Satisfied with Our Calling?
On February 15, 2014, Robb Harris will give the sermon, titled, “Satisfied with Our Calling?”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
by Dave Harris
Have you measurably progressed in your spiritual life to become a Christian of sound judgment and discernment? Are you able to choose right over wrong? Can you apply God’s laws in your everyday living?
In the Book of Hebrews, those of us who have been called to salvation are confronted with a challenging self-examination:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).
To progress in spiritual maturity, we are to increase day-by-day in attaining godly perfection (compare Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 4:13). While we do initiate life-changing actions at the beginning of God’s calling, our conversion involves continual growth.
Peter cautions us that we must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:18).
Even Jesus grew in spiritual maturity, as Luke 2, verse 52, states: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” During this process, Jesus faced the same kinds of things we face: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
The ultimate goal of Jesus becoming our perfect High Priest was accomplished in order that we might also reach perfection in the Family of God. Quite clearly, we still face many challenges before that time arrives, and we must not become stagnant in our Christian living.
We have been given the Holy Spirit of God—a help by which we can grow to become more and more like Jesus Christ. If Jesus is truly living His life in us, then we will be growing in Christian maturity—a test we absolutely must pass!
We begin with focusing on American-German distrust, as well as on Germany in general—it’s past, presence and prophesied future. We continue with reporting on the Middle East and America’s relationship with Israel and Iran; speak about developments within the USA and the Roman Catholic Church; and conclude with a report on controversial human behavior pertaining to animals.
This Week in the News
Nulangate and German Anger
The Washington Post wrote on February 7:
“Germans were already smarting from revelations that U.S. intelligence listened in on the phone conversations of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then came Nulandgate. On Thursday, a video was posted on YouTube in which Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, disparagingly dismissed European Union efforts to mediate the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine by bluntly saying, ‘F— the E.U.’ On Friday, Merkel, through press attache Christiane Wirtz, described the gaffe as ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ and defended the efforts of Catherine Ashton, the E.U.’s foreign policy chief. ‘The chancellor finds these remarks absolutely unacceptable and wants to emphasize that Mrs. Ashton is doing an outstanding job,’ Wirtz said.
“Still freshly furious over the phone-tapping scandals, Germans took to Twitter and other social media in a litany of bitter comments… In Brussels, E.U. officials remained publicly mum. Though the story played big across the continent, the official response beyond Germany appeared relatively muted. But the Germans were not the only ones smarting. Reactions among Austrian members of the European Parliament ranged from outrage to schadenfreude. ‘Victoria Nuland must step down after these remarks, otherwise there has to be a suspension of negotiations about the E.U.-U.S. free-trade agreement,’ Jörg Leichtfried, leader of the Austrian Social Democratic delegation in the European Parliament, told the Austrian press agency APA, according to the daily Die Presse.
“Nuland quickly apologized for the comments, with the United States pointing the finger Thursday at the Russians for recording and posting her private conversations with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt… Nevertheless, analysts said the unscripted moment served to underscore a serious point: the increasingly strained nature of the U.S. relationship with continental Europe — and, first and foremost, with Germany. In the aftermath of the exposure by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts in the region, distrust of the American agenda in Germany has jumped appreciably.
“Experts say the image of the United States has suffered deeply, with the Nuland gaffe reinforcing perceptions of American heavy-handedness at a highly sensitive time. This week, for instance, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper published fresh allegations that the United States had wiretapped former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. In response, Schröder gave an interview to the Bild newspaper in which he said, ‘The U.S. has no respect for a loyal ally and for the sovereignty of our country.’
“Olaf Boehnke, head of the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the gaffe could not have come at a worse time. To some extent, German officials — particularly Merkel — have sought to put the wiretapping scandal behind them, pragmatically attempting to move forward and mend the transatlantic relationship. Nuland’s comments, he said, had just made that effort more difficult, particularly with the increasingly skeptical German public. ‘It was really the worst thing that could happen; Germans will be going home tonight to discuss this at dinner,’ Boehnke said. ‘It fits into a broader picture that German people have of the U.S. betraying the trust in them.’”
BBC News wrote on February 7:
“The conversation between Ms Nuland and Mr Pyatt reveals deeper tensions between America and Europe. Washington seems to prefer a deal brokered by the UN rather than Brussels. If true, that would bruise the feelings of EU officials. They believe this is their crisis to solve. Today’s comments and accusations are a reminder that this crisis is far from over and that it has the potential to cause division and tension even between allies.”
The Local quoted the Geman newspaper, “Die Welt,” as follows on February 7:
“‘Not even those affected were surprised by Nuland’s unladylike turn of [a] phrase she used to express her negative judgment of the Europeans,’ Die Welt wrote. ‘In a different phone call, which can also be heard on YouTube, top German diplomat Helga Schmid can be heard complaining that the USA feel the EU is being ‘weak’ on Ukraine. Nuland’s conversation with Pyatt makes it clear how intensively the West, especially the US, are concerning themselves with the current uprising in Ukraine and what they think of opposition leaders,’ it added.”
The Bible prophesied long ago that the relationship between the USA and Europe (Germany in particular) will worsen until outright war will ensue between the two power blocs. A modern “King of Assyria” will be used by God to punish the sinful modern house of Israel—especially the USA and the UK. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.” Also, please take note of the next two articles, dealing with Germany’s history, which were written from a German perspective. As is so often the case, events of today and tomorrow can be explained, at least in part, by reviewing events of the past.
Obama—“No No-Spy Agreement with Europe”
The EUObserver wrote on February 12:
“US President Barack Obama after meeting his French counterpart in Washington poured cold water on European hopes that the US will sign no-spy agreements with countries like France and Germany. Obama said there is no country in the world the US has such agreements with, not even the UK.”
Germany’s Bad Memories of Hyperinflation
Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 7:
“There’s a number that illustrates the brutal dynamics of the hyperinflation of 1923 better than anything else. It’s the number four. In the fall of 1923, prices were doubling in Germany approximately every four days… Three generations after the collapse of the German mark, the fear of hyperinflation is more alive today than ever before.
