universally find astonishing – that New York’s Ground Zero actually represents more than the former financial center of the country. It represents the exact place at which America was first consecrated to God in prayer by the country’s new leaders.
“When judgment came to Israel, the calamity returned the people’s attention to the place where the nation had been consecrated to God – the Temple Mount,” says Cahn. “God was calling the nation back to Himself. What about 9/11? Could there be, in the American calamity, as well, a mystery of return? Could there be a prophetic message hidden in the place where it happened? There is a place where America was consecrated to God in prayer. It is also a place linked to a prophetic warning given on that same day – uttered by the nation’s first president – now coming to pass.”
In 1789, newly inaugurated President George Washington gave a prophetic warning at Federal Hall in New York City. He declared that America’s prosperity and protection were dependent upon its adherence to God. Later, the political leaders of the young nation gathered at St. Paul’s Chapel to commit the nation’s future to God’s purposes. That chapel is located at Ground Zero and miraculously survived 9/11 virtually unscathed.
Cahn, the pastor of the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, New Jersey, says America is uncannily re-enacting ancient Israel’s behavior prior to its judgment and eventual fall.
He found a sympathetic ear for his message in WND founder Farah, who produced “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” as a follow-up to “The Harbinger.”
The key to decoding the harbingers, Cahn says, is found in understanding the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10, what it meant to Israel and how the history seems to be repeating itself in America today.
These words were first uttered by leaders in Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn’t meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.
But, says Cahn, Israel didn’t take the cue. Instead, the response from the people in Isaiah 9:10 is one of defiance. The brick buildings were toppled, but they vowed to build bigger and better. The little sycamore trees may have been uprooted, but they vowed to plant bigger and better cedars in their place.
God, speaking through Isaiah, explains what will happen as a result of their pride and arrogance and failure to heed the harbinger: Bigger and more potent attacks will follow. Because neither the northern kingdom of Israel nor the southern kingdom of Judah truly repents, the first is eventually swept away by Assyrian invaders and the latter is carried off into captivity by the Babylonians for 70 years.
But what does this have to do with the United States of America – particularly what the U.S. experienced on 9/11 and since? Cahn has found some eerie parallels.
“In the aftermath of the attack, the nation was stunned,” said Cahn. “Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, Sept. 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world. And what did he say?”
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10.
“Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,” explains Cahn. “He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation.”
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story – if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that’s not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator running for vice president that year and who would famously run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards’ entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10:
“Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word to get us through,” he said. He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.
Later, in his first State of the Union Address in 2009, Barack Obama hearkens back to the same theme.
In “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” viewers get to see these remarkable, largely forgotten or overlooked speeches, which directly link the events of 9/11 and the events referred to in Isaiah 9:10.
But aside from such statements, which could be chalked up to political talk and coincidences, is there anything else linking Isaiah 9:10 to 9/11 and the shockwaves that followed, including two economic crashes?
The video documentary, like the book, is full of shocking parallels. There was actually a very famous sycamore tree felled in the attack on the World Trade Center. It was replaced by trees in the same genus as the cedar. There have been many plans made to rebuild the twin towers bigger and better and a large “hewn stone” was actually quarried out of the Adirondack Mountains in New York and brought to Ground Zero as a cornerstone.
“The parallels are truly stunning,” says Farah, founder of WND, who produced the documentary for WND Films. “In fact, they are overwhelming in their number and their exactitude. I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message.”
BRIC Nations Looks To Challenge US Economic Power
United States and western economic domination via the G7 is now said to be under threat from a rise of another economic conglomerate: the BRICS countries. This economic bloc comprises 5 countries typically not considered ‘first world’ and comparatively considered to be among developing nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. These countries are said to account for 42% of the global population and their GDP and trade volume each make up for about 20% of the world's total.
A recent report by WantChinaTimes.com says that the rise of the BRICS group and its increasing clout, may well challenge the world order and lead to the end of US domination. The five countries set up the New Development Bank during a recent summit in Brazil, which offers an alternative to the US-led International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The five countries participating in the economic cooperation forum are likely to deepen their cooperation in various fields, which may rival the dominance of the United States and G7 countries in the world. The United States has been dominant both due to its military might and the widespread use of the dollar, with the IMF and the World Bank playing an instrumental role in cementing the dollar's role in the global economy.
The report infers that the Development Bank alternative addresses the reflection of the BRICS countries’ shifting roles, and further states that the BRICS countries will contribute equally to the US$50 billion fund, enjoy the same voting powers and provide loans to other developing nations as a means for expansion.
A similar WashingtonTimes.com report discussing the subject,lists several complaints and issues raised by BRICS in relation to IMF and World Bank policies and operations. These encapsulate the core motivations for forming BRICs and challenging the long-standing US domination:
1.Restrictions on world trade imposed by the Bretton Woods (NH) Agreement of 1944, which established a new international monetary system dominated by the United States.
2.Moral objections to U.S. perversion of its reserve currency status, namely that the U.S. has been printing money to fund its budget deficits for two generations.
3.The threats of default on U.S. obligations to foreign holders of U.S. bonds — which would cause a collapse of the dollar and a worldwide depression.
4.BRICS has also bridled at the lack of developing nations’ influence on international trade and currency valuations. For example, the top five members of the IMF (USA, Japan, Germany, France and the UK control nearly 40 percent (39.4 percent) of all the voting rights of the 188 member organization. China has 4 percent. Perhaps even more significant is the fact that all the standards for lending, reporting, national solvency and balance of trade are set and enforced according to the American philosophy of taxation, government spending and rule of law.
Within the BRICS set up, China is however poised to take on the role of the ‘defacto’ group leader. In an interview with Latin American media during the summit, Chinese president Xi Jinping promised that China will play the role of a responsible major nation to contribute to the economic development and stability of BRICS nations. Indications are that independent international views would also agree with the high likelihood of this outcome, extending beyond BRICS to the global economic stage. A recent survey of people in 44 countries by the Pew Research Center showed that close to 50% of those polled believe that China will eventually replace the United States as the world leader.
The WashingtonTimes.com concurs, stating: “China is the primary mover of BRICS. 70 percent of BRICS’ combined GDP comes from China and 41 percent of the eventual $100 billion capitalization of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) will come from China. From its rhetoric, it is clear that this alliance is intended to eventually construct an alternate world financial system dominated by China to supersede or replace the Bretton Woods international monetary system and the U.S. dollar. China has been scheming to have its currency, the Renminbi Yuan (called the Yuan), declared a reserve currency."
Additionally, based on independent research sources BRICS is said to represent over 25 percent of the world’s land, about 40 percent of the world’s population and about 17 percent of the world economy as well as 50 percent of the world’s growth in GDP over the past 10 years. BRICS’ combined 2014 GDP ($10,971.6 trillion) is nearly that of the US ($14,657.8 trillion) and the EU ($16,282.2 trillion) and is expected to surpass the combined US and EU GDP by 2020. Not good news for the US and EU from economic domination and policy control viewpoints. However, the US seems not be taking these challenges lying down, and is attempting to fight to retain its dominance and influence in the friendlier current IMF and World Bank set up over the longer term.
The Washington Times report explains that the BRICS flagship New Development Bank is not in itself a serious threat to the dollar. In years to come, however, it could evolve into a game-changer for the U.S. Meanwhile, the nearer term threat of this BRICS activity stems not from the BRICS countries directly but as a sign of the gathering anti-Bretton Woods sentiment, even among US allies.
Prominent in this arena is the outspoken IMF Managing Director Christine LaGarde, who apparently favors a new international monetary system based on the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to replace the dollar’s exclusive status as the world’s reserve currency. LaGarde’s idea is to add the Yuan to the “basket” and then treat any of these five currencies as legitimate reserve currencies for international transactions at the valuation determined by the IMF. This, of course, converts the dollar from “one of a kind” to “one of several” — with additional currencies to be added to the list as authorized by the IMF.
The Washington Times report concludes: “Needless to say, any hasty actions to replace or degrade the position of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency could be catastrophic for the USA. At the same time, the emergence of China and BRICS, with the overt support of many of the 188 countries of the IMF are clear signals that significant changes are inevitable and at hand. One must have confidence that the Americans will be successful in negotiating a soft landing for the dollar. Or the USA will be the next Greece.”
So how long will the US be able to maintain economic dominance over competitors, and keep the dollar as the global reserve currency of choice? That remains to be seen, but one unconventional, yet timeless and clearly overlooked source of advice for the US is not to be found in economics text books or forums, but in the God-inspired mind of the wisest man who ever lived:
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
2. Israel - God's Timepiece
The Subtle Attempt To Take Israel Out Of The Bible
New Christians struggling to study their Bible are often taught to read the Scriptures as though they were written personally to them, even reciting the scriptures using one's own name in place of the verse's subject. While it is important to apply Scripture to one's own life, it is equally important to not ignore the original context of the scripture and the original recipient of that particular promise.
For example, a special verse that brings comfort to a person who may be experiencing difficulty is Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have inscribed you [insert name] on the palms of My hands." This verse lets the believer know that they are known by the Lord, and He holds them before Him, as it were, in the palms of His hands. It is a beautiful verse.
It may be a great surprise to many to learn that the verse is originally intended for Jerusalem, the city that personifies the people of Israel, for verse 17 goes on to say "Your walls are continually before Me." An over-personalization of the scriptures can actually result in a Christian who can recite verses from their Bible but has failed to understand what the book is about.
Another tendency in Bible study is to study by topic or book, which is understandable for such an immense volume as the Bible. The danger, however, is walking away from a Bible study understanding everything there is to know about a particular topic but not knowing the overall story of the Bible itself.
The Bible is the story of God's love for the world, His plan to redeem that world, and the battle against that plan. The object of God's love was always the world, and He chose Abraham to birth a nation through which He would carry out His plan to redeem that world. This is the overarching story that the Bible tells, and central to the story is the calling on the nation of Israel.
The Bible is, in fact, a Jewish book: written by, about, and largely for, Jews. Jesus even said that salvation is of the Jews. Christians are partakers of that salvation and are able to apply the scriptures to their own lives, because they are the heirs of Abraham by faith. Through Jesus they are adopted into the family and are part of Abraham's family tree. But, they do not replace the original family they are grafted into, nor do they annul God's promises to the Jews.
Some Christians have tried to claim that the Old Testament should no longer be read literally about the people of Israel; it now only applies spiritually to the church. This is known as Replacement Theology: the idea that the church has replaced Israel in the plans and purposes of God. This spiritualization of scripture is actually a rejection of scripture by rewriting it to mean something other than its original meaning.
While some Replacement Theologians would deny rejecting or rewriting scripture, others are quite blatant about it. One such group is Sabeel. Founded by Palestinian Anglican Canon, Naim Ateek, Sabeel propagates Palestinian Liberation Theology and disregards any portion of Scripture that disagrees with Ateek's anti-Semitic views. He calls for Scripture to be "de-Zionized" by removing all "Zionist" portions that afford any significance to the nation of Israel and any connection of the Jewish people to the Holy Land.
While that may sound ludicrous to most, Sabeel has the ear of some mainline denominations, one being the Presbyterian Church (USA). The group's influence over the years has fanned the flames of Replacement Theology in the PCUSA and finally resulted in this summer's vote to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
That denomination also published an anti-Semitic study guide earlier this year entitled "Zionism Unsettled" in which Sabeel authored a chapter as did Replacement Theologian Gary Burge.
The study guide was unbalanced and malicious, and it intentionally over-simplified the extremely complicated Arab-Israeli conflict in order to vilify Israel and Zionism. It was so biased that some Jewish groups called it "hate speech."
The study guide ended with a group exercise suggesting that liturgy and hymns be edited so as to avoid words like Israel, Zion, exile, covenant and return, as they might cause worshipers to confuse these biblical terms with modern events and people in the Holy Land.
Interestingly, all of this manipulation and conniving is with one intent in mind: rid Scripture of the role of the nation of Israel. This is in complete contradiction to the words of the Apostle Paul that Israel's calling cannot be revoked. Speaking specifically of the Jewish people, He said in Romans 11:29, "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."
The problem is, of course, that if you want to remove Israel from the Bible, you will have little Bible left. Christianity then loses its spiritual roots, churches lose their moral authority, and their membership numbers dwindle. The PCUSA membership has dropped 26.8 percent over the last 10 years. Let's hope they see the error of their ways before it is too late.
The Deadly Disease of Anti-Semitism Proliferates in Europe
A dangerous and deadly disease is resurfacing in Europe. Since its last and worst outbreak, in the 1940’s this malady has been somewhat contained, and loss of life associated with the disease has been very limited. Until now.
Anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jews because they are Jews, is the deadly and dangerous disease making a lethal comeback across Europe today. The disease smoldered under the surface for decades with occasional exacerbations, but nothing like the death toll the disease wrought in the 1940’s.
The current Palestinian- Israeli conflict is serving to rekindle anti-Semitism in countries like France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Chants like “Death to the Jews” and the horrendous “Gas the Jews” are being heard more frequently on the streets of these European countries! But this wave of anti-Semitism seems to be growing in response to more than just Israeli politics.