“The global glut of money as a result of the financial crisis has evoked painful memories of the great inflation that began with the beginning of World War I in 1914 and ended in chaos in 1923. Each new report on the need for billions in Europe’s crisis-ridden countries reignites concerns over the stability of money. According to a poll by the Allensbach opinion research firm, Germans fear inflation even more than life-threatening diseases like cancer…
“The euro has proven to be more stable than the deutsche mark ever was. Economists are more concerned that prices will decline on a broad scale, crippling the economy. It makes no sense to invoke terrible visions of 1923 today, says economic historian Hans-Joachim Voth. ‘A repeat is unthinkable,’ he notes. The Germans suffer from a sort of ‘collective psychosis,’ concludes Voth, who teaches in Barcelona…
“Families today still remember the horrifying reports of what once happened to grandparents and great-grandparents. The fate of someone like Berlin author Maximilian Bern illustrates the extent of despair. In 1923, Bern withdrew his savings, more than 100,000 marks, from the bank. But 100,000 wasn’t much compared with the 2.5 quintillion marks in circulation at the end of October. Years earlier, the money would have been enough to pay for Bern’s retirement, but now it was worth no more than the price of his last subway ticket. Bern went home, locked his door and died of hunger. Doctors, teachers and professors had not only lost everything they owned, but also their confidence in the state. In 1914, many had gone to war with enthusiasm, and they had bought bonds, which generally yielded a five-percent return. The government collected 98 billion marks, but not a pfennig of the money was repaid…
“People felt cheated, both of victory in the war and their money in the bank. The same bitter experience was repeated a generation later, when the Third Reich came to an end. This double loss of confidence shaped the civil society of the postwar period. Its members yearned for stability and order and were sharply opposed to experiments, especially with their money. This need for security — in other words, their aversion to risk — is practically proverbial to this day in Germany…
“In 1948, the Allies had decreed that the Bank of the German States was not to be ‘subject to the directives of any political entities or public agencies, with the exception of the courts.’ It was something then Chancellor Konrad Adenauer could never accept… This is the irony of history: Washington and Paris, the Western wartime allies, once decreed complete independence and strict budgetary discipline for the Bundesbank, but now the mentors are violating their own principles.”
Germany’s Two Wars
On February 7, Der Spiegel Online published a lengthy article about Germany’s role in World War I and World War II, and the subsequent conduct of Germany’s enemies. We will be quoting quite extensively from this article, as it puts into perspective current conditions in Europe and it will give the reader a better understanding as to why things happened there in the past—and why and how prophecies will come to pass in the near future:
“As its name indicates, World War I was the first truly global conflict, the effects of which only a few nations managed to escape… While Germany lost two million soldiers in World War I — more than any other country — that number was more than doubled in World War II. The situation was reversed among Germany’s adversaries in the West. More than twice as many Britons and four times as many Frenchmen died on the battlefields of World War I than in World War II…
“It is difficult to say how many German soldiers perceived the cease-fire as a shock, as Hitler did. But by the time the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the dream of exacting revenge for the humiliation Germany had suffered became an obsession… For many historians, there is a direct line between Verdun and Stalingrad… In their view, the years between 1914 and 1945 merge into a single, uninterrupted conflict interrupted by a prolonged cease-fire…
“The Treaty of Versailles seemed to confirm all fears… Under Article 231 of the treaty, Germany was forced to concede that it was solely responsible for the war — a genuflection from which the victorious powers derived their claim for extensive reparations… It was the United States that turned the tide in World War I… By August, some 1.3 million men had been shipped from the United States to Europe…
“Today Versailles is seen as a cardinal error, with the French playing the role of the victor seeking revenge. In truth, however, it was the United States that did not live up to its responsibility. Wilson drafted a new world order, in which all nations were granted a right to self-determination. But when it came to stepping into America’s new role as a hegemon, Congress withdrew its support by forcing the president to agree to a strict policy of nonintervention. The Europeans were on their own once again, but this time it was in a different configuration than before the beginning of the war.
“The British, who had entered the war as the world’s creditors, emerged from it as debtors to the United States. While the French were one of the victorious powers, they were in fact no longer a major military power… it was Germany that would hazard another war — precisely what the Treaty of Versailles was intended to avert…
“The indecisiveness of the United States, its political elites divided over how to assume their role as a new world power, was already apparent in the peace negotiations. The resulting peace was one with conditions that were insufficiently draconian to permanently weaken the German Reich, and yet too severe not to give rise to a desire among the losers to reverse the peace when the next opportunity arose…
“Germany’s total war reparations, enforced with massive threats, amounted to 132 billion gold marks, payable in 66 annual installments, together with 26 percent of the value of its exports. Present-day Germany was still suffering the consequences until 2010, when Berlin made its last interest payment on foreign bonds it had issued after World War I to satisfy the Allies’ demands for reparations. The most agonizing aspect of the war repayment was its duration.
“Hardly anyone was as familiar with the Germans’ smoldering resentment (or knew how to take advantage of it) as the private from Munich. Within three years, Adolf Hitler went from being an unknown veteran to the ‘King of Munich,’ a man who could fill the city’s largest beer halls with his appearances. The fact that the Allies had forced Germany to sign the Treaty of Versailles was a central theme of Hitler’s speeches. At his rallies, he never failed to mention ‘shameful and humiliating peace’ that had condemned Germany to ‘servitude’ for the foreseeable future. Humiliation at the hands of the victorious powers became a collective trauma that united Germans far beyond the circle of supporters of the rising Nazi Party…
“Until 1929, the German economy had managed to keep itself more or less afloat, partly as a result of American investments. Now the creditors from abroad were withdrawing their money, plunging the German Reich directly into the vortex of the Great Depression. The deflationary policy of Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning drove unemployment numbers to well over six million.
“Despite the defeat in 1918, the pride of the German officer corps was still intact. It was clear to everyone, beginning with the general staff, that the French would never have achieved victory on their own… When Germany invaded France in 1940, the Wehrmacht had learned from past mistakes. In the first war, German attacks had frequently failed due to an inability to bring up additional artillery and infantry quickly enough to preserve the momentum of attack achieved by shock troops.
“Now the tank force was being combined with dive bombers, which functioned as airborne artillery. This enabled German troops to advance at speeds previously believed to be impossible. German troops reached the Meuse River in two days, and after six weeks France was forced to capitulate. It was the greatest defeat of a proud nation in military history. When the French laid down their arms, half of their soldiers had not even arrived in the combat zone yet.
“For the majority of German officers, the victory over France was the gratification they had desired. But for their commander-in-chief, the western campaign was merely one stage in a much more extensive war of conquest. As a result, the world was transformed into a hell on earth once again, and what began as a war of revenge ended in a war of extermination more complete and boundless than the massive slaughter of World War I.
“What was to be done with Germany? The Allies now faced the same question a second time, in the summer of 1944. By the time the Americans had landed in Normandy, everyone knew that the Third Reich’s days were numbered. But the victorious powers were confronted with the same problem they had faced a quarter of a century earlier: How to prevent the Germans from planning the next war soon after their defeat.
“One of the men who had been pondering this issue for some time was US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau. He believed that the Germans were a people with an unquenchable thirst for war. Because there would no longer be anyone to stand in the way after a third attempt to achieve global dominance, the goal was to figure out how to prevent them from doing so. It was a question of survival, not just for Europe [but] for all of mankind.
“In September 1944, Morgenthau submitted a plan to the president in which he proposed the large-scale destruction of German heavy industry. Anything that could be used to produce weapons was to be destroyed, seized or placed under international control. This meant the elimination of Germany’s chemical, steel and electrical industries… Morgenthau had influential adversaries. Both the American State Department and senior military officials stationed in Germany were strictly opposed to sending Germany back to the Middle Ages… But the treasury secretary had both the strength of his convictions and the ear of President Roosevelt. Their wives were good friends, and the two couples socialized with each other.