Reportedly, eight synagogues were torched in a one week period last month. One such synagogue was fire-bombed by a mob of 4oo. In addition to these crimes, kosher supermarkets and pharmacies have been smashed and looted by angry mobs, and stone throwing protesters have burned Israeli flags in French streets!
In Germany, destructive riots, reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938 throughout Germany have damaged synagogues, namely Berigische synagogue in Wuppertal previously destroyed on the “Night of Crystal”. Additionally, calls for a second holocaust against Jews are being chanted on the streets of German cities!
"These are the worst times since the Nazi era," states Dieter Graumann, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews. "On the streets, you hear things like 'the Jews should be gassed', 'the Jews should be burned' – we haven't had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn't criticizing Israeli politics; it's just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it's not just a German phenomenon. It's an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it's very clear indeed."
The prime Ministers of both Germany and France have denounced the attacks as attacks on democracy and nationalism, and characterize the anti-Semitism as intolerable in a free society.
In the Netherlands more than 70 calls from alarmed Jewish citizens were received in one week last month; the average is normally three to five. A rabbi’s front door was stoned, and two Jewish women were attacked after hanging Israeli flags from their balconies. A shop in Belgium reportedly refused to sell to a Jewish woman stating: "We don't currently sell to Jews."
Jewish shops in Rome, Italy are finding swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans painted on shutters and windows. One slogan reading: "Jews, your end is near." In the town of San Donà di Piave, an imam called for the extermination of the Jews. He has since been deported.
Previously, Prophecy News Watch, reported on a recent Jewish Anti- Defamation League study which found that roughly 25% of Europeans admit to feelings of anti-Semitism. A 2012 survey by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency revealed that 66% of Jewish respondents believed anti-Semitism in Europe was on the rise. In 2013, the same surveyed group, 50% expressed anxiety about possible verbal attacks or assaults being perpetrated against them.
Sadly, recent cases of anti-Semitism also include kidnappings and murders! "In May 2012, Mohamed Merah, shot dead seven people, including three children and a young Rabbi outside their Jewish school in Toulouse, France. And in May this year Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, possibly a radical Islamists who had spent a year fighting in Syria, was charged with shooting four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels.
What is the motivation behind this reemerging disorder of anti-Semitism? According to the experts, there are many causes; the rise of radical Islam, ongoing hostilities between Palestinians and Israeli’s, alienation of young Muslims from society at large, and interestingly, the power of social media to inflame hatred through visual images!
A normalization of anti-Semitism, or a “simmering” hatred of all things Jewish is seen as an additional facet of the upsurge in violence against Jews. Jews are blamed for all the woes” of a lot of angry people,” according to the Guardian article.
Alarmingly, anti-Semitism is becoming acceptable among not just angry immigrant youths, but among the educated middle class as well. According to a 2013 study by the Technical University of Berlin, in 14,000 hate-mail letters sent over 10 years to the Israeli embassy in Berlin and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Professor Monika Schwarz-Friesel found that 60% were written by educated, middle-class Germans, including professors, lawyers, priests and university and secondary school students
The result; a chilling effect on Jews in Europe and an uneasy awareness that the deadly disease of anti-Semitism, is spreading, once again across the European landscape.
6. The Rise of Islam
‘Non-Kosher’ Islamists And ‘Kosher’ Ones
Wednesday felt uncomfortably a lot like those first early days of Operation Protective Edge.
Hamas fired rockets, we attacked targets from the air; they fired more rockets, we hit more targets from the air. And in the meantime, the airwaves were full of speculation about whether Israel should commit ground forces into Gaza, and if so how far they should go.
Related: Obama calls Islamic State a 'cancer' after graphic threatNetanyahu: Hamas leaders are legitimate targets, no one is invincibleDidn’t we just have that debate? Forty-four days after the start of the Gaza operation, we seem to be back at the very beginning. But don’t be fooled, or, rather, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not be fooled, because the ground has shifted – it has shifted internationally, and it has shifted domestically.
As we stand poised on the brink of what seems like the second half of this bloody round, the international leeway and legitimacy that Israel enjoyed at the beginning – largely because it restrained itself for days while rockets were fired from Gaza – has been largely depleted.
The accumulated impact of the images of the dead and dying in Gaza has taken its toll. If Jerusalem launches another ground incursion – this time with the aim of toppling Hamas – it is unlikely to merit the same degree of understanding, or be given the same amount of time to try and achieve its objectives, as at the beginning of the campaign.
Certainly not from the US, where last week’s decision to put arms sales to Israel under White House supervision was a clear indication of US annoyance and impatience.
While some might think that the sudden surge of Islamic State will give Israel a greater degree of understanding in the world – it was indeed telling to hear French President François Hollande on Wednesday talk about convening an international conference to fight the Islamic extremists – this should not be overstated.
In the fight against the Islamic extremists, there will be those in the international community who will want to signal to the world’s Muslims that they have nothing against them. One way to do this might be to differentiate between the bad evil folks, such as Islamic State – which beheads American journalists in front of video cameras – and the good evil folks: Hamas, which “only” executes kidnapped Jewish youth, something some out there find possible to “understand,” because those youths wore kippot and were hitchhiking near a “settlement.”
All those who think that as a result of the Islamic extremists’ killing of Yezidis, and the gruesome beheading of US journalist James Foley, the West will now take a more understanding view of Israel’s battle with Islamic extremist Hamas, should think again. Hamas will always be given leeway by some of the world’s “progressives” because – after all – they are fighting the “Zionist occupation.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is one of those European leaders who “gets” Israel’s battle against Hamas, penned an op-ed in the Sunday Telegraph under the headline: “ISIL poses a direct and deadly threat to Europe.”
His theme was simple: the Sunni radicals are at Europe’s gates, and the world needs to act.
“These extremists,” Cameron wrote, “often funded by fanatics living far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology – and they do so not just in Iraq and Syria but right across the world, from Boko Haram and al-Shabaab to the Taliban and al-Qaida.”
Not a word, interestingly, about Hamas, though how natural – considering the current news cycle – it would have been for that brutal terrorist organization to have been included in this group. That’s a sign – and Cameron is a friend.
So much for the shifting international ground.
The domestic grounds have also shifted. On Sunday and Monday, in a sign that Netanyahu had an inkling the cease-fire was going to collapse, he urged the nation to have patience over the long haul.
His words should have been directed to his inner cabinet ministers, as much as to the public. If when the military operation was launched six weeks ago, there was a degree of unity from the ministers in his security cabinet – or at least a wartime attempt to radiate a perception of unity – that has now disappeared.
Two key voices in the cabinet over the last two days have trashed the way Netanyahu is managing the operation. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she never had any faith in the Cairo process, and it was not too late to try something different – enlisting the international community to create a whole new reality in Gaza.
And Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman – who already said “I told you so” last week – repeated that message again on Wednesday, saying that the only thing that would work would be to pound Hamas into submission, something he has advocated from the very beginning.
Two of the other eight ministers in the security cabinet have voiced sharp criticisms of Netanyahu’s policies – with Finance Minister Yair Lapid jumping on the Netanyahu-is-damaging- the-ties-with-Washington bandwagon, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett continuously repeating Liberman’s refrain: that Hamas must be pummeled.
Netanyahu has only one real ally inside the security cabinet right now: Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Among the two other ministers, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan is unlikely to vote against Netanyahu, but likely to criticize him publicly to gain points inside the Likud; while Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is seemingly close to Netanyahu philosophically on Gaza, but completely dependent for his political future on Liberman.
If Wednesday does indeed mark the beginning of the second half of the current round of fighting, Netanyahu’s position both internationally and in his own cabinet is not as strong as it was when it all first started six weeks ago. His consolation: Hamas’s problems are even worse.
More British Muslims Fight For Islamic State Than Britain
It is likely that there are now more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for Britain's military.
Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed to USA TODAY that there are approximately 600 British Muslim servicemembers in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. Official government estimates put the number of British Islamic State fighters operating in Syria and Iraq at up to 800. The Foreign Office cautioned Thursday that it is difficult to provide precise numbers.
The militant who beheaded American journalist James Foley in a horrifying video released this week spoke with a British accent. United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond acknowledged that the militant in the video could be a British national. And he knows the problem of British jihadists is not a new one.
"This is something we have been tracking and dealing with for many, many months and I don't think this video changes anything," he said. "It just heightens awareness of a situation which is very grave."
Khalid Mahmood, a member of Parliament from an area with a high proportion of Muslim residents, said government estimates of the number of British Islamic State fighters currently in the Mideast is far too conservative. He told Newsweek magazine this week that at least 1,500 extremists are likely to have been recruited to fight in Iraq and Syria over the last three years.
"There are an unacceptable number of Britons fighting for jihadist forces," he said.
Experts say the number of Americans fighting for the Islamic State is much lower. Joseph Young, a criminology professor at American University and expert on political violence, said simple geography and the complex cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe are primary reasons why.
Young, who said common estimates put the number of American fighters for IS at 100 to 150, said just getting to Syria or Iraq is extremely complicated from North America. However, the Islamic State's home region is practically next door for Europeans.
"We also do a better job of integrating our minority communities," Young said. "Isolation of minority groups is a much bigger problem in Europe."
Raffaello Pantucci, a researcher at Royal United Services Institute in London, said many young men facing poor job prospects in the U.K. find the IS narrative of defending Islam hard to resist. He agrees with Young -- Syria and Iraq are relatively accessible from England.
"These people can go look online and just decide to participate," he said. "With its proximity to Europe it's just so easy to do."
Ghaffar Hussain, of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank in Britain, said the lure could be empowerment for many British Muslims with grievances over their treatment in a predominantly non-Muslim society.
"It makes them feel like they are part of something that is important to the world," he said. "If you feel like you don't really fit in or if Muslims are being attacked and a narrative comes along that explains all that away in a simple way, that is attractive."
Hussain said a task force was set up – called Channel – to identify people who have been flagged in schools and institutions as being at risk of being drawn into extremism. Channel then pairs them with a mentor who assesses their needs and tries to offer support. But, he said, a major failing of the program is that it only works if individuals are flagged by the system.
"When it comes to the hard-edge, counterterrorism stuff, a lot of good work has been done by the government in terms of thwarting a hell of a lot of plots in recent years, but there are a lot of gaps outside of Channel," Hussain said. "Taking it seriously is one thing, knowing what to do is another."
Hussain said that extremism of the kind that is leading British nationals to Iraq and Syria is not limited to Britain but is a western European phenomenon seen in Holland, France, Denmark and other places. He said would-be fighters probably enter Syria through Turkey, though it's not exactly clear how.
Christopher Davidson, a Mideast expert at Durham University, said there's been a massive lack of attention to the flow of Westerners headed to the region. "As long as they have been supposedly fighting the (Syrian President Bashar) Assad regime, authorities have turned a blind eye to it. Now that they are going to Iraq we are starting to experience the blow back," he said.
Young noted that completely stopping the flow of Westerners is probably asking too much.
"Young men throughout time and space have done these kinds of things," he said.
Muhammed Is Now Britain's Most Popular Boys Name
As exclusively reported by Breitbart London last week, Muhammed has been crowned Britain's most popular boys name in figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today. The name of the Muslim prophet beat Oliver as the most popular boys name chosen by parents in Britain in 2013.
As a result of the way the statistics are put together, the name does not appear to have won, as the ONS classifies each of the different spellings as a different entry on the list. This means that "Muhammad" came in 15th with 3,499 children but "Mohammed" was 23rd with 2,887 and "Mohammad" was 57th with 1059 given the name.
As a result the top three spellings alone accounted for the names of 7,445 boys, easily beating the second most popular name Oliver which got just 6,949. Also the statistics are only published for the top 100 names, so the even more obscure spellings of Mohammed are likely to push the total even higher.
News that Mohammed is the most popular boys name in Britain was first exclusively reported on Breitbart London following a leak at the ONS last week. At the time, Mohammed was already the most popular boys name in London by some considerable margin.
The scale of the result is likely to leave the public shocked, although much of the mainstream media are expected to focus on the official ONS results. As a result, they will report that Mohammed only came in 15th, ignoring the multiple entries. In previous years, media outlets in Britain have not aggregated the various spellings and have only published the top 20 names, which makes it seem like traditional names remain dominant.
Muhammad is so popular as a name because the three million Muslims in Britain tend to like to name at least one of their sons after the prophet. This makes the name much more popular amongst Muslim families than any name is amongst Christians.
In 2002, the Muhammad spelling of the name was the 61st most popular boys name in Britain. In the same period the number of Muslims in Britain has doubled.
Jihadists Prep For Takeover Of Spain
Jihadists inside Spain have begun prepping for a takeover of the nation by ISIS, also known as Islamic State, the terror army that has been marching across Iraq, destroying Christians and evidence of their faith and imposing the extreme control of Islam’s Shariah law.
According to a new report from Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, there have developed more frequent and more strident statements regarding Spain being ruled once again by the violence of Islam.
Muslims, known then as Moors, occupied that region of the world from 711 until 1492.
“Clearly Spain forms part of the strategic objectives of global jihad,” Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz is quoted in the report. “We are not the only ones but we are in their sights.”
Soeren documents that a new campaign has evolved inside Spain in which images of famous landmarks or monuments are emblazoned with Arabic slogans, including “We are all the Islamic State.”