“In addition, Roosevelt had little sympathy for what he called the ‘Huns.’… ‘We have got to be tough with Germany,’ Roosevelt told to his secretary of state. ‘You either have to castrate the German people or you have got to treat them so they can’t just go on reproducing people who want to continue as in the past.’
“Morgenthau seemed to prevail at a meeting between Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Quebec in September 1944. Churchill… initially had strong objections to the plan… But then money came into play and decided the issue. Churchill urgently needed a new loan from the United States. With that hurdle out of the way, the two commanders-in-chief placed their initials under a document agreeing on the transformation of Germany into a ‘country principally agricultural and pastoral in character.’
“That the Germans were eventually spared this fate is thanks the US public outcry over the plan and fear of the Russians. If Roosevelt dreamed of a long-term alliance with the Soviet Union, his successor Harry S. Truman had no illusions about the character of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin. Churchill, too, did not have to be convinced of Stalin’s malevolence…
“Everything was done differently this time. Instead of rubbing the faces of the defeated in the extent of their humiliation by demanding submission, the United States carefully guided the country back into the family of nations. The victors also practiced leniency in the courts, limiting their prosecutions to a small number of leading war criminals. The majority escaped with a formal interrogation, with which the requirements of denazification were satisfied. Only two decades later, in the Auschwitz trials starting in 1963, did a true investigation of the crimes begin…
“The notion that they could never be allowed to possess weapons again is a view that the Germans, only too happy to be disarmed, completely internalized over the years. Pacifism had become national policy by the time the peace movement began. Even the swearing in of new recruits by torchlight can be a source of discomfort. When the Germans decide to do something, they do it thoroughly. In a strange reversal of roles, they had assumed the role of the reformed criminal who lectures others on how to bring about peace without weapons…
“To this day, the mistrust among Germans hasn’t disappeared completely. In the European debate, the suspicion that things could change drastically once again is a subliminal but clearly perceptible motif. Hardly any appeal to European solidarity makes do without a reference to the war and the resulting obligation to keep the peace. Integration into Europe is seen as a sort of self-shackling of the German giant, intended to relieve its neighbors’ fears of the country’s size and economic might…
“During the euro crisis, there has been a noticeable decline in the Germans’ desire to contribute to peace in Europe through transfer payments. But the ongoing impact of the memory of both world wars remains evident in the fact that an EU-critical party has yet to win seats in German parliament. Until his death in 1967, Morgenthau remained convinced that the Germans could not be pacified. ‘You are too young to be able to evaluate whether the Morgenthau plan was a mistake,’ he told his biographer when he tried to get Morgenthau to admit that his plan was wrong. ‘And I’ll bet you — though I won’t be around to collect — that you’re going to have to fight Germany again before you die.’
“Like many historians, the former US treasury secretary saw World War I as the beginning — not of a Thirty Years’ War but of a Hundred Years’ War.”
And so, even though Morgenthal, Roosevelt, Churchill and others did not understand biblical prophecies, it is interesting to note that another World War will break out in this century, involving, at first, Germany and the USA… but this time, it will be a war between the United States of Europe—under German leadership—and the USA and Great Britain.
Will the Bundeswehr be Deployed More Often in the Future?
Deutsche Welle reported on February 8:
“In Mali, the Bundeswehr is being trained for future military interventions, says Christine Buchholz in a DW interview. The Left party politician accompanied Defense Minister von der Leyen on her latest trip to Africa… ‘I believe that the deployment of the Bundeswehr doesn’t have much to do with Mali itself. Mrs. von der Leyen, President Gauck and Foreign Minister Steinmeier have oriented their policy toward more foreign military deployments, and so they are looking for more trouble spots. That’s the higher objective. Of course it’s also about the training of the Malian army which can then be deployed in the north. But the main purpose is the training of the Bundeswehr for future assignments in Africa.
“For the defense minister, the trip also seemed to be about creating images to counteract the low acceptance of the German population regarding foreign assignments of the Bundeswehr… Mali is also a training ground for the Bundeswehr. During the Mali mission, the Bundeswehr refueled warplanes in-flight during deployment for the first time. That is an exercise under real-life conditions in Africa. Insofar, I expect that the Bundeswehr is now being trained to intervene in comparable conflicts. I also expect that there will be more engagements in the future. They will be very different – they won’t all be such large missions like the one in Afghanistan. In different ways, the Bundeswehr will be deployed more often.”
New International Assignment for German Bundeswehr?
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 12:
“The German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, may be facing a new foreign assignment – the German foreign office confirmed Wednesday that it is considering participating in the planned destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on a US ship in the Mediterranean. The German navy may participate by providing security to the American ship where the destruction will take place.
“Berlin had already offered to destroy Syrian chemical weapons on German soil, which would take place at a state-owned company in Munster, Lower Saxony… According to a United Nations mandate, the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad must destroy all chemical warfare agents by June 2014. However, the removal of toxic substances – including sarin and mustard gas – has been slow going… Assad’s regime has said it remains committed to the June deadline, but that security problems… were causing delays…
“Peace talks between the two warring parties continued in Geneva on Wednesday, but little progress has been made. They came even as warplanes bombed the rebel-held town of Yabroud, near Syria’s border to Lebanon.”
“Merkel Toppled from Popularity Throne”
The Local wrote on February 7:
“Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has overtaken Angela Merkel to become Germany’s most popular politician, a poll on Friday showed, with the Chancellor slipping from the top spot for the first time in two years… Seventy percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with how the Social Democrat (SPD) veteran was performing in his job as foreign minister, compared to 69 percent for Merkel.
“Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, from Merkel’s CDU party, occupied third place, as 68 percent of those polled said they were happy with his work… Poll respondents were less pleased with the performances of Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who fell six points to 43 points, while Horst Seehofer, the leader of the Christian Democrats’ Bavarian sister party, the CSU, plunged ten points to 38 percent. Von der Leyen has started in her new post by looking to increase German troop numbers abroad, something which does not sit well with most Germans.
“Steinmeier, who served as foreign minister from 2005-09, has also been busy globetrotting in a sign Germany will pursue a more active foreign policy.”
Steinmeier, a Lutheran, is married and has one daughter. He studied law and served in many different political capacities, including that of Vice Chancellor. Merkel and Schaeuble are also Lutherans.
“Bosnia-Hercegovina Protests Break Out in Violence”
BBC News reported on February 7:
“Demonstrators in Bosnia-Hercegovina have set fire to government buildings, in the worst unrest since the end of the 1992-95 war. Hundreds of people have been injured in three days of protests over high unemployment and perceived inability of politicians to improve the situation… Black smoke could be seen coming from the presidency building in Sarajevo…
“About 40% of Bosnians are unemployed. The unrest began in Tuzla earlier in the week, with protests over the closure and sale of factories which had employed most of the local population. This appears to be a case of simmering frustration boiling over. Two decades on from the siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia has fallen off the international radar – and its people feel they have been forgotten. And not just by the wider world, but their own government.
“The administration is split along ethnic lines – and seems incapable of agreeing on anything but its own above-average pay packets.This has left the rest of Bosnia’s citizens struggling to move forward. Even practical matters like national identity cards, get mired in ethnic politics. At one point last year, desperate mothers formed a human chain around the main government building, begging for identity cards for their babies.
“The economic situation is desperate. Four in ten are unemployed – in large part due to a series of botched privatisations. That is what sparked the initial protests in Tuzla – but empathy with their cause brought demonstrators out in towns across Bosnia…”
American Presbyterian Church Angers Israel
JTA wrote on February 7:
“A study guide on Zionism published by an arm of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is drawing expressions of outrage from Jewish groups. The guide is ‘worthy of a hate group, not a prominent American church,’ said Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups.
“The study guide by the church’s Israel Palestine Mission Network is titled ‘Zionism Unsettled.’ It posits that a ‘pathology inherent in Zionism’ drives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rejects theologies that uphold Zionism. It also calls for an ‘expanded, inclusive’ understanding of the Nazi genocide that would apply its lessons not just with respect to the persecution faced by Jews but also to the plight of the Palestinians, among others. The guide urges a ‘renunciation of the morally hazardous claims of a hierarchy of victimhood.’
“The Israel Palestine Mission Network advises the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) but does not necessarily speak for the church, according to mission network’s website. But the JCPA noted that the church funds and must approve the expenditures of the mission network. ‘As such it is impossible to separate the toxic actions of IPMN from the PCUSA without the kind of clarification from PCUSA officials that remains sorely missing,’ Gutow said in the statement.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center warned that the guide could result in Jews cutting off ties with the church. ‘If this book reflects the feelings of the PCUSA, the Simon Wiesenthal Center will divest all contacts from this institution and call on other Jewish organizations to do the same,’ the center said in a statement. The American Jewish Committee called the guide ‘a devastating distortion of Jewish and Israeli history, aimed at nothing less than eradicating the State of Israel.’”
“The guide was released ahead of the church’s biennial General Assembly, taking place this June in Detroit. The gathering will once again consider recommendations that it divest from companies that deal with Israel’s military. Similar resolutions have been narrowly defeated in the past.”
Vast Majority of Israelis Don’t Trust Obama, Kerry and America
Breitbart wrote on February 7:
“A new poll by Israel’s Geocartography Institute found that 70% of Israeli Jews do not trust the U.S. to protect Israeli security interests in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, according to the Jerusalem Post. The poll… also revealed that 75% of Jewish Israelis do not trust President Barack Obama, with degrees ranging from ‘definitely no’ to ‘not completely.’
“In addition, the poll found that two-thirds of Israelis agree with their government’s recent criticisms of statements by Secretary of State John Kerry. In recent months, Kerry has warned that Israel could face boycotts and even a ‘third intifada’ if it did not reach a deal with the Palestinians. U.S. officials were at pains to stress that Kerry did not mean to threaten Israel but to warn Israel about what other parties might try to do to it.”
The relationship between the USA and Israel will steadily deteriorate, until Israel will have been forsaken by all of its allies.
Israel Minister of Housing Wishes Construction of Third Temple
The website of israelvideonetwork.com wrote on February 2, 2014:
“The Israel Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel on Friday expressed his wish to see the construction of a ‘Third Temple’ in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque that is currently occupying the temple mount. Uri Ariel said ‘The first Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second Temple in 70 CE, and ever since the Jewish People have been mourning its loss.’
“He then went on to say ‘Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple, despite the temple being much holier than it. Al-Aqsa Mosque is only the third most holy mosque in Islam.’ ‘Now that Israel has once again become a Jewish sovereign state, the desire to rebuild the Temple is growing stronger and strong’ he added.”
Uproar in Israel’s Knesset Over European Parliament President Martin Schulz’s Speech
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 12:
“European Parliament President Martin Schulz came under fire Wednesday after making remarks in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, about the water usage of Palestinians and Israelis in the occupied West Bank.
“In his speech, Schulz said that when he was in Ramallah earlier in the week, a young Palestinian had asked him ‘why an Israeli can use 70 cubic liters of water daily and a Palestinian only 17?’ He then added, ‘I haven’t checked the data. I’m asking you if this is correct.’
“The remarks caused the Knesset to break out in turmoil. Right-wing Jewish Home Party member Moti Yogev shouted at him, ‘Shame on you, you support someone who incites against Jews.’ Yogev and Naftali Bennett, Economy Minister and Jewish Home party leader, then left the hall. Bennett immediately took to his Facebook page: ‘I will not tolerate duplicitous propaganda against Israel in the Knesset … and especially not in German.’
“Likud Party member Moshe Feiglin, known for his extreme statements, was absent for the speech because, ‘it is inappropriate that a speech is given in the parliament of the Jewish state, in the language used when our parents were thrust into the railway wagons and in the crematoria,’ he wrote on Facebook.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his own address to the Knesset, accused Schulz of repeating claims without fact-checking. ‘Check first,’ he said. Israeli media quoted Israel’s national water authority as saying the figures quoted by Schulz were inaccurate with West Bank settlers consuming 1.7 times more water per person, instead of 4.2 times more.
“In his speech, Schulz also said ‘the Palestinians have the right to self-determination and equality,’ and that they want to ‘live in peace and have unlimited freedom of movement,’ which he said they are denied in Gaza. Shortly before his Knesset speech, Schulz had complained of sensitivity in Israel against criticism from Europe…”
The Times of Israel wrote on February 12:
“Left-wing MKs reacted angrily to a right-wing walkout during the speech of EU Parliament President Martin Schulz in the Knesset Wednesday… ‘The behavior of the Jewish Home MKs was shameful and scandalous,’ said opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Labor). ‘I think some of the [MKs] didn’t even hear the speech,’ he told Israel Radio shortly after the incident. ‘My colleagues and I were embarrassed. We know Martin Schulz. He defends Israel’s position, including in the European Parliament.’
“Schulz’s speech included ‘deep, historic words about the justice of Israel, about the Shoah and its lessons, about the battle against anti-Semitism and against evil; it was very impressive. And then he talked about our relationship with the Palestinians and the founding of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as part of the two-state solution. We have to get used to the fact that even our friends around the world are sometimes critical of us, and they’re going to say it. In the Knesset itself far worse things are said,’ Herzog added…
“Schulz had used the speech, delivered in his mother tongue of German, to reassure Israel of the European Union’s friendship, asserting that it plans no boycott against Israel and is committed to the Jewish people’s right to live in peace and security…
“‘I’m not familiar with the facts about water quotas,’ said Herzog, ‘but these are claims that can be dealt with, looked into, respectfully. Don’t put on a show. [Much of Schulz’s speech] would make Israel proud around the world, and we can only hope that every member of the EU Parliament will study it.’