“One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words ‘Al-Andalus Country’ instead of ‘Basque Country,’” he reports.
One social media statement made the threat specifically, with, “@alwahsh1983 Support from Andalus means when we come to #spain won’t be hard to take it back,” in a Tweet from Abubasir Alkhalidiye.
Soeren, who also is a senior fellow for European politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estrategicos, reports that the poster campaign follows a video from Islamic State jihadists in which they vow to “liberate” what they call Al-Andalus from non-Muslims.
WND reported just weeks ago on an Islamic State video in which IS jihadists are vowing to “conquer Israel, Rome and Spain.”
IS would redraw boundaries of countries, separate Shia and Sunni Muslims, and subject everyone to extreme Islamic law, or Shariah.
Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri also has called for restoring to Muslim rule the Iberian Peninsula, referring to as Al-Andalus, as it was known in the eighth century.
“O our Muslim Umma (community) in the Maghreb of ribat and jihad (land of resistance and holy war): restoring Al-Andalus (Spain) is a trust on the shoulders of the Ummah in general and on your shoulders in particular,” Zawahiri said in 2007.
He also called for the “cleansing” of the “sons of Spain and France” in North Africa, which includes the Maghreb. Today, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is waging its jihad there.
“Restoring al-Andalus is a trust on the shoulders of the nation in general and on your shoulders in particular, and you will not be able to do that without first cleansing the Muslim Maghreb of the children of France and Spain, who have come back again after your fathers and grandfathers sacrificed their blood cheaply in the path of God to expel them,” Zawahiri said.
“Radical Muslims (and many moderate Muslims) believe that all territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquista of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam,” Soeren reported. “They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to return there and re-establish Muslim rule.”
He continued, “In recent years, the return of ‘occupied’ Al-Andalus to the fold of Islam has become an obsession for Muslims of all stripes, and calls to reconquer al-Andalus have become more frequent and more strident.”
The report said Moroccan authorities also have warned Spain that “some of the more than 3,000 Moroccan jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq are beginning to return home, and that many of them are likely to attempt to infiltrate the Spanish mainland via the North African Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.”
For example, not even a week ago, there were reports that nine members of an ISIS recruitment team were arrested not far from Cueta, the report said.
“Some of those recruited by the cell are believed to have participated in beheadings in Syria and Iraq. Police say they are also examining computers and data storage devices to determine if there were plans to carry out a terror attack on Moroccan soil,” the Gatestone report said.
“On August 4, a 19-year-old Spanish woman and a 14-year-old Spanish girl were arrested in Melilla just days before they were due to join the jihad in Syria. They are first Spanish females to be prevented from becoming jihadists,” the report said.
Other arrests with alarming implications happened in May and June.
“In May, Spanish police broke up a cell in Melilla that allegedly recruited 26 jihadists (24 Moroccans and two Spaniards) for al-Qaida groups fighting in Libya and Mali. All six members of the cell are Spanish citizens. One of them, Benaissa Laghmouchi Baghdadi, is the first Spanish jihadist known to have returned from the fighting in Mali. Police say the cell used social media platforms such as ‘Sharia4Spain’ to recruit jihadists,” the report said.
Malaysia Cracks Down On Teen For 'Liking' Israel
A Malaysian teenager is being investigated by police for sedition after "liking" a pro-Israel Facebook posting, sparking outrage over perceived growing intolerance in the Muslim-majority country.
The 17-year-old student in the northern state of Penang had "liked" a post that declared "I love Israel" and featured a picture of the Jewish state's flag, Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi was quoted as saying Wednesday by Malaysian media.
Abdul Rahim reportedly said a sedition probe was under way and that the student claimed to have accidentally clicked "like". Police also are investigating death threats against the student.
Sedition can result in three years in jail in Malaysia. The student, who has been questioned by police, has deactivated his Facebook account. He has not been publicly identified.
Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel. The Jewish state's policies toward the Palestinians are fiercely criticised by Malaysian Muslims, sentiments that have been inflamed by the ongoing deadly conflict in Gaza.
The episode is the latest in a series of incidents to stoke public fears in multi-ethnic, multi-faith Malaysia of mounting intolerance under the decades-old regime dominated by majority Muslim Malays.
In the most high-profile example, minority Malaysian Christians are under pressure from the government and Muslim groups to cease using the Arabic word "Allah" to refer to the Christian God in the Malay language, which Christians say they have done for centuries.
Muslims assert "Allah" is a sacred word for Islam only.
Communication Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek also triggered harsh online criticism recently when he said authorities would "study" whether to block Facebook after a posting appeared that was deemed insulting to Malaysia's Islamic royalty.
Osman Hussain, Penang's state director of education, told AFP on Thursday he would seek to resolve the incident without police involvement.
"He is just a student. I will try to solve the issue peacefully," he said.
The affair has triggered harsh criticism online.
"Using the same twisted logic, all Malaysians using Facebook are also committing sedition as Facebook is founded by a Jew," said one reader posting on popular online news portal Malaysiakini, denouncing such "extremism".
7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies
Boston PD Tested Facial Recognition Software On Every Face At Local Music Festivals
Concertgoers at last year’s annual Boston Calling music festivals weren’t just there to watch the show — they were watched themselves as test subjects for Boston police’ new facial recognition technology, which reportedly analyzed every attendee at the May and September two-day events.
Employees at IBM — the outside contractor involved in deploying the tech alongside Boston Police — planned the test of its Smart Surveillance System and Intelligent Video Analytics to execute “face capture” on “every person” at the concerts in 2013. Targets were reportedly described “as anyone who walks through the door,” according to company memos obtained by Dig Boston.
Using 10 cameras capable of intelligent video analysis, police and IBM captured thousands of faces and scanned individuals for details including skin color, height and clothing to screen for possible forensic identification. The tech also watched traffic and crowd congestion, searched for suspicious objects and monitored social media in real-time.
Attendees and promoters were wholly unaware of the test, which was conducted amid a slew of media and photographers regularly in attendance and during a public event where the expectation of privacy is at a minimum. Sensitive documents detailing the program were found unsecured online, where they’ve reportedly been accessible for more than a year.
The images, video and information obtained by the program will be kept for months and years — even after the sorting process deems it irrelevant — and more than 50 hours of video footage from the events are still intact, according to the report.
Other data stored online by Boston police in unsecured servers include drivers’ licenses, addresses, parking permit information and more.
Boston PD initially denied any involvement in the programs’ deployment on May 25-26 and Sept. 7-8 at City Hall Plaza, stating in an email from a representative that “BPD was not part of this initiative.”
“We do not and have not used or possess this type of technology,” the department wrote to Dig.