“Meretz chair MK Zahava Gal-on was even harsher in her criticism. Responding to Jewish Home MKs’ complaints that criticism of Israel in German was especially problematic, she said in a statement: ‘The use of the Holocaust as a way to avoid dealing with international criticism isn’t just disgusting, it’s ridiculous.’ Jewish Home MKs were angry that Schulz ‘had dared to say that Israel needs to think about its relationship with the Palestinians,’ she said.”
America Is “Lying” and Still Iran’s Enemy
The Times of Israel wrote on February 8:
“Iran’s Supreme Leader said American officials are ‘lying’ when they say they are not seeking regime change in Iran… Khamenei also urged officials not to pin hopes for economic recovery on the sanctions relief from a landmark deal reached with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program… Khamenei has given his blessing to Rouhani’s outreach policies. But he also has held to the line that the United States is fundamentally Iran’s adversary.”
The Associated Press reported on February 8:
“Iranian warships dispatched to the Atlantic Ocean will travel close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time, a senior Iranian naval commander said Saturday… The fleet, consisting of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying supply ship, began its voyage last month from the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. The ships, carrying some 30 navy academy cadets for training along with their regular crews, are on a three-month mission…
“IRNA quoted Haddad as saying the fleet is approaching U.S. maritime borders for the first time. The Islamic Republic considers the move as a response to U.S. naval deployments near its own coastlines. The U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet is based in Bahrain, just across the Persian Gulf.”
Iran Prepares for War Against USA and Israel
The Washington Times wrote on February 12:
“A leading military chief in Iran said America’s threats against Tehran mean next to nothing — and that it’s the United States that better watch it. ‘We are ready for the decisive battle against the U.S. and the Zionist regime,’ said Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, according to Fars News, Iran’s government-run news agency. ‘If we are targeted from the U.S. bases in the region, we will hit those bases.’
“The general also said that Iran’s been prepping for war against the United States and Israel for the past 10 years… The bellicose threats come as the West, led by U.S. influence, forged a deal with Iran to freeze its nuclear activity for six months in exchange for relaxed international economic sanctions.”
How America Forsakes Its Poor
The Huffington Post wrote on February 6:
“Democrats failed on Thursday to win enough Republican votes to reauthorize long-term unemployment benefits for more than a million workers cut off in December. At least five Republicans needed to vote for the bill in order for it to advance, but only four did. The bill failed 58-to-40. Even if the Senate eventually passes an extension of unemployment benefits, which seems unlikely, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have been unenthusiastic about holding a vote.
“More than 1.7 million long-term jobless Americans have missed out on benefits since the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program lapsed on Dec. 28. Since 2008, the program had provided extra weeks of benefits to laid-off workers who use up the standard six months of state benefits. Democrats tried to sweeten the deal by banning millionaires from receiving benefits. Thursday’s measure would have required unemployment claimants to certify they’d earned less than $1 million in the previous year; previously, there was no income restriction…
“Congress routinely installs temporary federal benefit programs when the economy sours, then lets them expire when it improves. Democrats say that with an unprecedented 3.9 million Americans unemployed six months or longer, it’s too soon to drop the benefits…
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate would try again… Last week, Reid told the story of a 57-year-old Nevada woman who’d written him to say that since her unemployment benefits stopped, she’s been couch surfing at friends’ houses. He revisited the story at a press conference on Thursday. ‘She couldn’t pay her rent,’ he said. ‘I hadn’t heard the term, some of the younger people probably have — she’s been couch-surfing. She’s been going from friend to friend to sleep on their couch. She said, “How do you think it makes me feel?’”’
Sadly, these real tragic life stories are no exceptions, but are becoming more and more common place in a country which prides itself of helping the poor. We might be doing this in other countries, granting them financial assistance beyond control, but what about our own people?
How America Punishes Its Poor
The Huffington Post wrote on February 12:
“In recent years, local governments throughout the United States have locked up growing numbers of people for failing to pay their legal debts… a new report takes a closer look at the emergence of modern-day ‘debtors’ prisons’ in Washington state, specifically.
“People throughout the state are often sent to jail because they can’t afford to pay the heavy fines and legal fees issued by county courts… The county’s District Court fines people for misdemeanors… defendants are often ordered to pay for the cost of their trials… Throughout the state, defendants frequently must pay fines, fees and other charges exceeding several thousand dollars per conviction, accruing interest at the rate of 12 percent per year…
“Under the U.S. Constitution, Americans can’t be jailed for failing to pay their debts when the reason for their failure to pay is poverty. But in Washington and other states, county governments get around that by insisting poor defendants could find a way to pay if they simply tried hard enough…
“In Ohio, a woman who couldn’t pay a $250 legal debt was held in jail for over a month… thousands of courts in Southern states jail people who can’t keep up with the fees imposed on them by private probation companies. Some states have begun curtailing their versions of the practice. In Ohio, the state Supreme Court announced last week that it would hand out ‘bench cards’ to state judges, encouraging them to offer payment plans to people who couldn’t afford their fines.”
Weak US Economy
BBC News wrote on February 7:
“The US economy added 113,000 jobs in January, the second month in a row the figure has been weaker than expected. Economists had predicted the US Labor Department would report an increase of about 180,000 new jobs… Getting America back to work is unfinished business… there were declines in hiring in retail, utilities, government, and education and health employment… Earlier this week, an unexpectedly weak manufacturing report raised concerns about the strength of the US economy and sent the Dow Jones tumbling by 326 points.”
Newsmax wrote on February 12:
“The White House has been dealt a stunning new blow on Obamacare sign-up numbers with reports showing that only about half of the people ‘enrolled’ at healthcare exchanges in various states have actually paid their premiums. With the March 31 deadline for enrollment just seven weeks away, the number of sign-ups in federal and state marketplaces has slowed down to an alarming figure since the sudden surge in the latter part of December and early January.
“But the bigger problem for the Obama administration is that roughly 50 percent of consumers who had supposedly enrolled for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform have missed their payment deadline for January 1.”
House and Senate Raise Debt Ceiling
Breitbart wrote on February 12:
“According to an analysis by the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff, the national debt when the debt ceiling comes back into effect [on March 15, 2015] will be $18.2 trillion, about $1 trillion more than the current, $17.2 trillion debt…
“After House Republicans failed to agree on a plan to include spending cuts and reforms in their debt ceiling bill, Speaker John Boehner brought a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase to the House floor yesterday, which passed with mostly Democrats and 28 Republicans.
“The Senate just advanced its version of the legislation, voting to invoke cloture on the bill by a vote of 67-31… The vote puts the bill on the fast-track to a signature from President Obama.”
Deutsche Welle added on February 12:
“… [the] bill which will allow the US to continue borrowing normally for the next 13 months, also known as ‘raising the debt ceiling’… the US Treasury will be able to pay its current debts, estimated at more than $17 trillion (12.5 trillion euros) until March 15, 2015.”
IRS to Tax American Gold Medalists
On February 7, 2014, the Drudge Report linked an article from the website of Americans For Tax Reform, stating this:
“As 230 U.S. Olympic athletes gear up to compete in the 2014 Winter Games, the only thing colder than the slopes at Sochi is the fact that any prizes awarded by the U.S. Olympic Commission (USOC) will be taxed by the IRS. Many Americans don’t realize that the U.S. taxes income earned abroad, and as such even the winnings of Olympic athletes are subject to the reach of the IRS.
“The USOC awards prizes to U.S. Olympic medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Relative to each athlete’s income tax bracket, some top earners such as Shaun White could end up paying over a third (39.6 percent) of their winnings to the IRS.
“Additionally, because the U.S. is one of only a handful of developed countries that tax income earned abroad, it is likely America’s competitors will not be subject to such a tax. Taken together – the tax on Olympic athletes and the tax on income earned abroad – it can be said the U.S. has officially ‘earned the Gold’ for having one of the most backwards and illogical tax codes in the world.”
Amen to that last comment.
Sweeping Changes for Same Sex Couples in Justice Department
Reuters wrote on February 8:
“Attorney General Eric Holder plans widespread changes within the U.S. Justice Department to benefit same-sex married couples, such as recognizing a legal right for them not to testify against each other in civil and criminal cases, according to excerpts of a speech on Saturday. The changes are designed to keep pushing for gay rights in the United States after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year said the federal government cannot refuse to recognize same-sex marriages carried out in states that allow them.
“U.S. law has long included a ‘spousal privilege’ that protects communications between a husband and wife so they cannot be forced to be incriminating witnesses against each other in court. In addition to extending the privilege to same-sex couples in situations involving the Justice Department, Holder said he plans to put same-sex couples on the same legal footing as opposite-sex couples in other areas, including how certain debts are handled in federal bankruptcy proceedings and visitation policies at federal prisons.
“‘In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,’ Holder said in the speech excerpts released in advance…
“Holder will also make same-sex married couples equally eligible for death benefits paid to the surviving spouses of law enforcement officers who have died on duty and for benefits from the September 11 victims’ compensation fund, according to the speech excepts. The Justice Department runs both programs…
“Only 13 U.S. states have legalized gay marriage. In states where same-sex marriage is not legal, spousal privilege for same-sex couples is not guaranteed. In politically conservative Kentucky, for example, a state judge in September denied a woman’s request for spousal privilege to shield her from testifying against her partner in a capital murder case.”
Worldwide Disagreements of Catholics with Their Church
The Washington Post wrote on February 8:
“Most Catholics worldwide disagree with church teachings on divorce, abortion and contraception and are split on whether women and married men should become priests, according to a large new poll released Sunday and commissioned by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision. On the topic of gay marriage, two-thirds of Catholics polled agree with church leaders.
“Overall, however, the poll of more than 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals a church dramatically divided: Between the developing world in Africa and Asia, which hews closely to doctrine on these issues, and Western countries in Europe, North America and parts of Latin America, which strongly support practices that the church teaches are immoral. The widespread disagreement with Catholic doctrine on abortion and contraception and the hemispheric chasm lay bare the challenge for Pope Francis’s year-old papacy and the unity it has engendered…
“19 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 30 percent in the Latin American countries surveyed agree with church teaching that divorcees who remarry outside the church should not receive Communion, compared with 75 percent in the most Catholic African countries.
“30 percent of Catholics in the European countries and 36 percent in the United States agree with the church ban on female priests, compared with 80 percent in Africa and 76 percent in the Philippines, the country with the largest Catholic population in Asia.
“40 percent of Catholics in the United States oppose gay marriage, compared with 99 percent in Africa.
“The poll… focused on 12 countries across the continents with some of the world’s largest Catholic populations. The countries are home to more than six of 10 Catholics globally…
“Seventy-eight percent of Catholics across all countries surveyed support the use of contraceptives, which violate the church’s teaching that sex should always be had with an openness toward procreation… More than 90 percent of Catholics in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Spain and France support the use of contraception. Those less inclined to support it were in the Philippines (68 percent), Congo (44 percent) and Uganda (43 percent). In the United States, 79 percent of Catholics support using contraception… The poll also showed 66 percent of Catholics opposing same-sex marriage, with majorities in eight of the 12 countries surveyed agreeing with church doctrine…
“Critics say [Pope Francis’] solicitation of opinions wrongly gives the appearance that Catholicism is a democracy. Others… say there’s no evidence that he would touch doctrine… Any change would be a complex undertaking, as Catholics are going in many directions… Catholics in Brazil, the most populous Catholic country, widely reject some core church teachings but are seeing a surge in men becoming priests for the first time in decades. Filipino Catholics… support church teachings on some social issues but have a powerfully charismatic faith that isn’t focused on being in step with church leaders.”
It has always been the policy of the Roman Catholic Church to open its doors to people of all kinds of different beliefs, convictions and persuasions, placing a “Christian” mantle on their pagan worship. This type of syncretism is one reason for the utter confusion within the Church.
Final Draft Agreement Between Catholic Church and Palestine
Zenit wrote on February 7:
“A Holy See-Palestinian commission announced Thursday that there is ‘great satisfaction’ at progress toward the final draft of an agreement that will regulate aspects of Church life and activity in the Holy Land… The talks were chaired by Hanna Amireh, member of Executive Committee of the PLO and head of the Presidential Higher Committee for Church Affairs of the State of Palestine, and by Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See.
“‘The discussions took place in a cordial and constructive atmosphere,’ the Holy See reported… ‘The Palestinian side expressed its warm welcome to Pope Francis in view of his upcoming visit to the Holy Land.’”
Catastrophic Ice Storm in the USA
BBC News wrote on February 12:
“A ‘catastrophic’ ice storm wreaking havoc in the American South is now poised to pummel the eastern seaboard, say forecasters. More than 350,000 people are reportedly without power and 3,300 US flights have been cancelled due to ice and strong winds… North Carolina and Virginia are bracing for up to 1ft (30cm) of snow as the storm rolls north… The National Weather Service said it was an event of ‘historical proportions’, drawing comparisons with similar weather systems that struck the Atlanta area in 2000 and 1973…
“North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory urged residents to ‘stay smart’, asking people to charge their mobile phones and find batteries for radios and flashlights in anticipation of power cuts. Traffic was snarled in the state, especially in the city of Raleigh, as the snow began to fall in the early evening and prevented crews from clearing roads.”