Files on the program uncovered online include photographic evidence showing Boston PD present inside IBM’s program monitoring stations and receiving instruction on how to use the tech. When presented with this evidence, Boston officials admitted the city’s direct involvement.
“The city of Boston engaged in a pilot program with IBM, testing situational awareness software for two events hosted on City Hall Plaza: Boston Calling in May 2013, and Boston Calling in September 2013,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh press secretary Kate Norton wrote in an email to the publication.
8. Christian Worldview/Issues
I’m Wanted for 'Hate Crimes' in Canada
It seems I have some liberal knickers in a knot north of the border.
The left is anything if not predictable. It tickles me to no end when, by way of their utterly unhinged reaction to one of my columns, secular-"progressives" end up proving true the very point I was trying to make.
Last month I wrote an opinion piece headlined, "The Coming Christian Revolt." It was featured in multiple publications, including the print edition of the Newfoundland Herald, a weekly news and entertainment magazine circulated throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Among other things, I noted this objective reality in the piece—a reality demonstrated with crystal clarity by liberals' contemptible response to the column itself: "To fully advance the causes of radical feminism, abortion-on-demand, unfettered sexual license, 'gay marriage' and the like, the pagan left must do away with religious free exercise altogether [not to mention free speech].
"Under the guise of 'anti-discrimination,' Christians today face discrimination at unprecedented levels. ...
"Christians," I continued, "true Christians—regenerate, Bible-believing Christians who strive their level best to maintain fidelity to the word of God and honor His commands—will not, indeed cannot, participate in, approve of, facilitate or encourage certain behaviors deemed by the Holy Scriptures to be immoral or sinful.
"It is not done from hate. It is not done from bigotry. It is done neither from a position of superiority nor a desire to 'impose our beliefs' upon others.
"It is done from both obedience to Christ and compassion for our fellow fallen who yet wallow in folly. ...
"In the ongoing culture war, it seems there are no rules of engagement. The secular left will accept nothing short of unconditional surrender. That is to say, the pagans demand that we Christians abandon the biblical worldview altogether, and adopt their own.
"This will never happen."
You could have timed their response with a stopwatch. Want to see a collectivist conniption? Drop an unvarnished truth bomb in the middle of Canada, most of Europe or blue-state USA and sit back for the mouth-frothing. It's quite a show. The bright light of salty truth both blinds and burns those given over to reprobation.
CBC News, the "largest news broadcaster in Canada," reported on both my column and the ensuing response: "Members of a Newfoundland and Labrador Pride group were so outraged about a two-page anti-gay [read: Christian] letter to the editor published by an entertainment magazine in the province, they filed a human rights complaint."
Several other "gay-rights" organizations have since picked up their pitchforks and joined the mob. Remzi Cej of Canada's "Human Rights Commission" (something between a Star Chamber and a kangaroo court, but without that level of credibility) said, "he's disappointed that the Herald has cited 'free speech' as justification for publishing the opposing view" (because, of course, to the leftist, free speech is only "free" when it's speech with which they agree).
CBC News continued: "In its Aug. 3-9 issue, The Newfoundland Herald published 'The Coming Christian Revolt' in its Letters to the Editor section."
"The letter is a blog post from author and right-wing American blogger Matt Barber, who published the piece on his own website, barbwire.com, last month.
"In the letter, Barber took direct aim at a number of topics, including abortion and gay marriage.
"Western Pride NL member Kyle Curlew, who initiated filing the complaint, said his 'jaw dropped' when he first saw the two-page letter.
"'I couldn't even believe that it was published in the Herald. It was a rallying call for people to stand against LGBT rights. Essentially, hate propaganda,' Curlew told CBC.
"Curlew said after reading the letter, he decided to take the matter to police.
"'We filed a human-rights complaint under C-46, Section 19, which is 'propaganda and the incitement of hate toward an identifiable group.' So we are hoping to press charges.'"
The Telegram, another mainstream Canadian publication, further reported that both my column and the fact that the Newfoundland Herald published it each constitute "a hate crime under the Criminal Code of Canada."
Indeed, the self-styled champions of "tolerance" and "diversity" prove, over and again, to be the most intolerant and monolithic among us. Their version of "intolerance" (i.e., any philosophical position that runs afoul of the rigid dictates of "political correctness") simply will not be tolerated.
The left is a walking paradox. It is irony personified. While liberals' complete lack of self-awareness, self-righteous snobbery, aloof emotionalism and obtuse circular reasoning make them an easy target for ridicule, these things quickly move from curious to dangerous when they control the reins of government.
Back in April, my good friend and pro-family advocate Peter LaBarbera and his Canadian Christian host Bill Whatcott were arrested in Regina, Saskatchewan, for preaching the Gospel on a university campus. When they began calmly and peacefully sharing about biblical sexual morality and the abortion holocaust, police were called and LaBarbera spent two days in jail. He now faces potential prison time when he returns in October for his trial.
As for the Newfoundland Herald's publication of my column, Managing Editor Pam Pardy-Ghent told CBC News, "We have received so much feedback on this letter, more than we have ever received before on any matter or topic. This is obviously something, and rightfully so, that has infuriated a number of people, and has inspired them to reach out to us.
"We will be responding to this issue-–and running many of the responses we have received--in the next, and in future editions of The Newfoundland Herald. While free speech is very important to us, being responsive and responsible to the people of this province is as well."
The War On Christian Education Is About To Get Ugly
In a recent article, Michael Zigarelli (of the Christian Post) sounded an alarm that was heard around the Christian world. The headline read, “The End of Christian Education.” In this article, Michael shared:
President Obama recently signed an executive order making it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Sounds innocuous enough, but an unintended consequence may be the closing of Christian colleges and schools.
The order doesn't directly affect private education, but its unprecedented refusal to exempt religious organizations surely will. Without this exemption the President has signaled to regulators that it's open season on faith-based institutions.
Here's one possible future: The order says if you want federal money you must hire gays. The US Department of Education decides that this applies to federal financial aid as well. Students are then prohibited from using their aid at colleges that do not hire gays. Christian colleges go out of business.
Here's another future: With the exemption gone, accrediting bodies take the cue and insist that all colleges include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in their non-discrimination policies, revoking accreditation for those faith-based schools that won't genuflect. Students are prohibited from using their aid at non-accredited colleges. Christian colleges go out of business. [i]
What Mr. Zigarelli may not realize is that his revelation identifies one facet of the Elite’s stratagem to end most Christian education in this nation.
The tacit war of the Elite has been going on since the 1940’s.
My Own Background and Perspective on This Tacit War
Early on in my ministerial preparation, I was fortunate to have a mentor named, Dr. Thomas McLachlan (or Dr. Mac, as we all affectionately called him). Dr. Mac had completed both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and he was a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain. During his long career, he had served on a committee with a regional accrediting association. Those days on the committee were eye-opening for him. He discovered that there were many anti-Christian agendas at play within the government and the regional accrediting association system.
Dr. Mac saw the gifting of God on my life for education. While others were being trained for the pastorate in seminary, I was being trained to become an educator. It was during our many discussions that he revealed to me that Department of Education approved accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program would eventually become instruments in the hands of the ungodly to first contaminate Christian education, and then to eventually close it down.
His influence on my life and the concepts he taught me about Christian education would forever alter how I developed the educational ministry that God was placing in my heart. I created an educational system that was not embedded in the Elite’s system of educational control - no governmental accreditation and no participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. With the choke hold that the Elite maintain on education in America, it seemed like an impossible plan. Yet, I was determined not to compromise in the vision and its execution for the Kingdom of God.
Accreditation in America was originally nongovernmental by design. Educational expert, Dr. H.R. Kells (from Rutgers University) wrote in his book, Self-Study Processes: A Guide for Postsecondary and Similar Service-Oriented Institutions and Programs, a definition of accreditation:
Accreditation is a voluntary process conducted by peers via nongovernmental agencies to accomplish at least two things – to attempt on a periodic basis to hold one another accountable to achieve stated, appropriate institutional or program goals; and to access the extent to which the institution or program meets established standards.[ii]
At one time, Dr. Kells’ book was required for any postsecondary school seeking accreditation. It is unfortunate that the American Council on Education did not continue his work after the 3rd edition.
Originally, the institutions themselves established accrediting associations and sought to keep the long arm of the government out of the process. Political agendas spread like the tentacles of a cancer into anything that is connected to government. The Department of Education (USDOE) was established in 1867 to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems. [iii] By 1958, its role had dramatically changed.
After World War II, the USDOE began overseeing the GI Bill. Then came Title IV funding or the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. With the millions of dollars that came with these programs, the influence of the USDOE and its approved accrediting system (regional accreditation) began to hold a powerful sway over all educational institutions in the United States. A system that was perfect for the Elite to begin controlling and using for their own agenda.
Dr. Kells warns about the misuse of accreditation:
Some of the uses of accreditation at times may not correspond well with the basic nature of the process. An example, as explained earlier, is its use to transfer credit. Some uses have made the realization of accreditation’s basic purposes more difficult. Some people believe that the requirement that institutions be accredited in order to apply for federal funds, and furthermore the use of accrediting to enforce social policy, are examples of this misuse.
At times the uses may be expressions of raw political leverage unrelated to program quality or reasonable needs in light of circumstances. That is, accreditation can be erroneously cited to promote or discourage change in a given setting. [iv]
This governmental or political leverage is a reality in many postsecondary Christian institutions today. Many of our leading Christian universities, Bible colleges and seminaries have annual budgets that range from five to one hundred million dollars or more a year. Meeting those budgets is dependent upon governmental accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Compromise with the ever-increasing, anti-Christian agenda has become a game of survival for most Christian schools of higher learning.
Over the years, I have received reports from both educators at regionally accredited Christian schools and their students. Here is a brief list of some of the complaints I have received:
Schools under constant pressure to modify their curriculum or statement of faith from the Word of God to a more politically correct position.
Schools pressured to hire professors solely based on their academic pedigree, rather than biblical orthodoxy.
Students having their theses or dissertations rejected because the Bible was referenced too many times, and there were not enough secular citations.
Tenured professors slowly began to leave orthodox theologies and began teaching subjects more within the secularization movement within Christianity.
Many educators do not share the severity of this situation in public, because of fear of retaliation from the accrediting associations. In the early 90’s, I was attending a conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Dallas, Texas. During those days at the conference, I was in a meeting for Christian educators and was seated next to the Vice Chancellor of one of the largest Baptist universities in our nation. While we sat together, we discussed issues facing Christian institutions.
This man of God looked me straight in the eyes and said, “One day our university will need to relinquish our regional accreditation to maintain our biblical stance.” His face was set like flint, and his eyes were like fire as he said those words to me. Our open discussion left me with the impression that he was under a constant battle to maintain orthodoxy at his university.
If we could have an open and honest discussion with educators across this nation, in which they had no fear of retaliation from their accreditors, their stories would convey just how powerful this tacit war against Christian education has been for decades. Our prayers and appreciation go out to all the Christian educators that have refused to compromise!
The War May Be Coming to a Close
As Christian schools continue to fight for their biblical soundness, the Elite are preparing the possible last two salvos to destroy traditional Christian education as we know it:
1. The Guaranteed Student Loan Program (Title IV Funds) is Now Implemented Through the Federal Government.
When the Federal Government took over the lending of the funds for the Guaranteed Student Loan Program, it was presented as a good thing for education. There are a few points of interest that most people do not know about the program:
The program perpetuates the continual increase of tuition at most universities. The degrees in certain fields now cost more than a lifetime of work in the field can pay back. The average student debt from an undergraduate degree at a state university is now over $30,000. [v] The average tuition at an Ivy League school is between $38,000 to $50,000 per year (as of 2012). [vi]
You cannot claim bankruptcy on your educational debt. It is with you for life and can be taken out of your social security during retirement.
The minimum payments on the Guaranteed Student Loan Program usually do not even cover the interest on the loan. You could literally be paying on it after retirement. There is a loan forgiveness program in place that requires 120 timely payments in a row, plus a number of years in public service (i.e., indoctrination into political correctness).
As the federal budget becomes more restrictive, I believe we will see a day in which only government approved programs at secular institutions will be eligible for participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Christian institutions that refuse to succumb to the political agendas will lose their Title IV status. This will bankrupt traditional Christian institutions overnight.
2. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Agenda Threat
As Michael Zigarelli has already shared, Christian institutions refusing to include classes promoting alternate sexual lifestyles and/or refusing to hire LGBT professors will lose either their accreditation or ability to receive Title IV funds. Again, this would bankrupt traditional Christian institutions overnight.
Could this happen in America? Michael tells us later on in his article:
Absurd? Alarmist? It's already happening to Gordon College in Massachusetts. Gordon's president merely co-signed a letter requesting that this executive order exempt religious institutions. Enter the Secret Police. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges is now reconsidering Gordon's accreditation. As their decision goes, so goes Gordon. And as Gordon goes, so may go Christian higher Ed. [vii]
When we developed Biblical Life College and Seminary back in 1982, the vision was simple: provide the same level of excellence in Christian education that is offered in traditional Christian institutions of higher learning, offer it nontraditionally (through home study), make it affordable, and keep it away from the influence of the Elite. Those have been our guiding principles over the years, and we have refused to compromise, even at our own expense.
Over the past three decades, we have been training aspirants of the Gospel ministry through biblically and academically sound curriculum. Our professors are involved in full-time ministry within the fields they teach – this keeps our tuition low and our curriculum practical. We offer affordable monthly payment plans on tuition – when our students graduate, they are debt-free (and not burdened down with student loans). Today, we have thousands of graduates that are accomplished pastors, bishops, heads of international ministries, and published authors.
Every semester, we hear from new students coming out of the “traditional system” that are relieved to be free of the secular influence. Through their studies at Biblical Life, they see the Word of God and their Christian faith come alive with untold clarity. We have received many testimonies that one module will get them deeper into the Word and Christian living than an entire semester in their former schools.
Eventually, we may have to reexamine degrees in the Body of Christ. The option to issue any degree may eventually be taken away from us altogether. Years ago, God was leading us to make many changes to our ministry; God spoke these words to my wife, “One day, a diploma from Biblical Life will have more weight in the Body of Christ than a degree from traditional schools.” I have pondered those words in my heart for years.
It was not until recently, as I examined the proverbial handwriting on the wall, that her prophetic word became clear. There is a paradigm shift coming to education in the Body of Christ, as the Elite labor to disarm Christian education in America. It will become paramount for those preparing for ministry to seek out a school that has not entangled itself in the Elite’s stronghold on education and has remained true to the Word and Kingdom of God.
China Establishes New 'Christian Theology' To Control Its Christian Population
In a country known for quixotic public campaigns, China’s latest surely ranks among its most creative. The government will create a “Chinese Christian Theology” to guide the practice of Christianity in the country, the China Daily reported Thursday.
Although the government has yet to provide any details into what this new theology entails, its purpose is clear: Speaking to China Daily, Wang Zuo, director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, said, “The construction of Chinese Christian Theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.”
On the surface, it may seem strange that an officially atheist state would create a new theology. But the endeavor provides a glimpse into an increasingly religious country, and a government’s desire to deflect any potential challenge to its authority.
Since relaxing prohibitions on religious faith in 1982, the Chinese Communist Party now recognizes five official faiths: Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Buddhism and Islam. Because much religious faith remains underground, it is difficult to establish the precise number of worshippers in China. But a 2007 survey estimated that 31 percent of the country’s population, a number exceeding 400 million people, practiced a religious faith of some kind. Each religion has an organized, government-sanctioned hierarchy that is headquartered in Beijing and under the direct supervision of the Chinese Communist Party.
Even with that structure in place, the government has occasionally felt the need to further exert its control over the country’s religious life. In recent years, this trend has intensified. In 2007, Beijing passed a law prohibiting Buddhists from reincarnation.
(The government has thus far not revealed whether there have been any violations.) In Tibet, government minders have replaced monks as supervisors of Buddhist temples throughout the region, reversing a long-standing policy.
In the far-western Xinjiang region, whose 9 million ethnic Uighurs practice a mild form of Sunni Islam, Beijing limits permission of Muslims to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, while in July China banned fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. And this month, in Karamay, the local government said residents wearing Islamic clothing, and men wearing long beards, could not legally board city buses.
China’s religious repression in Xinjiang and Tibet has a clear political purpose: Beijing regards both regions as separatist threats, and has invested large sums of money in cajoling Uighurs and Tibetans toward loyalty to the Communist Party. But Christians, who do not have a specific geographical base in China, also experience persecution. In Wenzhou, government officials in April abruptly shut down a popular church without explanation, while police tore down crosses from thousands of churches throughout the city.
China’s attempts to micromanage Christian practice in the country have done little to stem the religion’s popularity: By 2030, one influential pastor estimates, China will have nearly 250 million Christians. That would, at current projections, give the officially atheist country the world’s largest Christian population.
For now, the Chinese government appears to recognize it cannot return to the Maoist era, which largely suspended all religious life in the country. But the creation of a bespoke Chinese Christian theology is an attempt to co-opt China’s newfound devotion into an explicitly patriotic enterprise.
Still, in a country where Web searches for Jesus far outnumber those for President Xi Jinping, Beijing may have a major challenge on its hands.
Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity
It's something most Christian parents worry about: You send your kids off to college and when they come back, you find they've lost their faith. The prospect of this happening is why many parents nudge their kids towards Christian colleges, or at least schools with a strong Christian presence on campus.
But in many ways, the damage has been done long before our children set foot on campus. That's the message from a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly.
My friend Larry Taunton of the Fixed Point Foundation set out to find out why so many young Christians lose their faith in college. He did this by employing a method I don't recall being used before: He asked them.
The Fixed Point Foundation asked members of the Secular Students Associations on campuses around the nation to tell them about their "journey to unbelief." Taunton was not only surprised by the level of response but, more importantly, about the stories he and his colleagues heard.
Instead of would-be Richard Dawkins', the typical respondent was more like Phil, a student Taunton interviewed. Phil had grown up in church; he had even been the president of his youth group. What drove Phil away wasn't the lure of secular materialism or even Christian moral teaching. And he was specifically upset when his church changed youth pastors.
Whereas his old youth pastor "knew the Bible" and made Phil "feel smart" about his faith even when he didn't have all the answers, the new youth pastor taught less and played more.
Phil's loss of faith coincided with his church's attempt to ingratiate itself to him instead of challenging him. According to Taunton, Phil's story "was on the whole typical of the stories we would hear from students across the country."
These kids had attended church but "the mission and message of their churches was vague," and manifested itself in offering "superficial answers to life's difficult questions." The ministers they respected were those "who took the Bible seriously," not those who sought to entertain them or be their "buddy."
Taunton also learned that, for many kids, their journey to unbelief was an emotional, not just an intellectual one.
Taunton's findings are counter-intuitive. Much of what passes for youth ministry these days is driven by a morbid fear of boring our young charges. As a result, a lot of time is spent trying to devise ways to entertain them.
The rest of the time is spent worrying about whether the Christian message will turn kids off. But as Taunton found, young people, like the not-so-young, respect people with conviction—provided they know what they're talking about.
Taunton talks about his experiences with the late Christopher Hitchens, who, in their debates, refrained from attacking him. When asked why, Hitchens replied, "Because you believe it."
I don't know what that says about Hitchens' other Christian debate partners, but it is a potent reminder that playing down the truth claims of the Christian faith doesn't work. People don't believe those they don't respect.
Here's something that one of the students told Larry Taunton; he said, "Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven't seen too much of that."
Folks, that's pretty sobering. This puts the ball in our court. Are we living lives that show our children that we actually believe what we say we believe? And here's another question—do we actually believe it? I have to say, as a parent I'm taking this very seriously.