The Weather Channel added on February 12:
“Winter Storm Pax continued its second wave of wintry weather Wednesday, dumping freezing rain and sleet across a wide area that could experience catastrophic conditions for a prolonged period of time. In North Carolina, snowfall led to a disastrous commute Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh and Charlotte…”
“Meanwhile, a Deluge in the UK…”
The Daily Mail wrote on February 8:
“A wave bigger [than] the hamlet of Sennen Cove, in West Cornwall, was seen crashing over the cliffs today as a series of devastating storms swept in bringing gales of up to 80mph. There are more than 300 low-level flood alerts and nearly 200 medium-risk flood warnings in place across Wales and southern and central England as north as Hull – two of them pose ‘a danger to life’. Today’s storms are expected to be at least as severe as those which caused widespread destruction across southern England last week leaving swathes of the country under water.”
BBC News added on February 12:
“Further flooding is expected in parts of the UK, as forecasters warn stormy weather could bring the ‘strongest’ winds of winter and a month’s rainfall in the coming days.”
One member of UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party – “get the UK out of Europe” party) said that because of homosexuality etc., the country was having all these problems. The Guardian newspaper wrote on February 10 that “A UKIP councillor who blamed the Christmas and new year floods on the passage of gay marriage laws has been suspended from the party, Ukip said on Sunday, reversing an earlier view that he was entitled to his opinion. Henley-on-Thames councillor David Silvester, who defected from the Tories in protest at David Cameron’s support for same-sex unions, said he had warned the prime minister of ‘repercussions’ if gay marriage went ahead. He was suspended by Ukip after defying a request not to do further interviews on his beliefs following his initial claims made in a letter to a local newspaper. The move came as leader Nigel Farage launched a clearout of ‘extremist, nasty or barmy’ views from the party ahead of polls in May.”
This is just a tiny foretaste of what is to come when the nation is truly told about its sins!
Appalling Conduct Towards European Zoo Animals
The Associated Press reported on February 9:
“Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal. Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol… Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions… the zoo, which now has seven giraffes left, followed the recommendation of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to put down Marius… because there already were a lot of giraffes with similar genes in the organization’s breeding program.
“The Amsterdam-based EAZA has 347 members, including many large zoos in European capitals… EAZA membership isn’t mandatory, but most responsible zoos are members of the organization… [The] zoo had turned down offers from other ones to take Marius and an offer from a private individual who wanted to buy the giraffe for 500,000 euros ($680,000)… [The zoo] turned down an offer from Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Britain, which is a member of EAZA, because Marius’ older brother lives there and the park’s space could be better used by a ‘genetically more valuable giraffe.’… Copenhagen Zoo also turned down an offer from a zoo in northern Sweden, because it was not an EAZA member…
“EAZA said it supported the zoo’s decision to ‘humanely put the animal down and believes strongly in the need for genetic and demographic management within animals in human care.’ However, the organization Animal Rights Sweden said the case highlights what it believes zoos do to animals regularly. ‘It is no secret that animals are killed when there is no longer space, or if the animals don’t have genes that are interesting enough,’ it said in a statement…
“Elisa Allen, spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in the U.K., said Marius’ case should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who ‘still harbors the illusion that zoos serve any purpose beyond incarcerating intelligent animals for profit… Giraffes rarely die of old age in captivity, and had Marius not been euthanized today, he would have lived out his short life as a living exhibit, stranded in a cold climate, thousands of miles away from his true home.’”
This kind of animal cruelty and the destruction of perfectly healthy animals for arbitrary or no reasons won’t be allowed anymore, when Christ rules on this earth.
I have heard the expression “The Frog in Boiling Water,” but what does it mean, what does God say about it, and how does it work in practice?
It is interesting to look at the definition of this phrase. One of many definitions that can be found on the Internet makes the point well:
”They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger. But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late. The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.
“This is a story that is used to illustrate how people might get themselves into terrible trouble. This parable is often used to illustrate how humans have to be careful to watch slowly changing trends in the environment, not just the sudden changes. It’s a warning to keep us paying attention not just to obvious threats but to more slowly developing ones.”
Looking at all the evidence to see whether the story is true or not is not within the compass of this particular Q&A. The analogy raises a very interesting way that society, under the sway of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2), brings about the change it desires, even if the process is over the long term. Examples of this will show how true the analogy can be.
First of all, let us look at homosexuality which is roundly condemned in the Bible. Genesis 18 and 19 show that this was one of a number of sins for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Other passages on the subject include Leviticus 18:22; 20:13. In Scriptures such as Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; and 2 Kings 23:7, the Hebrew term “qedeshim” is used for “perverted” persons, describing those practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals. New Testament passages include Romans 1:25-27, 32 (condemning those who even approve of such acts); 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; and Revelation 21:8. We are admonished to live by every Word of God (Matthew 4:4), and so these references must be taken seriously.
In England, Henry VIII introduced the first legislation under English criminal law against sodomy with the Buggery Act of 1533, making buggery (a British English term, which is very close in meaning to the term sodomy) punishable by hanging—a penalty not lifted in England and Wales until 1861.
In the UK, the Sexual Offences Act 1967 was an Act of Parliament which decriminalized homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom were 21 years of age or older. Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” However, it was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland as one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of Great Britain.
The politicians feel that homosexuals should have “equality” in law, and it is their reasoning for approving behaviour, which is an abomination in the sight of God. It seems that anyone now citing biblical proof stating that this practice is wrong could be guilty of a “hate” crime showing how far we have come in such a degenerate society.
So we can very briefly see that in the UK, it was an offence punishable by hanging until that act was repealed, then it was still illegal until 1967, then promotion of homosexuality was banned in schools, then repealed, and many politicians apologised for this as they saw public opinion moving quite quickly in the direction of approval and then civil partnerships and now same-sex “marriages”. All this took many decades, even hundreds of years to get from the death penalty to men “marrying” men and women “marrying” women, and all the time, public opinion was being manipulated and softened towards the acceptance of this ungodly practice. For the biblical teaching on this subject, please see our Q&A #184 on 11th March 2005, entitled “The Biblical Teaching on Homosexuality”.
Next we may look at abortion. Wikipedia states that “The Abortion Act 1967 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom legalising abortions by registered practitioners, and regulating the free provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service (NHS). Apparently this was introduced in order to reduce the amount of disease and death associated with illegal abortion.”
Abortions were made legal in the United States in a landmark and controversial 1973 Supreme Court judgement, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case. On the “Women’s History website” it states that “While many celebrated the decision, others, especially in the Roman Catholic Church and in theologically conservative Christian groups, opposed the change. ‘Pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ evolved as the most common self-chosen names of the two movements, one to outlaw most abortions and the other to eliminate most legislative restrictions on abortions.”
The BBC reported in 2009 that “The Church of England encourages people to think through the issue of abortion very carefully and recognises that each individual will have differing views on the subject. However, the Church’s governing body, The General Synod, has passed resolutions on the matter which provide a coherent Church of England position. The Church of England combines strong opposition to abortion with a recognition that there can be – strictly limited – conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative. The Church of England shares the Roman Catholic view that abortion is ‘gravely contrary to the moral law’.”
Figures in a UK newspaper report on 25th May 2010 stated that there were 189,100 abortions in 2009 for women living in England and Wales. A total of 48 women had had seven or more abortions. Most of these were funded by the National Health Service (NHS) which paid for 94 per cent of all terminations. The report said that the figures could reignite the debate into whether some women use abortion as a form of contraception, rather than a last resort to unplanned pregnancy.
Over the years attitudes have changed, little by little, regarding abortion, and it is now commonplace in many countries around the world. What was once seen as a shocking thing is now considered part of everyday life in many countries. Over time, with plenty of publicity and exposure, most have now accepted that this is the right thing to do in some or many circumstances. The Bible tells us that it is always wrong (Please read our free booklet “Are You Already Born Again?” and view the StandingWatch programme, “Why Abortion Is Murder in God’s Eyes,” dated 13th November 2013).
Another area where the frog in boiling water analogy has been very effective is the concept of “living together or co-habiting”. In our weekly Update #199, dated 24th June 2005, we quoted from “Psychology Today” as follows: “Thirty or 40 years ago, cohabitation was relatively rare, mainly the province of artists and other questionable types, and still thought of as ‘living in sin.’ In 1970 only about 500,000 couples lived together in unwedded bliss. Now, nearly 5 million opposite-sex couples in the United States live together outside of marriage; millions more have done it at some point… Some evidence indicates that women have less control over the progress of the cohabiting relationship. She may assume they’re on the road to marriage, but he may think they’re just saving on rent and enjoying each other’s company… Cohabiting men may carry their uncertainty forward into marriage, with destructive consequences. A 2004 study… found that men who had lived with their spouse pre-maritally were on average less committed to their marriages than those who hadn’t…”
Since this report some nine years ago, co-habitation has continued to flourish and is now an unquestioned part of society. Fifty years ago it would have been completely unacceptable, seen as “living in sin,” but over the years, opposition has gradually dwindled away and very few seem to question it any longer. However, the Bible has much to say about fornication – for a full explanation, please see our Q&A #226, “Does the Bible Permit Adultery and Pre-Marital Sex?”
One other secular matter is a prime example of the frog in boiling water principle working effectively. After Princess Diana died in 1998, much was made of Prince Charles’s extra marital affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. A plan was put in place to have her accepted, as there was much hostility towards her at that time.
After several years of the marketing of Camilla, she and Prince Charles married in 2005. At the time, one report stated that “The couple have had to make some controversial adjustments in the hope of gaining public acceptance for the marriage, most notably the pledge that if Charles becomes King, Camilla won’t be named Queen, instead she’ll carry the title of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Consort.” Another report stated that “If you go back five years ago, the memory of Diana was still very fresh. And it’s still reasonably fresh with a lot of people, seven and a half years after her death. And it would’ve been wrong five years ago to go through it.”
Since then, the propaganda machine has been in continuous action, so that now, contrary to public opinion in 1998 and 2005, polls show that she is now accepted in her position as the Duchess of Cornwall.
In a report in 2012 about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, these comments were made: “Only 10 years ago she attended the Golden Jubilee Party at the palace and sat in the background behind the Royal Family trying not to ignite controversy over her relationship with the heir to the throne. For years she was the ‘other woman’, but yesterday Camilla’s increased prominence demonstrated she has been truly accepted as part of the Windsors’ future in the Queen’s new slimmed-down version of the Royal Family. Her Majesty’s decision to have Camilla sitting in the Landau’s seat in the absence of Prince Philip, who was suddenly taken ill, emphatically told the country her daughter in law is now an important part of ‘The Firm’. This was reaffirmed by Camilla’s appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony with the Queen, Charles, William, Kate and Harry just a few moments later, as well as her seat just one along from the Queen in the royal box during Monday’s rock extravaganza.”
The spin doctors were given a task that, over the years, they have accomplished in getting her accepted by those who were initially opposed to her place in the Royal Family.
Please note this reference taken from page 5 of our free booklet “Should You Fight in War?”: “Notice that NOT seeking peace and pursuing it is labeled as ‘evil.’ Refraining our tongues from evil means to refrain from speaking evil about our enemy. Each war begins with words, with propaganda, with hateful comments about others, until a government’s decision to attack and fight against a foreign country – the enemy – seems to be justified in the eyes of the citizens. As a prime example, Adolph Hitler could never have convinced many Germans to approve of ‘total war,’ if his propaganda machine, under Joseph Goebbels, had not carefully prepared them, far in advance, for such a viewpoint.”
These examples show how public opinion can be manipulated, given time. It probably goes a good way to explaining Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” It appears that almost anything can be addressed, changed or manipulated, given enough time, and with Satan in charge of our society at this time, we should not be surprised.
Unfortunately, man always seems to think that he knows best when God’s Word says differently. The old saying that it is “a cinch by the inch but hard by the yard” is an excellent way of getting acceptance of an unpopular matter, usually over a protracted period of time. Let us never forget that the frog in boiling water analogy can be very effective in getting this point across. Also let us never forget that it is a tool that Satan uses very successfully, even in the Church, as we saw in the 1990’s, when destructive heresies were subtly introduced, and as we have seen subsequently, when many in the Church of God forsook most, if not all of the truth which they had once seemingly understood (For a full explanation of these horrible events, please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?” ).
We have to be very careful that we are not taken in, particularly in the Church, by “the frog in boiling water” analogy!
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (UK)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A new member letter has been written by Rene Messier. In this letter, Mr. Messier examines the stark condition of society in the nations of the modern House of Israel–showing the urgency for finishing the Work God has given to His Church.
“Rebellion in the Christian Church?,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The results of a worldwide survey for Catholics reflect a devastating disagreement between teaching and practice. This can also be observed in most other churches in mainstream Christianity. But who is right, and who is wrong? Is it right or wrong to divorce, to use contraceptives, to have sexual relationships outside of marriage, or to endorse abortion, self-sex marriages and homosexual practices? While Pope Francis is viewed as a reformer, retired Pope Benedict is “the fixed star of the traditionalists” in the Catholic Church, “setting the standard” for them today. What does this all mean, also in light of the prophesied “false prophet” to manifest himself within traditional Christianity in the next few years?
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“Wie den Krieg abschaffen?'” is the title of a new German sermon asking and answering the question as to how we could get rid of war. Title in English: “How to Abolish War?” This is the second in a new series of German sermons in which Norbert Link addresses choices which lead to war or to peace.
The files for our booklet, “Hidden Secrets in the Bible” are ready to be sent to the printer.
“Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?,” is the title of a new booklet, written by Norbert Link, which has entered the second stage of review. Here is the opening paragraph of the Foreward:
“Do the Old Testament laws apply to us today? How can we determine if they do, and to what extent? The answers to these questions require careful consideration of the Scriptures in order to fully appreciate why God gave these laws in the first place and what, if anything, they mean for us today.”
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
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While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom